Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Dave Coverly
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
Rumor in the woods is that zombies are real and that they are about to attack! Once Slingshot manages to awaken Speed Bump, they set off to find the truth of the matter with a mouse who burps and an owl who doesn't believe any of it. They find the source of the rumor, and she says that zombies are real and that she, herself, has seen them! She even has a map to the dreaded location where they will arise again this very night! The brave (or foolish) adventurers fly off and land in the middle of the frightful rise of the zombie bugs. Did you know that cicadas rise from the ground every seventeen years with spooky red eyes to discard their old skin in favor of new wings? Now Speed Bump and Slingshot know that too! A friendly cicada invites them back in seventeen years to meet his children.
Half graphic novel, half novel, this is great book that targets young male readers with a perfect aim. The illustration is great and funny with the crass humor that boys love to revel in, including plenty of burps and noises and silly suppositions. There is just enough taut suspense in the story to keep some tension without crossing a line into the genuinely creepy. It is also great how the friends stick together and how friends should explore and face their fears together. The black and white illustrations are excellently done and cleverly portray the moods of the characters and the storyline. The format is a great way to encourage less-than-enthusiastic readers to enjoy chapter books and to transition from strictly picture book fare. This is an excellent recommendation for readers who like a little silly chill in their story.