Captain Underpants now available on the iPad

January 17, 2013
The cover of “Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers.” Courtesy of Scholastic
The cover of “Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers.” (Courtesy of Scholastic)

Parents, beware: Captain Underpants is now available on the iPad.

Scholastic announced the release of the Captain Underpants app for $4.99 on Thursday. If you have grade school kids in the house, you may never see your tablet again.

The brief-clad superhero who bounded from Dav Pilkey’s imagination in 1997 has sold more than 50 million books in the US alone and is published in 31 languages.

But despite today’s new e-book version, Scholastic isn’t giving up on paper. This week also marks the release of the 10th book in the series: “Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers.” The first printing is 1 million copies. That’s a whole lot of laundry.

The Underpants app contains the original story in color for the first time and an audio narration. Interactive games allow users to create their own avatars to help Harold and George hypnotize the principal, chase Captain Underpants and fight Dr. Diaper. And, not to be missed: Captain U delivers a “gut-busting symphony.”

This will get worse before it gets better. DreamWorks Animation is developing a feature film adaptation.

Parents whose elastic bands are a little too tight, may turn up their noses, but Pilkey, who lives in Seattle, is one of the country’s most popular grade school authors, and librarians know how much he’s done to get youngsters reading. In addition to his Underpants franchise, he has published additional series about dragons, dumb bunnies and robots. His picture book “The Paperboy” won a Caldecott Honor Award in 1997.

Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.
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Cara Kelly · January 17, 2013