Night Buddies - Adventures After Lights Out

2017 Book-Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide

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We are midway through December, and that means the holiday season is officially upon us! Finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones can be a battle, so I wanted to make it a little easier on you. If you have any book lovers in your life, any of these gifts will be the perfect match:

Banned Books Heat Reactive Mug

This mug features lines from books that were once banned or challenged; fill them up with your favorite hot beverage to reveal all the words! The best part about this gift is that for every mug sold, you’ll help fund literacy programs and book donations to communities in need.

The Wish Tree, by Kyo Maclear

“Charles wants to find a wish tree. His brother and sister don’t believe there is such a thing, but his trusty companion Boggan is ready to join Charles on a journey to find out. And along the way, they discover that wishes can come true in the most unexpected ways.” This children’s book, which uses poetic verse to tell an inspiring holiday message, will be loved by kids and adults alike.

Book Cover Tote Bag

Everybody needs a plethora of tote bags these days, whether to carry groceries or all the books you buy at your local bookstore. And every book lover would proudly carry a tote featuring their favorite book’s cover on the front. You can find dozens of varieties, from classics like Pride and Prejudice, to new favorites like children’s book, Wonder.

A trip for two to your local independent bookstore

Nothing says bonding like browsing bookshelves together, and a promise to have a full day exploring and reading books together is the ultimate gift to give. Most independent bookstores also offer gift cards if you can’t find the time to go with your loved one yourself!

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season? Let me know in the comments!

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What Your Favorite Authors Have to Say About Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is almost upon us, which means great food, time with family and friends, and reflecting on all we have to be thankful for this year. But sometimes it’s hard to get past the craziness of every day life to pause for gratitude, or sometimes it feels like there just isn’t a lot to be grateful for. That’s when I turn to my favorite authors…they always have just the right way of expressing how I want to feel during the holidays. (more…)

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Children’s Books for Every Holiday This Season

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We are less than a week away from Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa this year, but aside from knowing that gifts, games, family time, and festive treats await them, how do we explain to our children what these holidays are all about? My answer: With books. Here are a few books for each holiday that will help your children understand the root of what we are celebrating so soon!

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How to Choose a Book to Gift Your Kids This Holiday Season

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WendyReading
 We are just days away from December 1st, and you know what that means…it’s time to start your holiday shopping! While you know your children’s letters to Santa probably include the latest toys, games, and technology, another great thing to put under the tree or use as a stocking stuffer are books. But how do you pick a book your child will love? Read on for my book-giving tips!

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Top 5 Christmas Cheesecake Recipes!

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The holidays are just around the corner, and you know what that means…desserts on desserts! And here at the Night Buddies Headquarters, we believe there is only ever one dessert worth having…CHEESECAKE! So I scoured the Internet looking for the best way to combine my favorite holiday with Crosley’s favorite dessert, and these are the best holiday cheesecake recipes out there!

Festive New York Style Cheesecake

(Recipe: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/festive-new-york-style-cheesecake)

Festive NY

Topped with Christmas candies and chocolate syrup, this delicious cheesecake will have everyone at the table going back for seconds!

 

Cranberry Celebration Cheesecake

(Recipe: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cranberry-celebration-cheesecake)

Cranberry

Cranberries are all the rage during the holidays. You can use them to decorate your garland, make a delicious cranberry sauce, or to spice up your classic cheesecake recipe. This is definitely a favorite!

 

Christmas Cheesecake with Soaked Fruits

(Recipe: http://www.womanandhome.com/recipes/532737/christmas-cheesecake-with-soaked-fruits)

Dried fruit

This cheesecake has it all—cinnamon, almonds, nutmeg, the holiday works! When you want that classic Christmas flavor, this is definitely the cheesecake to go for.

 

Christmas Cheesecake with English Toffee Filling

(Recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/christmas-cheesecake-with-english-toffee-filling-104513)

Toffee

This cheesecake is rich and candy-filled…with just enough chocolate to make it a delectable holiday treat.

 

Crushed Peppermint Cheesecake

(Recipe: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/crushed-peppermint-cheesecake)

Peppermint

Last, but certainly not least, you can’t let the holidays pass without turning everything into a peppermint treat—and this recipe is one of the best! Not only do you top it with delicious crushed candy canes, but it has an Oreo crust you’ll dream about through the rest of next year.

 

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Top 5 Books to Buy Your Children This Holiday Season

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Chances are, your kids’ Christmas/holiday gift lists consist of toys and technology (iPads seem to be one of the biggest hits), but what about putting a relatively cheap, simple, and thoughtful gift under the tree that your children can cherish their entire lives? Giving books as presents will help your kids to see books as fun rather than as associated with boring schoolwork, and the stories they fall in love with at young ages can turn them into lifelong readers. The trick to all of this is just picking the right book! Here are my top 5 favorite children’s books that will make wonderful stocking stuffers this season!

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, by Dan Santat. This children’s book is for younger readers (it features illustrations, but is broken up into chapters), and it made the American Library Association’s list of Notable Books for 2015! The short description is as follows: “In four delightful chapters, Beekle, an imaginary friend, undergoes an emotional journey looking for his human. Vibrant illustrations add to the fun.” Definitely a fun story that will stick with your children throughout their lives…and it’s a fun one to read together with your kids as well.

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Beautiful Moon…A Child’s Prayer, by Tanya Bolden. This is a great one for the holiday season when you’re trying to teach your kids about gratitude and helping others. It follows the prayers of a boy thinking about the homeless, the hungry, those at war, and his family in a beautiful, touching way that is still accessible to children. It is another on the American Library Association’s List of Notable Books for 2015, and I’d say it’s placement is well earned!

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The Boys Book of Survival (How to Survive Anything, Anywhere), by Guy Campbell. This one is a sillier book for a bit older children, ages 8-12. The Amazon summary says, “Lost in the desert? Stuck in quicksand? Confronted by a man-eating tiger? Trapped at a school dance? Fear not, brave reader! With this essential survival guide, you’ll find a way to get yourself out of every imaginable predicament, whether it’s an avalanche or a zombie invasion!” It’s a fun, easy read that kids don’t have to devour all at once—the perfect gift for guys and girls looking for a fun, mostly practical, and interesting read.

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The Chocolate Touch, by Margot Apple. This book is a spin-off of the classic King Midas and the Golden Touch story, but features a greedy chocolate lover who might end up finally tiring of his favorite food. It’s silly, it’s cute, and it’s a fun read. Plus, I’m always a fan of spin-off books—let’s keep those old classic tales alive!

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And of course, I can’t help but recommend the Night Buddies series! These books are easy enough reads that any child can find themselves getting sucked into the stories, but feature a broad enough vocabulary and interesting slang that will help them become better readers. I always incorporate a theme of friendship and teamwork into each book, which make them great reads for the holiday season!

Night Buddies Go Sky High

Were you ever given a book as a gift? Let me know in the comments!

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Happy Holidays from the Night Buddies!

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We over here at the Night Buddies Headquarters are absolutely crazy about the holiday season! Holiday treats, time with family, and of course, gift exchanges are some of the things we love the most. So we wanted to sit down with the stars of the series and ask what item is on the top of their Christmas wish lists this year. Here’s what they said:

Xmas-jeeny-tree

John: It was hard for me t’ figure out just what t’ ask for this year. Ever since Crolsey and the Night Buddies became part of my life there’s not much that would make me happier! But I guess the one thing would be if I could bring my dad along on one of our Programs. I think he’d be really into it!

Crosley: Ya know what I want this year? I want another handy whatchamacallit for my tool belt. (Yerk!) Got t’ be prepared for all the new Programs we have ahead of us!

Big Foot Mae: I don’t want anything fancy, but I do think I could use a new pair of coveralls to wear at the factory. (It’s hard to find good ones my size.) But I hope they still got pictures of pineapples on ‘em!

Crenwinkle: All I ever want is some more steamed root beer. I go through ‘em kind of quick!

Fast Fanny Farnsworth: As much as I love working at the All-Night Emporium and helping John and Crosley with their Programs, I think all I want for Christmas this year is a day off. Crosley sure can drive me nuts, and sometimes I think I need a vacation!

Doesn’t seem like they’re asking for too much this year! Whatever is on your Christmas list, we hope you have a very happy holiday and remember to enjoy the time you have with your loved ones. And if you’re still looking to find the perfect gift for someone on your list, we’d recommend giving them a Night Buddies book!

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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.

 

john1

 

 

 

 

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.

crenwinkle

 

 

 

 

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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The Original Mad Hatter?

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My son John, who doubles as narrator in the Night Buddies series, is the namesake of our colorful ancestor, John Hetherington, a haberdasher of the Strand in London. Old John is my four-times great-grandfather, and may well have been the prototype for Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatter. Surely Mr. Carroll knew about him, because they still talk about what he did, and it made it into Ripley’s Believe It or Not a half-century ago.

Briefly, what old John did was introduce the top hat to London. But I’ll let the The Times (London) take it from there.

January 16, 1797: “John Hetherington, haberdasher of the Strand, was arraigned before the Lord Mayor on a charge of breach of the peace and inciting to riot, and was required to give bonds in the sum of 500 pounds. It was in evidence that Mr. Hetherington, who is well connected, appeared on the public highway wearing upon his head what he called a silk hat (which was offered in evidence), a tall structure having a shining lustre, and calculated to frighten timid people. As a matter of fact, the officers of the Crown stated that several women fainted at the unusual sight, while children screamed, dogs yelped, and a younger son of Cordwainer Thomas, who was returning from a chandler’s shop, was thrown down by the crowd which had collected, and had his right arm broken. For these reasons the defendant was seized by the guards and taken before the Lord Mayor. In extenuation of his crime, the defendant claimed that he had not violated any law of the kingdom, but was merely exercising a right to appear in a head-dress of his own design—a right not denied to any Englishman.”

hatter-145132_640

The Times wrote the following day: “Hetherington’s hat points to a significant advance in the transformation of dress. Sooner or later, everyone will accept this headwear.” (Actually it would take another 50 years.) “We believe that both the court and the police made a mistake here.”

Some kerfuffle! I am unclear about how the Lord Mayor found, but an aunt told me the 500 pounds was actually a fine, and that John was transported to Sligo, Ireland, in lieu of producing such a sum. In any case, he produced great-great-great-grandfather James there in 1807. James produced eleven children, and some of them came to the U.S.A.

My son and narrator related most of this to the Dean of Admissions at the University of London when he was thinking of matriculating there. I don’t know if it helped, because he decided to go to the University of Edinburgh instead. He did point out the Strand to me once, though, when we were crossing it on the way to somewhere else. It’s a big, wide street.

From "Alice in the Wonderland"

From “Alice in the Wonderland”

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