“We played superheroes at the park today and my superpower was to have all the superpowers, so I won!” bragged our oldest at dinner last night. And then, of course, his younger brother had to weigh in with a laundry list of his own ‘superpowers’ which included a lot of bathroom words and quickly devolved into mad fits of giggles. So maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised that a colorful cartoon about someone called “Captain Underpants” would be an immediate hit with our boys! At first, we were a bit skeptical of the books since they seemed to have limited “educational value”. However, we did a little digging and learned that using comic books and graphic novels to encourage reading has been gaining acceptance, as they blend students’ natural interests (hello bathroom humor!) with developing reading skills (e.g. making inferences, developing visualization skills and understanding character point of view). Awesome – we love it when the kids are enthusiastic about something that’s actually good for them! Apparently, there are a lot of other people who feel the same, as the Captain Underpants books have sold over 70 million copies worldwide!
All of the Captain Underpants books have a fun comic book style that is very engaging for our emerging reader and we love to see his enthusiasm for reading continue to grow. Of course, we’ve all grown fond of the hilarious characters in the series, so we were excited to hear about the upcoming premiere (on July 13th) of the Netflix original series DreamWorks The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants, as well as getting our hands on the Captain Underpants Summer Fun Kit.
For those who haven’t come across the Captain Underpants phenomenon yet here is a quick summary: George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two best buds who share a love of comic books and practical jokes – and a strong dislike for their cranky, fun-hating school principal, Mr. Krupp. When their over-the-top pranks get out of hand, the boys unleash their creative superpowers by transforming Krupp into the bumbling, briefs-baring superhero, Captain Underpants! The future of Jerome Horwitz Elementary is always in jeopardy, and it’s up to two prank-loving fourth graders and one goofy caped crusader to save it. What could possibly go wrong?
The Summer Fun Kit included make-your-own George and Harold sock puppets, “The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants” book (related to the TV series) and a Draw-string sling bag. Our kids were thrilled to have a whole new Captain Underpants book to read and to have fun ‘making’ their own sock puppet. While the sock puppet activity may have met with mixed success, we are happy to report that great fun was had by all.
Now we are looking forward to the premiere of the series on Netflix and being able to catch up with the new adventures of George and Harold and their underpants-clad superhero creation.
Product received, thank you to Dreamworks Animation, and to PR for supplying us with products for this review, all opinions are our own.