ISBN 10: 0984741712 / ISBN 13: 9780984741717
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Inhaltsangabe: When pineapple cheesecakes start disappearing from the world's only Pineapple Cheesecake Factory across town, Crosley, a zany red crocodile, enlists the help of young John Degraffenreidt to straighten things out. In this adventure-fantasy, the unlikely pair sneaks out of John's house by becoming invisible, thanks to the I-ain't-here doodad Crosley uses from the bunch of whatchamacallits hanging on his belt.

On the way to the subway they get better acquainted, and John finds out the wacky reason Crosley is red, and also what happens if he gets any water on him. They get on the Night Folks Limited train and ride all the way to the Cheesecake Factory where they meet the giant manager, Big Foot Mae.

There is danger ahead, but the Night Buddies must stay with their "Program" (the Night Buddies word for Adventure) if the world's supply of pineapple cheesecakes counts for anything. And it surely does, especially to Crosley who is totally goofy about the things and never seems to get his fill.

From the Author: My kid John started it.  He was five or six and I had just finished his regular bedtime story, but he wanted more.  I was tired.  I may have suggested he think up a lights-out buddy to imagine his way off to sleep with.  Maybe not.  Maybe he did it completely on his own hook. In any case, one or two nights later John presented me with Crosley, an honest-to-God bright red crocodile.  You've got to be young to make up stuff like this.  I know I couldn't have. I was delighted and started playing along and trying to get John to come up with stuff about Crosley and himself and what they did last night and what plans did they have for tonight?Crosley got to be part of our regular bedtime protocol, and we bounced ideas and episodes back and forth nearly every night.  This went on for a year, maybe two years, and eventually John grew out of it and stopped wanting to play.But I never grew out of it.  I wasn't a kid, I was going on fifty and set in my ways.  I started casting around for some way to get Crosley into a book.  He was my buddy too now, and I couldn't let him just melt away.The gist, the premise, was already there.  John would be in the story, of course, and the two of them would have an adventure.  Just like always.  The trick was to figure out why on earth Crosley was red.  I couldn't just plop a red crocodile down as a principal actor without some explanation.  Then it dawned on 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 get from Black Bottom pills.The rest fell into place fairly easily.  Crosley had 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 our first story.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 Night Buddies' assignment for tonight--to investigate the problem and set things right.  It won't be easy and it won't be dull!This is book number one (Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare).  I give John most of the credit.  He made Crosley out of whole cloth and plays himself in the story.  I was just the editor who tinkered with them a little and dropped them into a situation.  When it all ends, Crosley promises to come back whenever John can't sleep and sneak him out on another "Program.""Well sure I'm gonna come back, buddy!  I'm gonna come back every night when ya really can't sleep.  Just like I done tonight.  Jeeks, that's what the Night Buddies is all about, John!"In Night Buddies, Impostors, and One Far-Out Flying Machine, this is exactly what happens. It's a much longer and more complicated tale, but it starts the very next time John is wide awake and Crosley shows up in his room.  Crosley actually dozes off under the bed this time and John has to look for him and wake him up.Same deal, same formula.  This part was already there for me.  When they get outside, though, I didn't know what to do with them, and wouldn't you know, neither does Crosley. He hasn't been able to reach his brother Crenwinkle, the Night Buddies dispatcher.  John and Crosley wander around trying to get in touch with Crenwinkle and finally find him getting off a bus.  By that time I had it figured out.  I would have Crosley look-alikes running all over town doing bad things and trying to ruin Crosley's reputation.  Crenwinkle is right with me and has come to warn them.  So the Program now is to get the business stopped before Crosley is run out of town for being an undesirable.  (Meaning no more Night Buddies!)Our two friends decide on a stakeout, and this means going to a fantastic Emporium and getting a magic flying machine.  The deal is, Rodney Oglesby's sauerkraut and jellybean hot dog cart keeps getting attacked by a fake Crosley, and our friends determine to fly over on top of it and watch.  Soon enough, an extraneous red crocodile sneaks up and snatches the cart and sails off down the sidewalk with it, causing general pandemonium.  John and Crosley chase from the air, but the impostor turns into the adjacent park and escapes.What's going on?  Why Rodney Oglesby's sauerkraut and jellybean hot dog cart so often? When John and Crosley finally figure this out, the contest begins.  It takes many twists and turns, and a night of fantastical flying around, and we meet lots of cool new characters who help along the way.  It's almost dawn when things get wrapped up-----If there's anyone interested in how I get this business down on paper, it's not rocket science. I set aside about three hours and try never to cheat on this.  I go hard for two-and-a-half hours and don't look back.  It's not good to look back.  It is good to stop at a place where it will be easy to pick things up tomorrow.  I like to spend thirty minutes afterwards going back and cleaning up.I don't like to go beyond three hours.  It drains me too much and would probably cause me to quit the craft.  If I need ideas, I go for a walk.  That's how Dickens did it, and I hear it's good for the body too.

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