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Captain Pajamas: Defender of the Universe Hardcover – April 26, 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A glance at the title and the comic-book lettering on the jacket will almost inevitably recall Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants books; moreover, like that series' heroes, Whatley and Smith's (Whatley's Quest) protagonist is obsessed with alien invaders. Told in comic-book format, the story is narrated by Brian, a superhero wannabe who hears strange sounds late one night and is convinced that aliens are afoot. He dons a red cape and matching eye mask, plus his "utility belt," then wakes up his older sister, Jessie ("I, Captain Pajamas, Defender of the Universe, have come to save you!" he tells her). They tiptoe through the house and find what appear to be logical causes for the various noises. Jessie grows increasingly irritated and finally orders the still-suspicious Brian back to bed. Predictably (at least for presiding adults), the story ends with a view of a three-eyed green creature happily munching pizza in Jessie's bed. The text is dryly humorous ("Even we Defenders of the Universe have to be patient sometimes"), and there are numerous clever visual images, including the "Captain Pajama Remote-Control, Techno-Robotic Alien Communicator" (made from a box of cornflakes, a broom, a xylophone, etc.). An amusing outing. Ages 3-8. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4-An alien, a superhero, an older sister, and plenty of sound effects come together, along with a trusty, drooling dog, to create a winning picture book with lots of kid appeal. One night when he hears strange noises, Brian turns into Captain Pajamas, Defender of the Universe, complete with mask and cape, and attempts to save his sister. Jessie, however, simply wants to go back to bed, and as they explore the source of the sounds together, it appears that it is his dog, Shadow, causing the ruckus. Despite the flashing light on his "Remote-Control, Techno-Robotic, Alien Communicator," Brian eventually abandons his quest and goes back to bed. Children will delight in the surprise ending on the last page when a pizza-munching, TV-watching, green alien is shown lying happily beside Jessie in bed. Told in a moment-by-moment, first-person narrative and illustrated with bright, action-packed, humorous drawings resembling enlarged comic-book frames, this book will be hard to keep on the shelf. As in any good comic, the pictures carry the story, but the text is strategically placed so that together they make a satisfying package. A good read-aloud that would also work well with older reluctant readers.
Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (April 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060266139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060266134
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,161,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
All children like to go on adventures especially in their dreams.

The art work is very well done and up to the standard of Whatley and his other childrens book.

We in the United States are not that familiar with his work as he is Australian but for unique children's books his other stories should be searched out.
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By A Customer on January 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The suspense and surprise ending along with the comically and brightly done pictures are enjoyable for the parent/adult as well as for the child!! If you have ever worn a towel or some kind of cape around your neck and played superhero - you will relive those days and enjoy this read thoroughly!! Great for storytime! The sounds depicted in the story and the techno-robotic-communicator had us entralled. Enjoy!
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Format: Hardcover
My son brought this home from his school library, announcing that all of the others kids wanted the book, too. No wonder. The illustrations are engaging, reminiscent at times of Maurice Sendak's "In the Night Kitchen". The story line is funny, with lots of great little twists in the plot. It was terrific listening to my son read this aloud, with much expression in his voice to match the action in the book. The laugh-aloud ending draws the whole thing to a perfect close. Great little book!
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Format: Hardcover
This book was recommended to me by the Children's Storyteller at our Public Library. It is so much fun, and the dialogue sounds just like my children at home! The artist has drawn characters that fit the story so well, it is a great book for storytime or anytime! We all really enjoyed this one!
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