Early Bird’s underachieving little brother finally gets a taste of worm in this daft series opener.
Too proud to accept any worm he hasn’t caught or at least earned himself but unable, despite repeated efforts, to beat his annoyingly zippy sibling out of the nest in the morning, Tweety Pie–look-alike Speed Bump (related only in name to the author’s syndicated cartoon) at last nerves himself to take a scary pre-dawn stroll—and comes upon a veritable convention of angry Nightcrawlers setting a trap for Early. Coverly sets up and presents the outing in a mix of prose and pen-and-ink sketches, with the pictures tending to shoulder out the text. Both, however, are liberally festooned with gags, sight gags, potty humor, and puns: “They hatched plans, but got eggsasperated because they knew none of them would work, and this was no yolking matter.” Speed Bump is assisted by avian sidekick Slingshot, who is first met gleefully shooting an unwary squirrel in the “derrière” with a berry. He also enlists unlikely new buds Soda Pop the mouse and Hoover the owl to help spring the trap (prematurely). Unfortunately, his squirmy reward leaves him scurrying off in search of vegetarian fare (“CHEESABLE MERCY! WORMS ARE DISGUSTING!”) and further misadventures.
It’s a little labored, but poop jokes never get old, right? (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 7-9)