The boys got a gift card to Barnes and Noble for Christmas and we were pleased to take them and let them pick out a few books.  We set the rules prior to going to the store and reinforced them once there- they were to pick out something they could read, not just Pokemon handbooks and the like.

My youngest, Sir Talks-A-Lot, seemed very interested in a series of books called Captain Underpants.  Not knowing what these were really about (obviously they sound like some sort of bathroom humor) I figured if they were kids books and they would get him reading then they must be find, perhaps even good.  Well, once we got home and he started reading them I realized they are bathroom humor and futhermore, they aren’t even grammatically correct!

These books (Captain Underpants, Super Diaper Baby, etc.) have received great reviews on Amazon and the like, but I fail to see the benefit to a young child.  These are like the Simpsons or South Park- just because it is a cartoon does not mean it is for kids.  Reviews of these books state that the adults enjoyed the potty humor but I honestly feel it is too much for a young child and not nearly subtle enough.  With characters turning into Poop and multiple mentions of Uranus in a way that should make a teenager laugh, I find them borderline offensive and not what I had in mind for a 6 year old.  Perhaps I am a prude.

But beyond the bathroom humor is the fact that spelling and grammar are horrible.  It would not be so bad if my child, who is laughing at the ridiculous stories and character interaction, were at least getting the benefit of reading.  I feel that benefit is minimal when many words are misspelled.

Again, perhaps I am a prude about this but I an close to taking the books away.  I would not allow them to watch cartoons or movies with this style of Animal House humor so why let them read it, espcially when the reading lacks educatonal benefit.  I am sure this will live on through a topic on a podcast, once I dust off the mic, but for now- has anyone experienced these books?  Any comments or perhaps something to show me I am overreacting?