My Little Summer Job

Well, I got a little summer job for the next few weeks. I am leading a kids' summer reading book group (second and third graders) run by an independent bookstore. I co-led it on short notice last week with a store employee who was filling in if the store could not find any one to lead it. A good group, all girls, worked out pretty well. It's a drive from where I live, but it's not bad. I pay tolls, but at least I get paid in cash. So that's where I'll be on Thursdays through the end of July.

The reading list was already set--one of the perks is that I got the books for free, yay--and I gotta say, I was not fond of this week's selection. (Maybe it's because I'm not a nine year old boy.) It's a seemingly lame attempt to cash in on the popularity of the Captain Underpants series. It has all of the gross elements but none of the cleverness.

But that's just the story--I thought the illustrations were great. Here's the illustrator's blog post about it. Check out the rest of his stuff; he's a little twisted. I enjoyed all the little details and personality he puts into his art, though.

My group is composed entirely of girls, so I guess I'll find out whether they loved it or were just as grossed out as I was.


Dave E. said…
That first link gave me something to ponder:

"Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds)"

I take it "The Three Investigators" is long dead now.
Kate P said…
Dave--you're probably joking a little, but seriously, isn't that more in the Mystery genre? Capt. Underpants is more swashbuckling-y. I think. Hard to tell with all the potty jokes.

Speaking of which, most of the group was pretty disgusted with this week's book, although there were a few that liked it. Taste varies, for sure.
Dave E. said…
Yeah, I was being a bit of a smart aleck, but regardless of genre I don't get the Captain Underpants thing. I don't think it's a tragedy or anything, but it seems a pretty lame and low-road way to get kids to pay attention to what you want to say.

wv: consfu. I guess I'm just getting to be a consfused old fart. :)
Kate P said…
Yeah, they've actually been challenged in some libraries.

I find it hilarious because they never once take themselves seriously--like, go big or go home, which I found lacking in this George Brown series.

One thing that's fun about C.U. is the Professor Poopypants Name Changer. You have to do it manually in the book by following the code (what kid doesn't love doing code stuff?) but it's online here:

The manual version went around on e-mail years ago and my family had a blast. We did ourselves and all the cats and it turned out my great-aunt's cat (using my great-aunt's last name) was "Zippy Girdlesniffer." Which is pretty hilarious because she is prone to snorting.

You know you wanna try it. . .
Sara said…
I don't dare follow a link to something named Captain Underpants at work. They think I'm odd enough as it is. My boss puts it nicely as "eccentric."

What happened to Dr. Suess? Out of style?
Annie Coe said…
Loved Sara's comment :-).
Ah Dr. Suess is my favorite.
Enjoy your Summer job.
How is the kitty?
Happy 4Th. xoxo
Angela Noelle said…
I must confess, I read Captain Underpants aloud a few times and it was always a huge hit with the kids (boys and girls) and I even got a few giggles out of it. I don't remember too much about it now, but I remember thinking it was kind of clever in a sort of perverse way, ha! Sounds like a fun part time job though!!
Kate P said…
Sara--oh, it's just a little kid potty humor. Dr. Seuss is still in. Way in. But these are third graders, I think, so they had to have chapter books.

Annie--you know, I actually am enjoying it. And the drive lets me listen to an audiobook in the car. The kitty is O.K., good days and slightly less good days. Actually, the days are good, but the mornings and evenings are a little nuts.

Angela--that's it; I think it's very clever, too. This series, not so much. But I asked the teacher of the other group and she said they all liked it and thought the magical burps were hysterical. I guess it's a taste thing!

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