Author: Sands Hetherington
Illustrator: Jessica Love
Publisher: Dune Buggy Press
Remember when you as a child had trouble falling asleep at night and when you finally did and dreamed, it was so fantastic and seemed like only seconds long? In Sands Hetherington’s adventure story for children, Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare, kids may want to go to bed early simply to be read to before they fall into blissful dreamland.
This one hundred and twenty seven page paperback book has an artsy picture of a bright yellow dressed red crocodile sitting under the starry sky with his new friend and night buddy, John, on the front cover. The back cover has two paragraphs about the book’s story and five book reviews, including some from young children. There is a helpful one page “Night Buddies Uncommon Words” page for reference at the beginning of the book. There are no more than a dozen black and white drawings to match the storyline.
The story is about young John who goes to bed one night but has trouble sleeping. When red crocodile Crosley, who turns colors and dances uncontrollably when he gets wet, crawls out from under John’s bed, the fun adventure starts. Crosley has John tag along to solve why pineapple cheesecakes are missing from a nearby factory. During the night, the two of them sneak past John’s parents awake downstairs and meet Big Foot Mae who works at the factory, only to have to deal with the Iguana Gang, the culprits of the cakes. With Crosley’s imaginative bag of tricks and John’s help, they use creative means, objects and ideas to solve the mouth-watering case.
Unfortunately, the book has misspellings, capitalization and punctuation errors and poor sentence structure along with slang and dialect that a second or third grader may have trouble reading and understanding. Words such as ain’t, oughta, whatta, wuz, tole, probly, yew, wid, lissen, sceered, whut and git are used often instead of correctly spelled words which could confuse a young child who is learning to read and spell properly. The use of jackass and schmuck may offend some parents.
This book has a good fantasy-adventure story but gets lost easily in the words themselves or lack of proper use of them. At times hard to understand between the slang, dialect, bolded words, and smaller or changing fonts beside the special crocodile language, it would best be read by an adult out loud to children, but even that could be challenging from the adult’s stand point.
Posted July 2012: