Dav Pilkey is a children’s author. But not the "Mr Wiggles" or "Cutie-Pie Mouse" kind of children's author. Dav Pilkey is Dr. Seuss hopped up on Ritalin. There are no Deep Thoughts in Pilkey (but you might pretend that there are).
Dav Pilkey was a child prodigy of an author, whose first book, World War Won, received a national student award in 1986, which included publication of the project. Pilkey was 19 years old.
In recent years, Pilkey took time off from writing to take care of his very ill father, but in March of 2010 he signed a contract for new books from Scholastic, beginning with Ook and Gluk: Kung Fu Cavemen from the Future in August.
Publisher's Weekly announced that Scholastic will issue this new Dav Pilkey with a 1 million copy first printing!
1 million copies!
Dav Pilkey’s most famous achievement is the Captain Underpants series, which were published by Scholastic and sold in drugstores and supermarkets starting in the early 1990s. These digest-sized paperbacks featured two young boys, George and Harold, who have turned their school’s principal into Captain Underpants—a red cape-wearing, underwear-attired superhero who battle wicked lunch ladies and talking toilets.
The books all feature “flip-o-rama” pages which become animated when you turn the pages very fast. There are twisted word messages made on the school’s lunch menus. Certainly everyone who was ever bored in school can find something to like in Captain Underpants.
For slightly more refined tastes, there is the Ricky Ricotta Robot series, which is published in the same format as Captain Underpants.
Pilkey has been recognized by librarians. His Paperboy (above) received a Caldecott Honor prize in 1997 (not the medal, but close enough). Pilkey has also written a series of easy readers featuring Dragon.
Pilkey’s dog starred in Dogzilla, which featured cartoon adventures for a terrier with a great deal of charm. The cat starred in Cat Kong which might be even funnier. His series of children’s books, Big Dog and Little Dog, is based on another Pilkey family dog (Big) and a neighbor dog (Little).
Dumb Bunnies’s Easter (2008) is hysterical--when the Dumb Bunnies take family traditions and go wild with 'em. Pilkey gives credit to James Allard’s The Stupids, but the Dumb Bunnies is just more perverse. There are several Dumb Bunnies books.
My staff can’t get through Halloween without several readings of Hallo-Weiner, in which a horrible Halloween costume turns into just the right thing.
So many children's authors have web pages that it's probably time for the American Library Association to start giving the web pages prizes. Dav Pilkey's is among the best out there.
Pilkey.com has games, coloring pages, and activities like making up your own Captain Underpants style name. The “New Stuff” page is a little sad, because the latest things date to 2007. However, there is enough crammed in the web-site to kill any number of rainy days.
Dav Pilkey took on the special spelling of his name after he worked at a pizza joint and his name tag read: “Dav.” Dav just stuck with it.
Dav Pilkey stuck with drawing. His auto-biography is that he was so disruptive in school that his teachers resorted to sticking him in the hallway and letting him draw all day. There is not much to be said for such teachers, but if that’s what it took to produce Dav Pilkey’s books . . .
Pilkey’s genius is that he is able to interest young boys in books. I’m a literary optimist—I think if a kid finds one book that they really really enjoy, they will look for more. I don’t care if the first book is a comic book or a Dav Pilkey or a graphic novel or Dr. Seuss or Madeline or Guinness Book of World Records.Born: March 4, 1966 in Cleveland, Ohio. Currently living near Seattle, Washington with his wife, Sayuri.
Oevre of Dav Pilkey
The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future(2010)
Stand-Alone Titles (some of which are out of print)
Captain Underpants Series
+ 2 activity books based on Captain Underpants: Crunchy Fun
Dragon Easy Readers Series
Ricky Ricotta Series
Big Dog and Little Dog series
I apologize for getting the image from Amazon (Click to Look Inside! is a dead giveaway).