From back cover: 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. 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.
John and Crosley get on the subway and ride the Night Folks Limited all the way to the factory where they meet the giant manager, Big Foot Mae. There is danger ahead, but the Night Buddies must stay with their “Program” if the world’s supply of pineapple cheesecakes counts for anything. And it surely does, especially to Crosley who is totally goofy about them and never seems to get his fill.
John narrates the story of his escapade with a large red crocodile who shows up in John’s bedroom one night looking for help. Seems the Pineapple Cheesecake Factory is making cheesecakes and sending them out, but all the boxes are empty. No one can figure out how these cheesecakes are going into the box, and then out again, before being loaded into the trucks for delivery. Someone is stealing the cakes but the manager, Big Foot Mae, cannot figure it out.
In come Crosley and his new sidekick John. The two slip past John’s parents with the use of Crosley’s I-ain’t-here doodad that makes them invisible.
Once out of the house, Crosley takes John to the train for the ride to the factory. They take what appears to be the everyday subway, but where ever Crosley goes, things are not what they seem. He never buys anything. Every store he goes into gives him his supplies, once Crosley flashes his badge.
At the factory, Big Foot Mae shows them how the cheesecake line works. Sure enough, cakes are going into the boxes, but when Crosley opens one up it is empty. Will John and Crosley figure out where the cakes are going too and who is taking them? Will John get back home before his parents’ notice he is not there?
I liked Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare. The story idea is good, and the characters are likable. At first I thought it was another monster-under-the-bed story, but no, it was a pineapple-cheesecake-loving, red-crocodile-under-the bed story. Crosley, the red crocodile, fears the water and has his own language; a glossary of which is in the front of the book. Most are simply noises for other noises, such as:
............Yerk! Yerk! ---- Ha! Ha! ............Blorf! ---- a snort ............Wuff ---- gasping for air ........... Excelsoir! ---- totally super
While it is all gibberish nonsense, kids, especially boys, will find it hilarious. The issue I have is that real words, such as excelsior, should be used correctly, not be given fictitious meanings. According to the Meriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of excelsior is “fine curled wood shavings used especially for packing fragile items,” not totally super. I think if you use a real word you need to use it correctly so as to not confuse kids.
The fonts change all through-out the book and sometimes on the same page. This disrupts the flow of reading and adds nothing to the story. Nor do the hundreds of exclamation points. One particular page had thirteen exclamation marks, enough to make me scream! I hope that with book two the writing style will be less amateurish. Mr. Hetherington can tell a good story, he does not need the gimmicks.
The illustrations are nice and fit in well with the story. I would have liked to see more of the art. Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare will appeal mostly to young boys who will like the silliness, the crocodile language, and the iguanas. For another review, with a different take, click HERE.
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Author: Sands Hetherington website facebook Illustrator: Jessica Love website Publisher: Dune Buggy Press Release Date: May, 2012 ISBN: 978-0-9847417 Number of Pages: 126 Ages: 5 to 8 .................... ........... ..... ................... COMING SOON
Night Buddies, Book 2
Imposters and One Far-Out Flying Machine