by Eric Ginsburg


Crosley the crocodile is highly unusual. He’s allergic to water — contact with it caused him to break out in the “Black- Bottom Dance” for hours. His brother Crenwinkle offered him medicine, but it turned his skin red. Bizarre as it sounds already, the zaniest thing about Crosley is that he was born in Greensboro, in the head of a 6-year old. Sands Hetherington, the author of two acclaimed Night Buddies children’s books, adapted the bedtime invention of his son John into a series.

Sands suggested his son John make up a buddy when Sands grew too tired to keep reading bedtime stories, and one night he did — Crosley the red crocodile. John grew up, but the legacy lives on in Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare and Impostors and One Far-Out Flying Machine.

The formula: Whenever kids can’t fall asleep, a crocodile from Night Buddies Amalgamated will take them out on an adventure before returning them safely to slumber. In main character John’s case, it’s the red croc Crosley. Hetherington, who has lived in Greensboro for most of his life, is a UNCG MFA grad with several published short stories to his name. His series, illustrated by Jessica Love, won three awards this year: First place at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and the Moonbeam Award. Kids everywhere can expect more adventures with the friendly crocodile soon!

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