There is a popular children’s book that I don’t want my son to read anymore. And you may need to re-think putting the book in your kid’s hands as well.
Initially I was the one that checked the book out from the library. It must be a popular book for a reason, so I decided we should get in on it.
I mean… it’s a kids book, it’s popular… what could possibly be wrong with it you may be asking…. they even made a movie about it!! But the Captain Underpants series isn’t going to be in our stack of library loot again anytime soon.
The opening of the book, or at least the one that we checked out, is a chapter from a comic book. Sounds simple enough. I mean, I let my kids watch Star Wars… I don’t shelter them too much. The comic book isn’t violent (at least compared to Darth Vader), they aren’t cursing, and there doesn’t appear to be adult content; what could be wrong with it!
The comic book is written by the kids. George and Harold wrote this comic book about a character named Captain Underpants. The comic is what hooked my son. After he read that section he proceeded to read more of the book. Out of curiosity I picked up the book to read some of it. Every page of the comic section had words misspelled. One page had seven words misspelled.
I have told y’all before that I am not the grammer police (and I did actually write a blog post with gross misspellings in the title). I don’t look down my nose at you if you misspell words, if you comma splice a sentence to death… join in with me… I use these ellipsis (I had to google how to spell that) thingy ma bobs more than I should; I know. But this is a book written for kids, I don’t want my kid reading books with so many spelling errors when they are at such an impressionable age.
My son is a super speller. He blows my mind. Last year he “tested” out of the entire years spelling words just half way through the year. This year he is working on the more advanced spelling words in his curriculum, but it hasn’t slowed him down one bit. I am sure his super star spelling is directly related to his constant reading.
After seeing the word trouble misspelled I asked him how to spell it. He had trubell! Trubell, y’all! A word he has spelled just fine in the past, he got wrong. My husband just suggested we let him listen to the country song Travis Tritt sings a few times and nip that one in the bud.
I know its only 8 pages and when compared to an entire book it doesn’t seem like much. And the mom in me wants to agree. Just be ok with it and watch his love of reading grow. However when I see a change in my son’s spelling (that quickly) I don’t think it is worth the risk. At least not until he is older and can spot the “misteaks” and know not to make them.I guess the biggest bummer about the Captain Underpants books is that we LOVE this author. Dav Pilkey wrote Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot book series. These were the first books my son was reading on his own for pure enjoyment.
We will stick to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series for now. (And of course anything Minecraft related.) And look, if your kid loves Captain Underpants and you want them to read the entire series; go for it. I do believe that fostering a love of reading is most important, just don’t mind us if we are clueless about what George and Harold are up to.
I am happy to share some of the ways we encourage the young readers in our home!
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