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There is no doubt that children love these books. My 5yo who is a reasonably good reader loved this first book in the series, reading it from cover to cover (230 pages) in a single sitting. But essentially these books are "junk food" reading: delicious, high risk of binge-reading, but just not very good for you. Obviously with a comic-style book there aren't many words to the page and there are lots of short phrases or single words/sounds rather than full sentences, which goes with the style (the language is very American). I expect they are brilliantly useful for encouraging reluctant readers - it must be a massive boost for a child to see how many pages s/he has read and enjoyed - and if getting your child reading is your top priority, then these will be a great choice. But for a child who is not particularly reluctant, I struggle with the idea of allowing them to read too many. What bothers me is that there are deliberate spelling and grammar mistakes ("supa", "more worser" etc.). I expect this is meant to be part of the fun, but I am not sure it is fun for a reader who doesn't yet know which version is correct. This must just be confusing for readers still learning correct spelling and syntax. Am I taking this too seriously? No, I don't think so, because readers of these books are at such a very important developmental stage. Reading books full of deliberate mistakes is bound to undermine both their learning and their understanding that things like grammar and spelling actually matter and are worth getting right. Such a shame!
My 7-year-old grandson loves these books, but I do not. Unfortunately, there are enough words he doesn't recognize that I must do at least part of the reading. I've been able to send some of the books home with him, so I'm stuck with only one or two here. Try to avoid starting this series. There are things I just don't care for in the books--made-up words, ridiculous situations, and not-so-nice comments.
My son loves Captain Underpants, which is potty humor, but this is different. At first, I noticed the thick book and vibrant illustrations, and even giggled as I flipped through. But, when I actually started to read from the beginning, I realized I couldn’t give this to my 7yo son. The bombing and decapitation at the start were gross, and not something I want my son to read at age 7. I actually bought two copies - one for my son and one for a Christmas book exchange at my son’s school party. I ended up buying a “Magic Treehouse” book instead. I would be upset if someone gave this to my son, if the shoe were on the other foot.