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Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club:  Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at


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Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

World of Ink Tour: Night Buddies, Impostors and One Far-Out Flying Machine by Sands Hetherington

Night Buddies, Impostors and One Far-Out Flying Machine, by Sands Hetherington and illustrated by Jessica Love, is the second in the “Night Buddies” series.  The book’s main characters, Crosley, a bright red crocodile, and John, a boy who has trouble sleeping, have adventures, called Programs, at night with Night Buddies Amalgamated and other night-time characters.  There are all night drugstores, all night emporiums, a zoo, and other all night enterprises and activities.  It has a time spreader, a dingus, talking animals, magical contraptions, doodads, I-D gimcrack cards, whatchamacallits, talk tokens -- not to mention racing blimps.  Plus you’ll enjoy the special language and dialect conventions:  Yerk! Yerk!  Ut! Ut!  Yigg!  Snerk! Snerf!  Jeeks!  Uk! Gruk! Wush! Gak!

Hetherington2HiRes.jpgThe series was first conceived by Sands Hetherington and his son John at bedtime as an extension of their bedtime story time.  They continued to develop the concept into the Night Buddy stories – adventures for kids who are reluctant to go to bed.  Eventually Sands wrote them down in the Night Buddies series.  The first book in the series is Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare.

The stories seem nonsensical, but they actually make perfect sense, especially to kids with imaginations.  You know how creative kids can be when they want to or don’t want to do something.  If they don’t want to go to bed, then tell them a story about the awesome adventures they’ll have once they’re in bed.  

Perhaps they’ll be visited by a bright red crocodile with a passion for Pineapple Cheesecake or Crusted Crème Fro-Madge frozen yogurt.  Crosley might take you on an adventure like he takes John.   Maybe you’ll travel all over the city, meeting the night folks, solving mysteries, fighting crime, having fun adventures with magical doodads and such.  Jessica Love’s whimsical and fun black and gray on white illustrations are appropriate to this night time series -- though your imagination readily brings the characters and adventures to life.

NightBuddiesStickerCover300dpi.jpgThis “Night Buddies” story is fast-paced, easy to read, and holds your attention.  You’ll quickly fall in with the “lingo” and enjoy the characters you meet, like Fast Fanny Farnsworth, Crenwinkle from Headquarters, and Officer Finnegan on Elmer.  There’s plenty of silliness to appeal to kids – especially reluctant boy readers and girls who like things exciting and even a little bit “gross” at times. 

Parents and teachers will enjoy the word choices and expressions, such as antidotes, caterwaul, excelsior, farcical, guts and glory, marauders, purloined, and also alliterations like:  real red rump, holy hamhocks, brown blimp, black bottom, and so on.  This is one fun book to read out loud with children.  They will enjoy listening to it and probably will want to read it to you, too.  Sands Hetherington is already working on the third Night Buddies story and enjoys reading them to his grand children.  The Night Buddies series is published by www.dunebuggypress.com and available at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.powells.com.

My review copy was provided by Virginia Grenier of World of Ink Tours.



  1. Replies
    1. Hi Jan, thanks for your comment. Yes, I think this is the fun type of adventure books that kids enjoy.

  2. Penelope:
    I hadn't heard of this book before. Thank you for sharing it. It sounds really fun and love the vocab words!

    1. Thanks for your comments, Margo. I've just read the second one, but am pretty sure the first one is fun, too. There are a lot more good vocab words. And I forgot to mention that to crocodiles, "ain't" is a four letter word, a No-No!

  3. This series sounds quite intriguing Penny. It sounds like it has an abundance of imagination that will draw children to use their own creativity. I wish the author and illustrator much success.

    1. Hi Sue, I appreciate your comments. I think this is a good series for kids to enjoy and wish them much success, too.

  4. You nailed it, Penny. I have read and reviewed this book, and it is hilarious!

    1. Thanks, Barbara, Yes, although long, it's mostly conversation. The fast pace and fun adventures really carry you right along to the end -- but not the end. Woo hoo! Wishing Sands and Jessica success.