NIGHT BUDDIES AND THE PINEAPPLE CHEESECAKE SCARE
about the story
When pineapple cheesecakes start disappearing from the world's only Pineapple Cheesecake Factory across town, Crosley, a zany red crocodile, enlists the help of young John Degraffenreidt to straighten things out. In this adventure-fantasy, the unlikely pair sneaks out of John's house by becoming invisible, thanks to the I-ain't-here doodad Crosley uses from the bunch of whatchamacallits hanging on his belt.
On the way to the subway they get better acquainted, and John finds out the wacky reason Crosley is red, and also what happens if he gets any water on him. They get on the Night Folks Limited train and ride all the way to the Cheesecake Factory where they meet the giant manager, Big Foot Mae.
There is danger ahead, but the Night Buddies must stay with their "Program" (the Night Buddies word for Adventure) if the world's supply of pineapple cheesecakes counts for anything. And it surely does, especially to Crosley who is totally goofy about the things and never seems to get his fill.
What a delightfully fun story. A red crocodile living under the bed, best kind of monster a kid could have in his room. John Degraffenreidt is a young boy who does not want to sleep at night (parents, does this sound familiar?). John and his new friend , night buddie, Crosley the red crocodile, engage in a wonderful adventure. They are going to the only Pineapple Cheesecake factory to discover why the cheesecakes are disappearing.
This is a fantastic story, hopefully the first of many adventures with John and Crosley. It will certainly hold the interest of the young reader. Crosley has his own vocabulary that will keep the reader on his toes. This is a story full of imagination and fun!
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we have the incredible good fortune of having Sands Hetherington here today for a guest post.
Thank you Sands Hetherington!
Thanks for having me, Donna. My little book is called Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare and it’s due out on the first of June. I think you’ll like it. It’s certainly been a hit with a couple of hundred kids I’ve tried it out on in schools. It has two principal characters: John, a young boy who isn’t ready to go to bed yet, and Crosley, a bright-red crocodile who shows up to rescue him. Crosley works for Night Buddies Amalgamated, is what is going on. This organization pairs up kids and crocodiles so they can sneak out on adventures whenever the kids can’t sleep.
Crosley is red because he is allergic to water. Well, not directly. If he gets much water on him, he breaks out doing the Black Bottom dance and has to keep going for hours. Unless he takes his antidote pills. They stop the Black Bottom quickly enough but turn him red at the same time. It’s a side-effect.
Crosley has this bunch of little magic whatchamacallits on his belt, and he and John use one to become invisible, and they slip right past John’s parents and out into the Borough.
Adventures are called Programs in the Night Buddies, and tonight’s Program is to go find out why the whole world’s supply of pineapple cheesecakes is drying up. I should have mentioned that John likes pineapple cheesecakes and Crosley is absolutely goofy about them, so this is a real emergency.
The Program runs way late, of course, and gets crazy and scary, and when it’s finally over and John gets home, he has no trouble falling asleep. This is the Night Buddies system working. The very next time John can’t sleep, Crosley will be back. Alert to readers: the next Program is really long, and our friends get this really cool flying machine and spend the whole night swooping from one wild episode to the next. You can check it out in this fall.
Very briefly about me: I’m an old man and live on the edge of town with two Saint Bernards named Maggie and Dudley. I studied literature in college and graduate school and wrote a dozen or so adult short stories. I gave it up for other pursuits. In middle-age I produced a son and named him John. Like the kid in the story, I didn’t give him a middle name. I became his single parent when he was six.
John is who invented Crosley. Okay, let me back up: I always read to him from a very early age and without fail. One night when I was done reading (I think he was six), I may have suggested he make up a companion to finish going off to sleep with. Then maybe I didn’t; he may have done it on his own. Pretty soon, though, there was Crosley: red color, goofy name and all. It was all John.
So at bedtime we started throwing Crosley ideas around and inventing episodes. This went on for a year or more, and even though we did stop, Crosley had become a real member of the family and would pop up in conversation for years. Eventually I decided to put him and John into a story. The problem was, I had to figure out why Crosley was red. I couldn’t just dump him on the reader like that without explaining. I could have dropped the red part, but Crosley was such a family pet that I didn’t want to compromise him in any way. Finally it dawned on me: the business about the water allergy and pills, and then everything fell into place. Crosley began as a lights-out buddy, so let’s go on and make him a member of Night Buddies Amalgamated, right? And throw in that he’s a pineapple cheesecake freak and have a pineapple cheesecake emergency, and there’s the whole gist. But I want to say again that John invented Crosley. I only explained him and porked him out a bit.
This was my first children’s story. One thing I discovered is that there is little difference in kids’ fiction and older peoples’ stuff. They both use characters and plots and backgrounds and dialogue and all the rest of it. The only difference worth mentioning is that kids’ stories can use magic.
Thanks again for inviting me in.
Thank you Sands. I loved Night Buddies and look forward to more adventures, umm 'Programs' for Crosley and John.