In my on-going efforts to help my 7 year old make it into the realm of The Reading Public, I have been bravely sitting next to him while he reads Captain Underpants. Blah. So I was thrilled, yes, thrilled, to discover Dav Pilkney's other series. The Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot books don't depend on potty humor! They don't make school look horrible! They don't celebrate jokes that are not nice at all! They are more readable!
And lo, my boy now reads them to himself, silently and with deep concentration.
For anyone out there, who, like me before this morning, didn't know that there are lots of Ricky Ricotta books (I only had heard of 4), here's the Ricky Ricotta webpage over at Scholastic.
Here's the list of titles:
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mutant Mosquitos from Mercury
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Voodoo Vultures from Venus
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mecha Monkeys from Mars
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Jurassic Jackrabbits from Jupiter
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Stupid Stinkbugs from Saturn
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Uranium Unicorns from Uranus
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Astro-Activity Book o' Fun
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Naughty Night Crawlers from Neptune (unreleased)
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Unpleasant Penguins from Pluto (unreleased)
By the way, the books started out with a "giant" robot. However, apparently readers pointed out that the robot wasn't really a "giant" --he was just a lot bigger than a mouse. So now the robot is "mighty" instead, and the titles of the first few books were changed.
(Incidentally, this series is also more instructive than Capt. Underpants books--obviously, we learn a bit about the various planets, but perhaps more unusually, the child reader will also develop a familiarity with the names of various cheeses that (s)he might not be familiar with. They are mostly the milder, more child friendly cheeses too. What's not to like about Munster, for instance. And from "Munster" it's an easy step to get out that map of Germany you just happen to have kicking around so as to do a bit of cheese related geography study :) or throw in a bit of Italian language instruction --"ricotta" means "re-cooked"... etc etc and isn't it so much easier to come up with things for other people to do than to do them oneself?)