Book eleven in the Captain Underpants series
By Dav Pilkey
Available now from Scholastic
The Captain Underpants novels have been a perennial favorite of kids since the first one came out in 1997. Dav Pilkey writes and illustrates these tales of two fourth graders, their principal cum Captain Underpants, and various fiendish foes.
CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000 showcases, obviously, the return of the Turbo Toilet 2000. The first couple of chapters make light of the fact that this series now has a fairly complicated mythology and consequences that stretch out between several books. But there is a decent amount of recapping for forgetful readers or for those who pick up a book in the series at random.
The illustrations are as simply charming as ever, and the text is quite funny. (I particularly like the joke about a "flush wound.") The flip-o-rama action is terrific low-budget, self-powered animation. If you're not afraid of a little potty humor, this is a great series for kids. (Who, let's face it, will love the potty humor.)
I must admit, I did find part of CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000 not funny. Some of the antics get the principal put in a mental hospital. It isn't quite mental illness played for laughs, but it's close. However, it could be a chance to talk to your children about why resources for mental health are important.
This silly series is still going strong eleven books in.