Dave Coverley’s “Night of the Living Worms”


Dave Coverly is one of my favorite cartoonists. His award-winning strip “Speed Bump” is a clever and goofy gag fest. It kind of like The Far Side, but wittier and better drawn. I’ve met Dave once or twice and I even have an autographed original of one of his strips on my studio wall. So yes, I’m a fan. He’s also a super nice guy and I envy his brilliant, wacky sense of humor.

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I was recently sent a review copy of Dave’s new children’s book, Night of the Living Worms. It’s a fun story about the Early Bird’s little brother, also named Speed Bump, and his feathered buddy Slingshot. Since Speed Bump can never live up to his popular brother’s reputation (Speed Bump has tiny wings and likes to sleep in), he and Slingshot decide to go on a nighttime adventure. They discover a dangerous trap set by some night crawlers that might mean the death of Early Bird! Can Speed Bump save him before the sun comes up?

This is a heavily illustrated chapter book for young readers, with entertaining black-and-white drawings on every page. The writing is loose and casual, jumping from scene to scene at a fast clip.  The humor is jokey and silly, although the tone probably skews more towards boys (there are gags about bug-eating, burping, and a couple of potty jokes). It’s a bouncy, winding story that should keep kids engaged and entertained. If I’d been given this book as a kid I’m sure I would have re-read it a few times.

Dave Coverly is an award-winning cartoonist for good reason. This is an entertaining book and I’m happy to recommend it. You can order from Amazon here.