A toast of “non-alckaholick wine” to the ninth Captain Underpants novel—and to Dav Pilkey’s refusal to coast. In fact, the title is something of a red herring since the true centerpiece of this installment is a lengthy flashback to “exactly five years, eleven days, fourteen hours, and six minutes ago,” when mopey kindergartner Harold Hutchins first met precocious George Beard, who sports an awesome Afro instead of his usual flattop. The boys face a nasty nemesis in the form of Kipper Krupp, the bullying sixth-grade nephew of Principal Krupp, but since Principal Krupp is years away from becoming the world’s greatest superhero, it’s up to the boys to defeat Kipper on their own. Their intricate and ingenious plan incorporates (and this is a short list) locker sabotage, fear of the paranormal, cheerleaders, pizza deliveries, a huge pair of pants, and the creation of the seminal comic “The Advenchers of Dogman.” Pilkey dials back the toilet humor considerably, but plenty of naughtiness is still afoot (there’s an extended riff on the hilarity of turning a “Brake Inspection” sign into “Bra Inspection”), and egregious misspellings abound. Supa! Ages 7–up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/16/2012 Release date: 08/28/2012 Genre: Children's
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