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Dav Pilkey (in fourth grade and today) with Scholastic Kids Press Reporter Marley Alburez

Scholastic Kids Press


Meet Dav Pilkey!

As You Read: Think of a word you might use to describe Dav Pilkey. Underline evidence in the interview that supports your word choice.

When he was in school, Dav Pilkey got in trouble a lot. He was often sent out to the hallway, where he would draw comics. One day, his teacher saw his work. She ripped it up—and told Pilkey to stop wasting his time drawing.

It’s a good thing Pilkey didn’t listen! Today he is the author and illustrator of more than 60 books for kids. Many are graphic novels, books that look like comic books. They include the best-selling Captain Underpants and Dog Man series.

Scholastic Kid Reporter Marley Alburez interviewed him to find out more about his books.

When he was in school, Dav Pilkey got in trouble a lot. He was often sent out to the hallway. He would draw comics there. One day, his teacher saw his work. She ripped it up. She told Pilkey to stop wasting his time drawing.

It’s a good thing Pilkey didn’t listen! Today he is the author and illustrator of more than 60 books for kids. Many are graphic novels, books that look like comic books. They include the Captain Underpants and Dog Man series. 

Scholastic Kid Reporter Marley Alburez talked to Pilkey to find out more about his books. 

Marley Alburez: How did your childhood affect the characters you created?

Dav Pilkey: When I was a child, I had what they now call ADHD. I also had dyslexia. [Those are two conditions that can make it hard to focus and to learn.] I felt like a bit of a misfit. I felt very alone sometimes. That influenced my characters. They sometimes feel like misfits.

Dav Pilkey: When I was a child, I had ADHD. I also had dyslexia. [Those are two conditions that can make it hard to focus and to learn.] I felt like a bit of a misfit. I felt very alone sometimes. That influenced my characters. They sometimes feel like misfits.

MA: Tell us about your latest book, Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls.

DP: Like the other Dog Man books, it focuses on humor and friendship. But there are also some more serious themes, like the importance of doing good. Not just being a good person but actually turning that into an action word and doing good as well.

DP: Like the other Dog Man books, it focuses on humor and friendship. But there are also some more serious themes. One is the importance of doing good. Not just being a good person but actually turning that into an action word and doing good as well. 

Illustrations © Dav Pilkey. CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS™ and DOG MAN™

MA: Why is it important to read about characters who are both caring and kind?

DP: Kids really love to read about kindness because deep down inside, everybody wants to be kind and good.

DP: Kids really love to read about kindness. Deep down inside, everybody wants to be kind and good.

MA: What’s your favorite thing about creating a graphic novel?

DP: I love the way that it’s broken up into little sections. You have pictures that can give clues to what the text is saying. But the pictures can be jokes too.

DP: I love the way that it’s broken up into little sections. You have pictures that can give clues to what the text is saying. But the pictures can be jokes too. 

MA: Would you rather be Dog Man or Captain Underpants?

DP: (laughs) I would much rather be Dog Man because he’s always trying to do the right thing. He’s always making ridiculous mistakes, but usually they end up OK for him. I think that says a lot about me!

DP: (laughs) I would much rather be Dog Man. He’s always trying to do the right thing. He’s always making mistakes. But usually they end up OK for him. I think that says a lot about me!

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