Part 1. In the Beginning...
Dav Pilkey was born on March 4th, 1966 in Cleveland, OH. His father (David, Sr.) was a steel salesman, and his mother (Barbara) was the organist at a local church. Dav's older sister (Cindy) was a highly-skilled professional tattletale.
"I don't remember much about my early childhood, except that I was almost always happy. My parents tell me that I used to laugh in my sleep all the time, even as an infant. When I wasn't laughing, I kept myself busy by drawing. While the other kids in the neighborhood were outside playing baseball and football, I was inside drawing animals, monsters, and super-hero guys. Life was pretty cool when I was little...and then school started." — Dav Pilkey
Dav and Older Sister Cindy
"Believe it or not,
that thing on her
head is hair!"
Part 2. The Dark Ages: Elementary School...
After setting the school's all-time record for the amount of time spent in the principal's office, Dav was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and severe hyperactivity. By the start of first grade, Dav had successfully moved into the role of class clown. He was the undisputed king of funny noises, and held the classroom record for the number of crayons he could stick up his nose at one time (a record he still holds to this day).
Everybody in Dav's class thought he was pretty funny, except for one person - his teacher!
Dav's teacher didn't care for his particular brand of humor, so she began sending him out into the hallway. Before long, Dav was spending so much time in the hall that his teacher moved a little desk out there for him. "Every day before classes began, I would fill up my hallway desk with papers, pencils, and crayons. Then at some point during the day, I would do something really silly or disruptive, and my teacher would snap her fingers, point to the door, and shout, 'MR. PILKEY---OUT!'" — Dav Pilkey
Part 3. The Kid in the Hall...
In the hallway, Dav would sit down at his desk, take out his art supplies, and start drawing. At first, he drew only pictures, but as time went on Dav began making up stories, too. "I used to staple sheets of paper together and make my own books. I invented a whole bunch of super heroes, including 'The Amazing Captain Underpants,' who flew around the city in his underwear giving wedgies to all the bad guys. Everybody in my class thought these comic books were really funny, except for one person - my teacher! I remember one teacher who used to rip up my books and tell me I'd better start taking life more seriously, because I couldn't spend the rest of my days making silly books. Fortunately, I wasn't a very good listener." — Dav Pilkey
Part 4. The Really Dark Ages: High School...
Dav attended a very strict high school, and things just got worse. Dav’s teachers hated his sense of humor, and often discouraged his artistic talents. "One day my principal took me out of class and said to me, 'I know you think you're special because you can draw, but let me tell you something: artists are a-dime-a-dozen. You will never make a living as an artist!' Those words haunted me for many years. How delightful it was to prove him wrong." — Dav Pilkey
Part 5. Dav Goes to College
In 1984, Dav Pilkey attended Kent State University as an art major. While attending a freshman English class, one of Dav's professors complimented him on his creative writing skills, and encouraged him to write books. Dav thought this was a novel idea, and began working on his first children's book.
Dav learned about a contest for students who write and illustrate their own books. The winners got their books published! So Dav began creating his first book, World War Won, and entered it in The National Written and Illustrated By...Awards Contest for Students. Within a year, Dav had won the contest and was flying to Kansas City, Missouri to meet the editors and publishers at Landmark Editions, Inc. "It was the most exciting time in my life. I'll never forget getting off the plane in Kansas City and meeting my new publisher for the first time. I tried to act normal, but I was so excited. It took every bit of self-control I had not to scream, jump up and down, and laugh hysterically... I was going to be an author!" — Dav Pilkey
Part 6. From Then 'Til Now...
Shortly after the publication of World War Won, Dav moved back to Kent, Ohio where he wrote and illustrated many more books. During this time, Dav found a cute stray puppy and named her 'Little Dog'. She soon became his best friend.
In 1990, Dav dreamed one night that he was supposed to move to Oregon, so a couple of years later, he and Little Dog headed out West.
"Moving to Oregon was a great adventure for us, because Little Dog and I had never even seen Oregon before. We kind of felt like the early pioneers who traveled the Oregon Trail for the promise of a better life. Of course, the pioneers encountered many hardships along the way,including starvation, disease, and death. The only hardship we encountered along the way was once when we got french fries at Burger King, and they were kind of soggy." — Dav Pilkey
Like true pioneers, Dav and Little Dog overcame this hardship, and settled in Oregon in 1993.
Part 7. Now...
In 1999, Dav and Little Dog moved to a small island in Washington. Dav and Little Dog enjoyed taking long walks on the beach, and sometimes they even went kayaking together. But their favorite thing of all was to walk down the street to the island’s local sushi restaurant. Dav was the only customer in the restaurant who had special permission to bring his dog in with him. As Dav would eat yummy vegetarian sushi rolls, Little Dog would sit under his table and eat her own meal (a chicken dinner that the restaurant’s owner, Sayuri, prepared especially for her).
After a few years, Dav and Sayuri (pronounced Sy-you-dee) fell deeply in love and were married on the beach under a full moon in 2005.
Currently, Dav is working hard on a set of epic novels based on the Captain Underpants comic books he wrote in elementary school while sitting out in the hallway.
"When I was a kid making silly books out in the hall, I never dreamed that one day I'd be making silly books for a living. The coolest thing is that I used to get in trouble for being the class clown ... and now it's my job!" — Dav Pilkey