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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Book Review

This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the eighth book in the “Captain Underpants” series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Fourth-graders George Beard and Harold Hutchins have created their own comic superhero named Captain Underpants. They begin this book by drawing a comic for readers that recaps how they developed the character. They also show how they accidentally brought it to life when they hypnotized their principal. Now whenever someone snaps his fingers, Mr. Krupp turns into Captain Underpants and fights crime wearing only his briefs and a curtain for a cape.

The boys draw a second comic to recap their latest adventure. When brainiac classmate Melvin creates a time machine out of a purple potty, George and Melvin decide to try it out. They take their bionic hamster, Sula, and their pterodactyl named Crackers.

This volume begins with George and Melvin pulling their usual pranks on the mean-spirited teachers at their school. The boys escape in Melvin’s Purple Potty, expecting to land in prehistoric times. Instead, they find themselves at their school, but in an alternate universe. Everything is just the opposite of normal. The teachers are pleasant. The principal practically begs them to rearrange the letters on the cafeteria sign. He walks down the hall whistling a tune. The boys stash their sleeping pets in their locker and try to find out what’s happened.

They discover they have evil twins in this universe, twins who write Captain Underpants comics of their own. The real George and Harold read their twins’ comic about a happy, kind principal who turns evil when the Evil George and Harold snap their fingers. The Evil Captain Underpants, known as Captain Blunderpants, steals pizza and expensive electronic devices at the evil boys’ bidding.

Good George and Harold discover their animals are missing. They know their evil counterparts have taken them to the treehouse. When they arrive, it’s already too late. Evil George and Harold have hypnotized Sula, who attacks Good George and Harold. Crackers, who has avoided hypnosis, comes to the boys’ aid. Crackers and Good George and Harold try to escape in the Purple Potty while the evil boys, Sula and Principal Krupp try to stop them. When the machine shuts down, the boys and Crackers exit the Purple Potty to figure out where they’ve landed. When they realize they’re back in their own world, they head for the treehouse. They don’t know that Evil George and Harold, along with Sula and the alternate-universe Krupp, have returned with them. Evil George and Harold turn Krupp into Captain Blunderpants.

Good George’s and Harold’s families have dinner together. The boys accidentally turn George’s great-grandmother and Harold’s grandfather into superheroes. Meanwhile, out in the treehouse, Evil George and Harold and Captain Blunderpants turn Evil Sula into a gigantic monster. Hearing the creature, George, Harold and their families rush into the backyard.

Good George and Harold, riding Crackers, hurry to Principal Krupp’s house. They turn him into Captain Underpants, and he battles Evil Sula. Meanwhile, the evil boys and Captain Blunderpants have been robbing a bank. After a lengthy skirmish between all four boys and both Captains, Captain Blunderpants captures George and Harold. When the grandparents see this, they attack Captain Blunderpants. They pummel him with canes and walkers until they’ve subdued him.

George and Harold trick the evil boys into shrinking themselves with a shrink ray. The grandparents share a wet, sloppy kiss before the crew sends the evil boys and Captain Blunderpants back to their own universe in the Purple Potty. They return Sula to normal and start to relax, until Professor Poopypants (now known as Tippy Tinkletrousers) arrives in a pair of metallic robo-pants to exact his revenge.

Christian Beliefs

None

Other Belief Systems

After their trip in the Purple Potty, the boys expect to find themselves in a prehistoric tree 65 million years ago.

Authority Roles

Principal Krupp will stop at nothing to catch the boys at their pranks. When Krupp becomes Captain Underpants, he and the boys work together to fight bad guys. Krupp and the teachers are depicted as vindictive and untrustworthy. The narrator calls them evil, and they laugh at the kids’ mistakes. The boys play tricks on them because, according to the narrator, the teachers aren’t very intelligent. In the alternate universe, the boys are alarmed to find their gym teacher isn’t fat or being incredibly cruel to the nonathletic kids.

The narrator humorously criticizes parents for encouraging potty talk in young children and punishing it when kids are older.

Profanity/Violence

The word heck appears. Several humorous warning pages appear, stating that extremely graphic violence will be shown in the pages that follow. What actually appears is mild cartoon violence, such as a person being hit in the head or the gut. No blood or serious injuries are depicted.

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

George’s great-grandmother and Harold’s grandfather kiss each other passionately for five minutes.

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

Homosexuality: It is Banned Books Week in their alternate universe. The school librarian invites them to expand their minds and offers them a copy of the children’s book Mommy has Two Heathers. (This is a parody of the real children’s book about homosexual parents called Heather has Two Mommies.)

Bathroom humor and general grossness: Silly cartoon drawings, which appear frequently throughout the book, depict Captain Underpants as a pudgy, bald man wearing fitted white briefs and a red cape. The large underpants never reveal any hint of the anatomy beneath. The narrator rails on adults, who spend the first two years of kids’ lives talking about nothing but pee-pee and poo-poo. Then adults suddenly start punishing kids for discussing bathroom-related subjects. George and Harold change a sign so teachers are instructed to push on a butt to open a certain door. The corresponding picture shows teachers pushing on each other’s behinds. Melvin reads a comic book that mentions farting, barfing and diarrhea. The boys change a cafeteria sign so that it mentions eating juicy boogers. As superheroes, the grandparents strip down to boxers and a strapless, mid-thigh-length girdle. Professor Poopypants emerges from the fly of a giant pair of robotic pants. He reminds them his new name is Tippy Tinkletrousers.

Crime: Evil Captain Blunderpants steals electronics and pizza at the evil boys’ bidding. The trio also robs a bank.

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

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