Dav Pilkey

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Dav Pilkey
Pilkey at the 2014 National Book Festival
Pilkey at the 2014 National Book Festival
BornDavid Murray Pilkey Jr.[1]
(1966-03-04) March 4, 1966 (age 52)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Pen nameGeorge Beard
Harold Hutchins
Sue Denim
OccupationWriter, illustrator and cartoonist
GenreChildren's literature
Notable worksCaptain Underpants series
Dumb Bunnies series
Sayuri Pilkey (m. 2005)
PartnerCynthia Rylant (former)


David Murray "Dav" Pilkey Jr. (/ˈdv/; born March 4, 1966)[2] is an American author and illustrator of children's literature. Pilkey is best known as the author and illustrator of the children's book series Captain Underpants and Dumb Bunnies, the latter of which are written under the pseudonym Sue Denim.

Life and Career[edit]

Pilkey was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Barbara and David Pilkey Sr.[3] He has one older sister. In elementary school in North Ridgeville, Ohio, Pilkey was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. Pilkey was frequently reprimanded for his behavior in class and thus usually sat at a desk in the school hallway, where he created the Captain Underpants character.[4] Pilkey entered his first book, World War Won, in a national competition for student authors and won in his age category. The book's publication in 1987 was included in the award.[3]

The atypical spelling of his first name came from a period of employment in a Pizza Hut, when the "e" was omitted from his nametag. Despite its spelling, it is pronounced "Dave".[5]

Pilkey attended Kent State University.[6] He was previously in a romantic relationship with Cynthia Rylant.[7] He married Sayuri Pilkey in 2005;[8] as of 2017 they did not have children.[9]

Pilkey took a break from writing for a few years to care for his terminally ill father (who died on November 13, 2008), but in 2010 agreed with Scholastic to publish four new books.[10][11] The first two are graphic novels: The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen From the Future, released on August 10, 2010; and Super Diaper Baby 2: Invasion of the Potty Snatchers, released on June 28, 2011. Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Re-turn of Tippy Tinkletrousers was released on August 28, 2012 and Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers was released in January 2013.

As of 2017 Dav and Sayuri Pilkey live in Bainbridge Island, Washington.[9]



For the animated television series based on the books, see Dragon (TV series).

Dumb Bunnies[edit]

  • The Dumb Bunnies (1994)
  • The Dumb Bunnies' Easter (1995)
  • Make Way for Dumb Bunnies (1996)
  • The Dumb Bunnies Go to the Zoo (1997)

Pilkey authored the Dumb Bunnies books under the pseudonym Sue Denim. He has stated that the series was influenced by The Stupids.

Captain Underpants[edit]

Captain Underpants spin-offs[edit]

Pilkey authored these books (except the Dog Man books) under the pseudonyms Harold Hutchins and George Beard.

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot[edit]

Big Dog & Little Dog[edit]

  • Big Dog and Little Dog (1997)
  • Big Dog and Little Dog Going for a Walk (1997)
  • Big Dog and Little Dog Getting in Trouble (1997)
  • Big Dog and Little Dog Wearing Sweaters (1998)
  • Big Dog and Little Dog Making a Mistake (1999)
  • The Complete Adventures of Big Dog and Little Dog (1999)

Other books[edit]

  • World War Won (1987)
  • Don't Pop Your Cork on Mondays (1988) Illustrator only
  • 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving (1990)
  • The Place Nobody Stopped (1991) Illustrator only
  • Julius (1993) Illustrator only
  • Kat Kong (1993)
  • Dogzilla (1993)
  • Dog Breath!: The Horrible Trouble With Hally Tosis (1994)
  • The Moonglow Roll-O-Rama (1995)
  • The Hallo-Wiener (1995)
  • When Cats Dream (1996)
  • God Bless the Gargoyles (1996)
  • The Paperboy (1996)
  • The Silly Gooses (1998)
  • Comics Squad: Recess! (2014) contributor as author/illustrator for this anthology
  • Guys Read: Terrifying Tales (2015) contributor as author/illustrator for this anthology[15]
  • One Today (2015) illustrator only[16]


  • 1986: The National Written and Illustrated by... Awards Contest for Students, ages 14–19 category, World War Won[17]
  • 1997: Caldecott Honor Award, The Paperboy[18]
  • 1998: California Young Reader Medal, Dog Breath!: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis, published in 1994
  • 2007: Disney Adventures Kids' Choice Awards, The Captain Underpants series
  • 2016: Milner Award, The [Dav Pilkey] favorite children's book author, http://themilneraward.org/


  1. ^ "Dav Pilkey (1966–) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Work in Progress, Sidelights". biography.jrank.org.
  2. ^ Pilkey.com Archived February 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b "Dav Pilkey". Ohio Authors Online. Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library. 2003. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved August 8, 2007.
  4. ^ Nissen, Beth (July 11, 2000). "Captain Underpants: The straight poop on a grossly entertaining series of children's books". CNN. Archived from the original on July 30, 2003. Retrieved August 8, 2007.
  5. ^ "Super Humor: Tales of an 'Under' Achiever". Washington Post. July 3, 2002. p. C18.
  6. ^ "Meet Dav." Dav Pilkey Official Website. April 17, 2003. Retrieved on August 14, 2018.
  7. ^ MacPherson, Karen (2004-03-21). "Children's book author's message resonates with readers of all ages". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 2018-08-14. [...] "Captain Underpants" author Dav Pilkey and his girlfriend, Newbery Medal-winning author Cynthia Rylant.
  8. ^ "The Almost Completely True Adventures of Dav Pilkey." Dav Pilkey Official Website. September 3, 2012. Retrieved on August 14, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "The man behind "Captain Underpants"". CBS News. 2017-09-17. Retrieved 2018-08-18. Dav dreams up those funny books at the home he shares with his wife, Sayuri, on a picturesque point on Bainbridge Island, Washington. The two have no children of their own.
  10. ^ "Planet Pilkey" (PDF). www.scholastic.com.
  11. ^ Pilkey, Dav. "Four New Books" (PDF).
  12. ^ ThunderX19 (January 17, 2013). "Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo-Toilet 2000 Teaser". YouTube. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  13. ^ Schoenberg, Nara (April 16, 2015). "Captain Underpants author Dav Pilkey brings underdog message to Chicago". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 23, 2015. Pilkey says he's still doing picture books in that vein, even as he follows George and Harold, authors of the upcoming "Dog Man" on new literary adventures.
  14. ^ Bertini, Cristy (July 28, 2016). "Dav Pilkey's Super Amazing Author Adventures". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  15. ^ "Guys Read: Terrifying Tales". Harper Collins. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  16. ^ Lodge, Sally (September 19, 2013). "Dav Pilkey to Illustrate Picture Book of Inaugural Poem". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  17. ^ "The National Written & Illustrated by... Awards Contest for Students Winners". Landmark Editions. Retrieved August 8, 2007.
  18. ^ Association for Library Service to Children. "Caldecott Medal Winners and Honor Books, 1938–Present". American Library Association. Retrieved August 8, 2007.

External links[edit]