Bedtime for Buzzy

A giggleworthy ode to creativity perfect for youngsters who have trouble saying good night.

When a boy refuses to go to bed, his toys encourage him to rest in this debut picture book.

Buzzy isn’t quite ready for dreamland. He’s in the middle of building a Moon Base with his toy Moon Man, finding hidden treasure with his pirate crew (which features a roguish teddy bear, a robot, and two construction workers alongside the appropriately named Captain Pirate), stomping with Giant Dinosaur, and searching for a lost city with Courageous Explorer and his mule. So when Buzzy’s dad says it’s bedtime, the boy’s immediate response is “NO!” But that shout starts a series of conversations with exhausted toys. Moon Man wisely quips, “However will we get the Moon Base finished without rest?” Captain Pirate and his crew are looking forward to more adventures—tomorrow, because they’re just too tired to find more treasure tonight. Even Giant Dinosaur needs a good night’s sleep before she can fulfill Buzzy’s stomping plans. The child’s last hope is Courageous: surely one toy still wants to play. But the explorer explains that the best way to find the City of Gold is in Buzzy’s dreams (“That’s the only way. We hope you’ll help us”). In this entertaining work, Hackworth delivers a clever twist on the usual good-night tale, and youngsters with active imaginations may respond with greater appreciation to toys explaining the value of sleep than to parents trying to impart the same lesson. The illustrations by Baptist, a fellow newcomer to children’s books, offer plenty of humorous details to keep kids poring over every page while never once depicting Buzzy himself and showing only his dad’s feet. This gives children the opportunity to visualize the family on their own. The toys aren’t as diverse as they could be: only Giant Dinosaur is a girl, and the majority of the human toys are white. The inclusion of the City of Gold narrative and spear-wielding natives (also white-skinned) remains problematic but is only touched on in passing. More obvious is the way Courageous’ mule flees from the snakes its owner seems to have not even noticed.

A giggleworthy ode to creativity perfect for youngsters who have trouble saying good night.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9977391-0-7

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Downtown & Brown Ventures

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016


Although the love comes shining through, the text often confuses in straining for patterned simplicity.

A collection of parental wishes for a child.

It starts out simply enough: two children run pell-mell across an open field, one holding a high-flying kite with the line “I wish you more ups than downs.” But on subsequent pages, some of the analogous concepts are confusing or ambiguous. The line “I wish you more tippy-toes than deep” accompanies a picture of a boy happily swimming in a pool. His feet are visible, but it's not clear whether he's floating in the deep end or standing in the shallow. Then there's a picture of a boy on a beach, his pockets bulging with driftwood and colorful shells, looking frustrated that his pockets won't hold the rest of his beachcombing treasures, which lie tantalizingly before him on the sand. The line reads: “I wish you more treasures than pockets.” Most children will feel the better wish would be that he had just the right amount of pockets for his treasures. Some of the wordplay, such as “more can than knot” and “more pause than fast-forward,” will tickle older readers with their accompanying, comical illustrations. The beautifully simple pictures are a sweet, kid- and parent-appealing blend of comic-strip style and fine art; the cast of children depicted is commendably multiethnic.

Although the love comes shining through, the text often confuses in straining for patterned simplicity. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4521-2699-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015


The Buehners retell the old familiar tale with a jump-roping, rhyme-spouting Goldilocks. When their porridge proves to be too hot to eat, the bear family goes for a stroll. Meanwhile, Goldilocks comes knocking to find a jump-roping friend. This Goldilocks does not simply test out the chairs: “Big chair, middle chair, little chair, too, / Somebody’s here to bounce on you!” And so continues the old favorite, interspersed with Goldilocks’s jump-rope verse. When she escapes through the bedroom window, none of the characters are sure what sort of creature they have just encountered. The Buehner’s homey illustrations perfectly capture the facial expressions of the characters, and lend a particular kind of mischief to Goldilocks. Readers may miss the message on the copyright page, but hidden within each picture are three creatures, instantly adding challenge and appeal. Cute, but there’s not quite enough new here to make it a must. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8037-2939-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2007