1. Find a partner to adventure with. If you asked either John or Crosley to go on a Program alone, they’d call you nuts. It’s important to have someone to go on your adventures with, not to mention loads more fun! Team up with your brother or sister, your best friend, or you can even create someone in your imagination to adventure with. As long as you have someone to share your experience with, your adventure will be all the more worthwhile.
2. Build your adventure craft. The Night Buddies wouldn’t get very far on their Programs without their Far-Out Flying Machine, and likewise, you’ll need to find something to go on your adventures in! Look around your house for an old cardboard box, some tape, scissors (with your mom or dad’s approval) and markers, glitter, or stickers to decorate it with. Make your adventure craft look however you want it to look . . . just make sure it’s uniquely yours!
3. Decide on a goal. Each Night Buddies Program has a specific goal in mind, and it usually has to do with stopping the evil Iguana Gang. Decide what you want to accomplish on your adventure—whether it’s stopping evil, discovering something new to you, or solving a problem that has been bothering you—and then go after it. Every good adventure has an end goal in mind, but make sure you remember to have fun along the way!
4. Always, always use your imagination. It is possible for you to do anything, go anywhere, and meet anyone, as long as you are open to using your imagination. If you allow yourself to see your living room turn into outer-space, your adventure craft flying in the sky, and yourself as the hero bringing all evil to justice, you can go on an adventure every day. Whenever you read about all that John and Crosley do on their Programs, remember that you can be with them every step of the way, as long as you are using your imagination just right.
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
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!
One of the most common fears among people, both kids and adults, is being afraid of the dark. Not all of us have a big, friendly Crosley visiting us when night comes! Sometimes we’re afraid of being alone at night, and sometimes we are afraid of the possible unseen threats masked by nightfall, but no matter what lies at the root of your fear of darkness here are some tips that will have you feeling cool as a crocodile when the lights turn off.
Figure Out the Root of Your Fears. Do you think there could be an evil iguana hiding in your closet or under your bed? Have mom and dad check it out! Do you hear strange noises amplified when darkness comes? Try and locate the source of the noise during the day, when you’re less likely to feel threatened by it. Knowing where your fears come from makes it easier to dismiss them.
Distract Yourself. Try listening to soothing music as you fall asleep, or break out a flashlight and read your favorite book. Keeping your mind on things that put you at ease will make it harder for fear to creep in.
Keep Some Company with You. Ask your mom or dad to sit with you for a few minutes when the lights first go off until you get comfortable with it. Or keep your favorite stuffed animal/action figure/doll on your bed to help you feel less alone. John and Crosley face their nighttime adventures together, and you should do the same!
Use a Night Light. Sometimes just having a small amount of light will help you realize that the dark doesn’t actually change anything around you. Use the light as your safety until you no longer need it!
Sometimes night is the best time to go on an adventure, whether it’s a Night Buddies Program or just in your own dreams! Don’t let your fear of the dark hold you back!
Crosley’s brother Crenwinkle is not only a genius who runs the Night Buddies Headquarters, he’s also a top-notch juggler! Crenwinkle draws huge crowds for his juggling performances, and he can juggle just about anything he wants, including seven fat, triple-decker sandwiches! If you’re looking to pick up a new hobby, here are some of our best tips to get you up to Crenwinkle’s speed.
Start out slowly. Try practicing your movements with one object (probably a ball) first, and figure out the easiest way for you to catch it. Include more objects as you get comfortable with them.
Never chase the object. The point isn’t to reach up and grab the object, but to let it fall into your hand.
Keep your eyes in the air. If you focus on the highest point you want your object to reach, you’ll find that the object will fall into your hands without needing to look.
Focus. Juggling is as much as a mental activity as a physical one, and you need to always be focused and aware of what you are doing so that you don’t drop your objects on the floor!
Practice! The only way you will improve your juggling skills is if you work at it every day. Aim for around twenty minutes a session so that you can fully concentrate instead of sporadically practicing for five minutes here and there.
Don’t worry if you aren’t able to juggle like Crenwinkle on your first few tries; you’re learning and improving with each new attempt. And if you keep these tips in mind, soon you’ll be able to juggle like a crocodile!
Pictured above is author Sands Hetherington and his now grown-up son, John, in Brussels. The delightful world of Night Buddies first began as a bedtime tradition of storytelling between father and son. Sands and 7-year-old John had always done bedtime stories, but one night John presented his dad with a red crocodile named Crosley that he’d invented for an after-lights-out companion. They started making up John and Crosley episodes, and Crosley got to be a real member of the family. From those night time stories, Sands was able to craft an award-winning book series that combined John’s imagination with Sands’ love of travel and culture.
Sands named the curly-headed hero in the Night Buddies Book Series in honor of his son.
From this little snippet behind the Night Buddies stories, one can easily see the sweetness there is to reading with your children and creating with them, not just stories but memories as well.
What about you? Could one of your creative bedtime stories turn into something special?
You never know until you start….