It's kind of fun to review kid books because it lets me get Olivia and Jackson's input. Olivia is 9 and an avid reader. She hasn't found a genre that she absolutely loves, she's pretty adventurous in what she'll read. Jackson is 7 and is just at the reading level where he can read easy chapter books on his own. Some words are tricky for him to read but he likes to read as well.... once I make him sit down to do it. He's not the "pick up a book for fun" kid, but if I get him started on a story he'd like, then he will. So anytime a review for a kid book comes up, I jump on it. We have "family reading time" in the evening and I usually read from a chapter book to them and then they work on their silent reading for school.
Night Buddies Go Sky High - Sands Hetherington
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, taking them all the way into the stratosphere in their newly modified racing blimp.
You know I'm a fan of a book that gets right into the story, this is no exception. Literally from page one we're in an action scene. Unfortunately, this is book three in a series and we hadn't read books one or two so we literally had zero idea who any of these characters were or what was going on. Or the significance of pineapple cheesecake. I also skipped over the list of uncommon words in the beginning, but that turned out to be dumb because I had to keep referring to the list- the kids had no idea what the story was talking about. The story itself is cute and I understood the synopsis of it. The kids? Not so much. The way the story is written is really difficult for kids to read and understand, let alone me. I had to re-read passages over again because it was a bit nonsensical. An example of text so you have a reference to what I'm talking about:
Croc looked down through his window: "Don't say 'ain't', an' I do think you're right, buddy. Slow down an' let's see what they're up to."
I pulled back on THRUST and dropped down.
"Yukk!" I said. "They're pickin' up a dead possum an' stuffin' 'im in a saddlebag!"
"Yigg!" said Crosley. "Just the thing for them varmints."
He yanked the cord hanging over his head.
The iguanas jumped when the train whistle went off, and one of their dirt bikes fell over.
"Yerk! Yerk! Yerk!"
They looked up and shook their fists at us and shot their tongues in and out.
Cros was grinning like a maniac: "Think I should drop a Fro-Made on'em?"
"Nah," I said. "Just leave 'em alone. They can't do nothin' to us."
I mean, grammar aside, the word usage is really hard to read. It's really hard to read this book out loud to a couple of kids, let alone have them understand it. Jackson gave up half way through the book and said it was boring. Olivia stuck with me to the end and said she didn't like it. She said it was hard to understand and it made it not very interesting. The book is only 144 pages, and while that would normally only take us maybe three nights of reading together, this took us two weeks because they just weren't interested. That and it was hard for me to get into it when I had to stop and explain what the words meant and what the characters were saying.
If you have a child who likes to read adventure stories and nonsensical words aren't hard for them, this is a nice little chapter book. It's not too long, the content is totally kid appropriate, and they would likely enjoy it. It has lots of... creative inventions, lots of food references (which was one thing Jackson did like), and it really is fast paced for readers who maybe would get bored otherwise. Right now it's on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and isn't very expensive at all.