Hey, remember George Beard and Harold Hutchins?
They’re two fourth graders who accidentally created a new superhero named Captain Underpants when they hypnotized their principal. (I know! It’s crazy! Funny! Brilliant!) Now, in a brand-new graphic novel, they’re presenting another appropriately-wacky story about two kung-fu cavemen named Ook and Gluk who are growing up in Cleveland, Ohio. (Or rather, what was Cleveland, Ohio, 500,000 years ago. I’m guessing it wasn’t yet known as Cleveland back then.)
Dav Pilkey is the creator of the award-winning Captain Underpants series, and now, The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future! It’s written through the eyes of George and Harold and follows two cavemen who are pulled through a time portal into the year 2222, where they get trained in the ways of kung fu so they can go back to their world and defeat the evil villains. Back when we first posted the news, a faithful OOM reader asked us to remind you all when the book was being released, and we like to make good on our word — so consider this your official reminder!
The book will be in stores on August 10, but until then, we thought we’d hold you over with some exclusive comments from Pilkey himself. (You can also check out what Publishers Weekly had to say when the news broke.)
Where did you get the idea for Ook and Gluk?
Pilkey: I got the idea from something that my editor, Bonnie Verburg, had witnessed firsthand when she was visiting her son’s kindergarten class one day.
This particular day was “show and tell” day, and Bonnie’s son, Robbie, had brought an actual dinosaur tooth to show his class. Robbie told everyone how old the tooth was, and what kind of dinosaur it had come from. He told them how he told them how big the dinosaur was, what it ate, and he even knew where the tooth had been dug up. It was the best show-and-tell anyone (including the teacher) had ever seen. This was bad news for the next kid in line for show-and-tell that day.
This unfortunate kid didn’t have anything cool to show the classroom and he knew it. All he had was a little toy ambulance. But instead of admitting defeat, he marked up to the front of the room and started making up a tall tale.
He told his fellow kindergartners that his toy ambulance was very special. In fact, it was a prehistoric ambulance that was millions and millions of years old. The boy told about the ancient cavemen who used to drive that particular ambulance through the jungle when they took sick dinosaurs to the hospital. I think a lot of the kids believed him.
Bonnie told me this story one day, and it just kind of stuck with me. That day, I drew a picture of two caveman paramedics and named them “Ook” and “Gluk.”
I thought it seemed like a great idea for a book.
Are Ook and Gluk similar to George and Harold, the protagonists from the Captain Underpants books?
Pilkey: Actually, yes. I pretended that George and Harold were writing the book, and so the story is really seen through their eyes. I think Ook and Gluk are powerful, fantasy versions of what George and Harold wish they could be like.
Will there be more Captain Underpants books in the future?
Pilkey: Of course! I’m working on a new one as we speak!
If you haven’t seen Pilkey’s web site yet, you’re missing out — there are tons of games, polls, quizzes, artwork, and more!
We know there are lots of stories out there about reluctant readers who’ve found reason to keep reading thanks to the Captain Underpants books. If you have one, we’d love to hear it!
Previously On Our Minds:
* Captain Underpants returns!
* What kinds of books do boys like?
* “Whatever it takes”