In a recent article in The Toronto Star, Dav Pilkey discusses the triumphant return of Captain Underpants, Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers. While we may groan (and chuckle under our breath) over kids’ obsession with fart jokes, as we know all too well, humour can be an effective tool to help kids deal with difficult issues. And, while this “lowbrow potty humour” would seem an unlikely candidate, not only is Dav Pilkey an advocate for literacy, but this latest instalment in the bestselling series discusses bullying, one of the most important issues kids face. Our heroes, George and Harold, are back in kindergarten and come up against a sixth-grade bully named Kipper Krupp, who also happens to be their principal’s nephew. And because they’re still in kindergarten, Captain Underpants hasn’t been invented yet and they must rely on their own ingenuity to deal with him.
Pilkey must be doing something right because other authors, such as Jo Nesbø, Kevin Bolger, and others, are following in his footsteps, appealing to our (let’s face it we all do ) love of the toilet humour by creating a new group of superheroes that just might save the world one fart at a time.