VBT# Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare by Sands Hetherington
Today's author is Sands Hetherington and his book "Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare".
Synopsis: Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare- Sands Hetherington- 2012
What child hasn’t fantasized about sneaking out of their parent’s house after lights-out and embarking on an adventure or two? Now, what if there’s a bright red crocodile, with a belt full of magic gizmos, who shows up and takes kids out on adventures after bedtime? Well, THERE IS!
Author Sands Hetherington has created a singular and unforgettable children's tale inNight Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare, a delightfully zany story full of antics, excitement, and adventure that young readers won’t want to miss.
The two main characters are a young boy named John Degraffenreidt (with no middle name) who is not ready to go to sleep, and a crocodile named Crosley who turns up under John’s bed. This unlikely pair sneaks out of John’s house using Crosley’s I-ain’t-here doodad, which makes them invisible to John’s parents. They embark on their Program, the Night Buddies word for Adventure, and make their way around the Borough chasing down enemies and dealing with the perils at hand. The Program for tonight is to find out why all of the pineapple cheesecakes in the world’s only pineapple cheesecake factory are disappearing.
Hi Paula and thanks for having me.
Night Buddies and the Pineapple
Cheesecake Scare is the result of a bedtime
collaboration my son John and I had many years ago. I was his single
parent and had read to him every night since he could walk, maybe for longer
than that. It was an essential for us and went on for fourteen years.
One night when John was six and I was done reading and John wanted more, I may
have suggest he invent a lights-out companion to go off to sleep with. Or
maybe I didn’t and he undertook the matter on his own hook. In any case,
the next thing I knew, there was Crosley the crocodile, complete with goofy
name and bright-red color. I was duly charmed, and John and I started
throwing Crosley ideas around and making up episodes. This went on for a
year or more and Crosley developed into an important family member. Even
after John tired of the game, Crosley would pop up in conversations. He
refused to fade away.
Maybe it was a couple of years after John
invented him that I got the idea of giving Crosley some proper print. The
thing was right there: not ready-made but at least a neat premise. John
would be in it, of course, and the two of them would have themselves an
adventure. The trick was to figure out why on earth Crosley was
red. You couldn’t just plop a red crocodile down as one of the main actors
without some explanation. Then it occurred to me: Crosley was red
because he was allergic to water! Well, sort of. If he got
water on him he broke out doing the Black Bottom dance and couldn’t stop for
hours. Unless he took his antidote pills. These stopped the Black
Bottom well enough but turned him red at the same time! It was one of
those side-effects you can get from Black Bottom pills.
The rest fell into place fairly
easily. Crosley started as a lights-out buddy for a kid named John who
wasn’t ready to go to sleep yet, so why not make him a member of Night Buddies
Amalgamated whose charter is to rescue kids from lying in bed awake and
take them out on adventures. He shows up in John’s room on the night of
Crosley has to be goofy. He is red and
has a goofy name and does the Black Bottom, after all. Let’s stay with
this and make him totally goofy about pineapple cheesecakes. He can never
get enough of them, and John’s fond of them himself. Throw in a sudden
worldwide shortage of pineapple cheesecakes. They’re all vanishing at the
world’s only pineapple cheesecake factory across town. Huge
emergency. So this is our new Night Buddies’ assignment for tonight--to
investigate the problem and set things right. It won’t be easy and it
definitely won’t be dull!
I give John most of the credit. He
made Crosley out of whole cloth and plays himself in the story too. I was
just the editor who tinkered with them a little and dropped them into a
To editorialize for a moment, I think it’s
vital to read to kids every day from the time they can understand speech.
(It’s even better if you can get them to collaborate!) It’s a real
pleasure to them and makes them want to read on their own. This is where
educated people come from. I hope some of them will read or listen to the
next book in the Night Buddies series, coming out in September. It
features John and Crosley, of course, and they get themselves a really fabulous
flying machine and swoop around town from one wild episode to the next. If
the kids don’t read this, there are some other pretty fair stories out there!