From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5-Pilkey packs an amazing amount of humor into what could have been a one-gag novel. Besides turning their principal into a silly superhero, George and Harold play tricks on just about everyone. They pepper pom-poms, put bubble bath in tubas, and fill a football with helium. Pilkey's illustrations are half the fun, and that magical moment when the hypnotized Principal Krupp dons his Captain Underpants uniform and sings "Tra-La-Laaaaaaaa" is priceless. Krupp is a worthy successor to Lamar J. Spurgle, the nemesis of "the Cut-Ups" in James Marshall's great picture books. The "kneel here" sign in front of his desk says it all. Kid Appeal Award: Superheroes are always fascinating to kids. And children of a certain age will laugh at anything that has to do with underpants. Combining the two was a stroke of comic genius.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2^-4. The title and the cover art, which depicts a toothy, egg-shaped fellow in a red cape and jockey shorts, are designed to keep this chapter book in constant circulation. The story is a superhero spoof: two misbehaving fourth-grade boys, Harold and George, hypnotize their school principal and turn him into their comic book creation, Captain Underpants. The boys have their hands full when the captain escapes and starts chasing bad guys in his underwear. The extra leading and slightly enlarged typeface make for easier reading, but the silliness goes overboard (picture villainous Dr. Diaper staring at a pile of rubber doggy doo), and the many action-packed illustrations rob the plot of some of its zip by commanding more than their share of attention. (The flip book pages seem clever, but they're really just a tease). Still, the humor is on target for some kids in this age group, who will undoubtedly look forward to a planned second adventure--Captain Underpants 2: Attack of the Talking Toilets
. Stephanie Zvirin