I am getting quite addicted to the The Times special book offers that you get in Smiths and the occasional free books you get actually packaged with the paper (a nocturnal trip to the supermarket just now has just awarded me with a copy of The Lost World with my newspaper). I’m a Times reader anyway, but never used to buy it that regularly but thanks to it being delivered with my Ocado delivery (yes I’m so middle class) and me getting tempted by the book offers, I read it quite regularly now (so there you go Times, your marketing is working here with me at least).
Anyway, what’s this all got to do with Captain Underpants you say? Well currently (at least it was there last time I looked) if you buy a Times in Smiths you can also buy from a selection of kids books for £1. Anyone try and sell me a book for £1 and I’ll buy it. There’s a selection of girls books and boys books and well the girls books were quite ‘girly’, all pink ponies and flower fairies, which isn’t Girl Lacer’s thing at all, whereas Captain Underpants, right up her street.
So, me and Girl Lacer have been galloping through The Adventures of Captain Underpants for the last few days and it was brilliant, one of those great kids things which kids love but have enough gags in to keep the parents amused to. Girl Lacer is not quite up to reading chapter books alone yet, although she is very nearly there, I think it’s more of a matter of confidence really, so I’ve been looking round for chapter books to read to her at bedtime, just to get her used to the whole concept of a longer story. We started off a few months ago with Pippi Longstocking, which Girl Lacer describes as ‘nice’, you ask her what she thinks of Captain Underpants and her eyes light up and it’s ‘cool’. It has a fantastic format, with really short chapters and there isn’t just illustrations on the page, the pages are illustrations, with the words placed in the picture if you know what I mean, so it’s really easy for the child to immediately get into the story.
The Adventures of Captain Underpants tells the tale of two boys who are always getting into trouble, when one day they manage to hypnotise their school principal into believing that he is Captain Underpants, the boys’ comic book creation, hilarity ensues. I even heard Mr. Lacer, who was in the room as I was reading the book aloud, giggle at certain points and as I finished the book today, Girl Lacer grabbed it off me
“Which chapter is the one where we first see the man in the nappy?” she goes, she flicks through the book and find the chapter in question and then flicks more slowly through it until she finds a certain illustration involving the man in the nappy and some fake ‘doggy do-do, I bet you can imagine’, she turns to me, massive grin on her face, eyes alight, pointing at the picture “I really liked that bit!”. Now, Girl Lacer is a bookish child, always has been, but I’ve never seen her quite so enthused about a book before, not even her beloved Charlie and Lola, so a full parental thumbs up from me.
And I’m really pleased to see, checking on Amazon, that there are loads more Captain Underpants books out there . . .