An Evening with Author/Illustrator DAV PILKEY


How does an evening with children’s author Dav Pilkey begin? (well,after waiting in a looooong line wrapping all the way around Headquarters library…)

Waiting for Captain Underpants

Waiting for Captain Underpants

With, of course, a loud “Tra-la-laaaa!” yelled in unison by all the kids (and many of the parents) in the audience. It’s Captain Underpants’ typical call to action.

I had the fun opportunity to be part of this attentive and rambunctious crowd last night at the St. Louis County Library’s Author Event, celebrating the release of CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE SENSATIONAL SAGA OF SIR STINKS-A-LOT. (# 12 in the series)

Screen Saver for Captain Underpants

Screen Saver for Captain Underpants



Dav Pilkey, who will have 60 books to his credit with 2016’s THE ADVENTURES OF DOG MAN, has revolutionized reading for boys especially. USA Today called him the “savior of the reluctant reader.” His short, graphic chapter books with their silliness, fast pace, and bathroom humor are a perfect fit for young readers. The kid-friendly author creates his tales based on his own elementary school experiences.

The Adventures of Dog Man

The Adventures of Dog Man

As a child who suffered from ADHD and dyslexia, he understood the power of pictures to tell a story. Even though he often found himself doing hallway detention for drawing in class, he couldn’t resist making more clever comics—to the delight of his fellow students and the dismay of his teachers.

“Underwear is not funny!” said Mr. Pilkey’s second grade teacher. “Grow up!” she cautioned him. “You can’t spend the rest of your life making silly books!”

Drawing favorite characters

Drawing favorite characters

Oh, how little she knew, and how very far Mr. Pilkey has enriched young readers with the delights of his underwear crew.

Some of his other titles include:

The Ricky Ricotta Series 

Dog Breath

Paper Boy

The Adventures of Ook and Gluk

Super Diaper Baby



Nowadays, the author prefers drawing in more natural spots, like along the beach in Japan when visiting his wife’s family. But even there, he still suffers criticism—from some monkeys that is. Mr. Pilkey shared a video of himself at work sketching, while several monkeys attempted to confiscate his pens and offer vocal commentary on his work-in-progress.

Dav Pilkey Attempts to Draw Despite Monkey Antics

Dav Pilkey Attempts to Draw Despite Monkey Antics




At the end of his presentation last night, Mr. Pilkey made a point about perseverance. He showed a picture of a scowling egg and a happy potato in boiling water. “Don’t let adversities overcome you,” he said. “Rather use them to build on. In boiling water, a potato softens but an egg becomes hard.”



Many young readers in the crowd wore red capes, similar to Captain Underpants. On back of the capes was the message, “Reading is Power!” Thanks, Mr. Pilkey, for enhancing children’s literature with your comic characters and delightful illustrations and proving that strong reading muscles really do rock!

Turkey Crafts and Reading Fun for Thanksgiving

HIGHLIGHTS magazine has tons of turkey fun for crafty kids this month. For a totally new approach, try making a turkey from a sea shell. And for more turkey crafts, click here.

In Christine Webster’s book, HOW TO DRAW THANKSGIVING SYMBOLS, she provides facts and step-by-step drawing instructions for turkeys and all the favorite Thanksgiving characters.
For a fun read this Thanksgiving, go to your library and check out Dav Pilkey’s TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE THANKSGIVING. And save some time to explore Dav Pilkey’s website and his Groovy Games.
I hope you can find some time this week to make your own special turkey crafts and enjoy Thanksgiving reading fun.
Gobble! Gobble!

Museum of the Dog

Here are my staff–(from left to right) Herman, Holly, and Henry–working hard as usual.

In celebration of DOGGIE DAY CAMP and its wonderful illustrations by Kit Grady, they discovered a very special canine location–the MUSEUM OF THE DOG. This museum in St. Louis, Missouri, has the “world’s finest collection of art devoted to the dog.” More than 700 paintings and other art work–all about dogs!

Since the museum is close by, my staff has suggested a field trip. Check back next week. We hope to share with you our artistic dog adventures when we visit the museum.

In the meantime, why not try your hand at creating some dog art of your own. The library should have illustration books as well as books on all different kinds of dogs. I’ll ask Kit how she came up with her illustrations for Bubba and his friends in DOGGIE DAY CAMP.

And if you just want to read a totally silly dog book, try Dav Pilkey’s DOGZILLA.