Dav Pilkey is an award winning American author and illustrator of children’s books who has a big following, especially young boys and girls. In the span of his career, he came out with several books including a book series, Captain Underpants, which was widely read and well-loved by kids. Here are some of fun and interesting facts about Dav Pilkey.
1. Personal Facts About The Guy.
Born David Murray Pilkey, Dav, as he is commonly known, was born on March 4, 1966 in Cleveland, Ohio to Barbara and David Pilkey, Sr. He also has an older sibling, Cindy. His career as a freelance writer and illustrator started in 1986. Dav, pronounced as “Dave”, graduated from Kent State University. Currently, he lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, Sayuri who is a professional musician. She owned a Japanese Restaurant in Washington, where they met in 2005 and got married in the same year.
2. He Has Written And Illustrated Children’s Books As Well As Illustrated Books Of Other Authors.
Although Dav Pilkey writes and illustrates his own work, except for the Ricky Ricotta Series, which was illustrated by Martin Ontiveros, the skilled artist also does illustrations for other writers. These were for the books Don’t Pop Your Cork on Mondays! The Children’s Anti-Stress Book, The Place Where Nobody Stopped and Julius.
3. His Notable Works.
Perhaps, the most famous literary work associated with Dav is the Captain Underpants series, with the characters George and Harold and their doubles, Yesterday George and Yesterday Harold. His first published book was World War Won, which he submitted as an entry in a national competition for student authors and bagged the prize. It was published in 1987.
4. The Back Story Of Captain Underpants.
As an elementary student, Dav Pilkey was always reprimanded by teachers and sent to a desk in the social hall, instead of getting the “face the wall” punishment for his behavior in school. It was during these times when he used his imagination and creativity to while away time that the idea for the series developed.
5. He Has a Medical Condition Which He Used In a Positive Way.
While in elementary, he was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), he calls it Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Delightfulness. An observation he made about the condition is that for adults, if children are seen with symptoms of ADHD: restlessness, short attention span, impulsiveness and hyperactivity, it is s disorder. Conversely, when adult people are acting this way, it is considered normal. He is also suffering from dyslexia which he deliberately expressed in the Captain Underpants series.
6. He Uses Several Pseudonyms.
Dav Pickley also uses the names Sue Denim, Harold Hutchins and George Beard as his bylines. The first names of the last two pen names are also the names he used in his book series.
7. Story Behind The Spelling Of His Name.
“Dav Pickley” is the name the author uses in most of the books he penned but his real name is David. The omission of the last letter came about during his stint in a fast food chain. He used to work in Pizza Hut and for a reason or two, his name tag was misspelled as “Dav”. Perhaps out of humor and the uniqueness in the honest mistake, he held on to that name.
8. His Most Famous Series.
The popular Captain Underpants series first came out in 1997 with The Adventures of Captain Underpants and followed by 14 books more, his latest as of August 2015 being Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot. Other spin-off illustrated novels were also published, including The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, Super Diaper Baby 2, The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future and The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers.
9. Fun Facts About The Captain Underpants Series.
In book twelve, Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot, Dav Pilkey tackles a subject very much related to his condition. The character of Mr. Meaner was able to invent a drug that reverses the symptoms of ADHD. This is also the first book in the series with no typographical errors. The author intentionally did so to emphasize that all people make mistakes and what is important is to learn from them. In chapter 20, a man can be seen tinkling with his futuristic cellphone. This is Dav’s way of injecting humor in his works since he admits that he is technophobic.
10. He Has Won Several Medals As a Writer.
Aside from his winning the national completion while still a student, Dav was recognized several times more over the span of his career. For his first book, he was awarded “The National Written and Illustrated by…Awards Contest for Students, ages 14-19 category”. In 1997, he bagged the Caldecott Honor Award for The Paperboy, a more serious story about a paperboy and his dog. The following year, he received the California Young Reader Medal for his book, Dog Breath!: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis, which was published in 1994. He also was the top pick for Disney Adventures Kids’ Choice Awards for his Captain Underpants series.
11. His Writing Style.
Dav Pikley is not only a skilled artist and an illustrator. He is also a writer who loves to play with words, using puns and humor in his writings. What makes him unique is the way he interjects lessons and real life in his funny and light books. Aside from these, he also came up with works that downplayed humor like The Paperboy. Lastly, he also writes in verse, as evident in his first published book, World War Won.
12. Dav’s Favorite Things.
As a kid, he had a favorite book, Where the Wild Things Are. When it comes to favorite pizza topping and ice cream flavor, he loves onions and mushrooms for his pizza and for ice cream flavor, he goes for Hokey Pokey, a popular treat in New Zealand which is made of vanilla and honeycomb.
13. On School And Pets.
He said that his favorite subject in school was art. When he was asked what he thinks is the worst, he said, “everything else”. Currently, he has a pet, Megalon, a four-inch Japanese Rhinoceros bettle.
Although he had to take a break from writing years ago to take care of his dad, he returned to writing in 2010. Witty and creative Dav Pikley is currently working on other books right now.