Night Buddies - Adventures After Lights Out

What are the Night Buddies Thankful For?

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This holiday season we sat down with the characters of the Night Buddies series and figured out what they were thankful for this year. Here’s what they said:

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Crosley: I’m thankful that me an’ John get to go out on more and more Programs together an’ that we can make each other laugh. An’ I’m thankful for pineapple cheesecakes of course! By the way, have ya got any with you?

 

John: I’m thankful that I had trouble sleeping at night, because that’s what got me started as a Night Buddy! And I’m thankful for all the friends I made because of it, even if they do all make fun of my curly hair an’ big, round brown eyes.

 

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Big Foot Mae: I’m thankful that I’m the biggest woman you ever seen, because it sure makes me unique. And I’m thankful for Crosley keeping me in business. That crocodile sure does love my pineapple cheesecakes!

Crenwinkle: I’m sure thankful (Wuk!) for my brother, and for John making sure that he stays focused on the Programs I give ‘em! I’m glad that my whatchamacallits get some use, too, because I put a lot of effort (Wuk!) into making those.

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Fast Fanny Farnsworth: I’m thankful for my All-Night Emporium staying in business, and for the Night Buddies taking my far-out flying machines for a spin during their second Program. And I’m thankful that I’ve somehow managed not to kill Crosley yet! (He sure does drive me crazy sometimes!)

Crosley

Sounds like the Night Buddies have a lot to be thankful for! What are you thankful for this holiday season? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

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John and Crosley: The Makings of a Dynamic Literary Friendship

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Crosley picked out John to be his Night Buddy, for starters.  There must have been a lot of reasons, but the only one Crosley mentions is middle names.  Crosley doesn’t have one, and neither does John, so they have this in common.  Crosley thinks it makes you a little sharper, too.  And hey, we know that John is really sharp, and Crosley is definitely no slouch, so maybe there’s something in it.

The two characters couldn’t help but hit it off with each other.  John doesn’t want to go to bed, so Crosley rescues him and takes him out on adventures.  Crosley for his part gets a genial and very capable partner for his “Programs.”  Sharing these adventures, the good and the bad parts, bonds the two all the more.

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John and Crosley are very different, obviously, and before I go any further, I have to confess something.  After I finished The Pineapple Cheesecake Scare, I realized I had used a device made famous by Cervantes and Mark Twain.  (When you steal, steal from the best.)  I don’t know whether Mark Twain had Sancho Panza and the Don in mind when he wrote Tom Sawyer (I promise I wasn’t thinking of any of them when writing my story), but Tom and Huck are very similar to Cervantes’ two protagonists.  There Tom is, the impractical romantic (Don Quixote), and there’s Huck, the no-nonsense, pragmatic sidekick that Tom needs in order to stay grounded (Sancho).  Two pairs of opposites who rely on and complement each other.

Exactly like John and Crosley.  John is the sensible, down-to-earth partner, and Crosley is goofy, full of wild ideas, and ready to fly off to Mars at a moment’s notice for a few pineapple cheesecakes.  And just like those other characters, they appreciate and honor each other’s differences.  They are a team that’s better than the sum of its parts.  This, and their mutual adventures (and maybe a little insomnia) are the essence of their friendship.

And having no middle names doesn’t hurt.

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Crosley’s Black Bottom Dance

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I’ve heard that the Black Bottom started in Atlanta, in New Orleans, and in Jacksonville, Florida, in the first decade of the 20th century. It became well known by semi-rural blacks across the south then, and by the 1920s, it found its way up to Harlem where it was featured at the Apollo Theater in 1926 and 1927. From there it became a national sensation! Its rhythm was based on the Charleston, another popular dance at the time, but people loved the Black Bottom so much that it actually surpassed the Charleston in popularity.

Crosley didn’t know about any of this when the allergy first hit him. Somehow the moves had passed into his system, and now they take him over completely whenever he gets wet! He can’t understand why the dance was so popular. (It takes a lot of energy out of a crocodile!) He personally can’t wait until he gets dry and his body stops having a mind of its own.

You can see people doing the Black Bottom on Google if you want to, but we’ve also got a link to a video on YouTube here:

So far there are no such recordings of Crosley, and that’s just fine with him.

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Exclusive Cover Reveal: Night Buddies Go Sky High!

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We over here at the Night Buddies Amalgamated have some exciting news for you!

The third Night Buddies book, Night Buddies Go Sky High, is going to be released early next year! We will provide you with an exact release date soon, but for now we are officially revealing the cover.

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As you can see, John and Crosley are going to be in for some out-of-this-world adventures! Each Program the Night Buddies go on only gets bigger and more exciting.

In this new book, when young John Degraffenreidt and his red crocodile buddy, Crosley, show up at the Pineapple Cheesecake Factory and find Big Foot Mae lying on the floor, staring up at her Great Star Puzzle on the ceiling, they expect something’s afoot. Not surprisingly, Crosley is craving a new supply of pineapple cheesecakes, but what Mae points to on her ceiling will start the Night Buddies on a totally new fantasy adventure.

This is one book you’re not going to want to miss out on!

Before the book is launched, I’d like to get your thoughts about the book cover in the comments below. For example, what does the cover say to you? Does it grab you?

If this is the first time that you’re hearing about the Night Buddies series, be sure to check out the first two titles, available on Amazon and B&N.com.

Stay tuned to this blog for more exciting news to come!!

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Make Your Very Own Whatchamacallit!

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Whatchamacallit: A small object having a special power and suitable for hanging on Crosley’s belt.

If you’ve read the Night Buddies series, you would already know this definition. Crosley’s whatchamacallits are some of the most important things he and John need to be able to make it through their Programs. And if you’ve ever wished you had a belt full of whatchamacallits yourself, we’ve got a list here of some ways that you can go about making them at home!

I-ain’t-here doodad: The very first whatchamacallit that Crosley ever uses in the series, this is probably one of the most important whatchamacallits there is. To make your own, buy a small, round magnifying glass. Don’t forget to hold it up in front of you when you need to disappear!

I-D gimcrack: This whatchamacallit not only identifies Crosley as a member of Night Buddies Amalgamated, but works just the same as money. To make your own, draw one that looks like Crosley’s, and glue in a photo of yourself so that you can be correctly identified.  If you want it to look really official, laminate both sides.

Copy of Crosley's GImcrack

Copy of Crosley’s GImcrack

Rope gizmo: John and Crolsey use this whatchamacallit in Book One (Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare) to lower themselves down into a hole so that they can stop the Iguana gang. To make your own, find a small rubber ball and attach several inches of clothesline to it. You could also attach jump rope, string, shoe laces, or anything else that can work like rope if you don’t have any clothesline!

Trap-spinner loblolly: This whatchamacallit looks like a spider, and acts like one too as it shoots off web-like wire! To make your own, get a rubber spider and attach black pipe-cleaners to its mouth loosely. When you need to activate the whatchamacallit, let the pipe-cleaners come loose!

Time-spreader dingus: This whatchamacallit slows down time so that John doesn’t get into any trouble for being out so long on Programs! To make your own, acquire a very small telescope, or a pen light. If you pull it open (without breaking or damaging it) you’ll be using it just like Crosley does to help John!

Skeleton key: This is the key Crosley uses to open John’s front door. To make your own, you can use any large, old-fashioned brass or iron door key. Decorate it however you think Crosley would like it best!

Do you have a favorite whatchamacallit or have you ever made your own? If so, let us know all about it in the comments!

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Do You Have What It Takes To Be a Night Buddy?

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There are certain characteristics that make a person stand out to be a qualified Night Buddy. Take a look at this list and see if you have what it takes!

Crosley

1.)    Patience—Every Night Buddy must have the patience to endure Crosley’s insatiable appetite for Pineapple Cheesecakes, to wait for his Black Bottom dance fits to come to an end, and to make it through a night without sleep. Every challenge that confronts the Night Buddies in their Programs are best overcome one step at a time; you can’t sneak out of the house before you’ve turned on your I-ain’t-here doodad!

2.)    Kindness—Night Buddies will meet a whole world of new people and animals on their first Program, and they need to treat each one of them kindly and respectfully in order to complete their adventure. If you aren’t nice to Fast Fanny Farnsworth, you can’t expect her to rent you a far-out flying machine!

3.)    Bravery—Sometimes the tasks that Night Buddies take on seem a little scary at first. After all, iguanas are not creatures that you really want to be around! But Night Buddies know that no matter how scary their Program might seem at first, they can step up and face what lies ahead with bravery. Someone has to keep the iguanas in their place!

4.)    Imagination—Some people think that being a Night Buddy is something that only happens in books, but true Night Buddies know that imagination is what makes stories come to life. You can use your patience, kindness, and bravery when you’re at school or playing at home with your siblings, whether you have Crosley by your side or not, because when you use your imagination you can be on a Program anytime!

 

 

 

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What’s an I-D Grimcrack, You Ask?

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This is Crosley’s little whatchamacallit card that not only identifies him as a member of Night Buddies Amalgamated, but works just the same as money. Since the Night Buddies’ mission is to “help out” situations in the borough, people everywhere give them free goods and services when they’re out on a Program and show the gimcrack.

Copy of Crosley's GImcrack

Copy of Crosley’s GImcrack

In Night Buddies, Impostors and One Far-Out Flying Machine, we discover that true I-D  gimcracks have a security app in case they are suspected of being counterfeit. Squeeze a real  gimcrack twice on the logo and it starts blasting out a goofy song like the one below. And if  counterfeiters should copy the I-D, the song can be changed and all the generous night folks notified.

Short fat Minnie down in New Orleans

Shakin’ and rockin’ in her red blue jeans

She rocked so long around the floor

That short fat Minnie wasn’t fat no more

  Skinny Minne, woo-woo-woo

   Skinny Minnie, woo-woo-woo!

Let’s say you had an I-D gimcrack of your own, where would you use it? What would you use it for? Ice cream cones? A ride on a ferris wheel? A subway token? Let us know by replying to this post. We want to hear from you!

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Children's Museum of Alamance County
217 South Main Street
Graham, NC 27253
Phone: 336-228-7997
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