Reviews

BlueInk Review:

blueink-star STARRED REVIEW

The picture book world is awash with stories of children who don’t want to put down their toys and go to bed. But for youngsters who don’t want playtime to end, who better to convince them to hit the hay than the toys themselves? In T.J. Hackworth’s delightful debut picture book “Bedtime for Buzzy,” a child is gently persuaded by each of his toys that they all need to rest.

Buzzy’s toys haven’t finished their adventures. His astronaut hasn’t finished building his moon base; his pirate hasn’t found the treasure; his dinosaur hasn’t yet “stomped through the Great Divide,” and his courageous explorer is still searching for the “City of Gold.”

At the announcement of bedtime, Buzzy answers with a loud “NO!” Then, one by one, Buzzy’s toys relate how excited they are to continue their adventures with him—but first, they need some shut-eye.

Just when Buzzy is beginning to nod off, he feels something poking him in his side. It’s “Courageous Explorer” riding his donkey and prodding Buzzy with his stick. The explorer is delighted to see Buzzy, noting that together they can find the City of Gold. “Oh, Good!” Buzzy says. “I was afraid I’d have to go to sleep, but now I can help you find the City of Gold instead!” Then the explorer makes the final case for bedtime: “We must find it in your dreams! That’s the only way. We hope you’ll help us!” And with that, Buzzy eagerly leaps into bed.

The dialogue between Buzzy and his toys artfully captures a child’s active imagination and excitement over fantasized adventures. And Sean Baptist’s illustrations do more than inform the text—they bring it alive with expressive, colorful cartoon characters. Together, the text and pictures imbue the characters with a warm, winning joie de vivre that’s impossible to resist.

In sum, Bedtime for Buzzy is sure to be a hit for young readers—as well as their grateful parents.

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Foreword Reviews:

blueink-starblueink-starblueink-starblueink-starblueink-star FIVE-STAR REVIEW

This is an appealing and amusing story of Buzzy’s attempts to delay bedtime, animated by a surprising cast of characters.

A little boy with a big imagination is reluctant to put down his toys in favor of heading off to sleep in T. J. Hackworth’s lighthearted adventure Bedtime for Buzzy. Colorful, comically expressive illustrations from Sean Baptist follow Buzzy as he consults toy after toy, eventually coming to a delightfully surprising conclusion about the benefits of drifting off to dreamland.

Having entirely too much fun to stop playing when bedtime rolls around, Buzzy attempts to cajole four of his favorite playthings into staying up late, conversing with each as he finds them mid-venture, from intrepid Moon Man on his Moon Base to Giant Dinosaur, roaring in her prehistoric jungle.

Buzzy’s story unfolds using a unique combination of a third-person narration with a first-person visual perspective, allowing the toys to take center stage in their own fanciful scenarios. Notably, Captain Pirate’s search for treasure in the tropics boasts a ship, deserted island, and a crew that, humorously, appears to be made up of two construction workers, a teddy bear, and one silver robot. Buzzy himself is heard but never seen, allowing audiences to relate more personally as they draw their own conclusions regarding his age and appearance.

While some figures are easily recognizable as staples in every child’s toy box, such as the teddy and plastic dinosaur, others, like Captain Courageous, a mustachioed gentleman in khaki astride a startled-looking mule and wielding a riding crop, are a bit more rare. No fairy princesses or ballerinas in pink are anywhere to be found, but Giant Dinosaur represents the female population in a strong role, and the imagery and creative play is on target for girls as well as boys.

As toys switch back and forth from walking, talking, and traversing drawbridges over crocodile-infested waters to being frozen in place atop Buzzy’s bed or gathered on a nearby rug, the animation is more Calvin and Hobbes than Toy Story. Interactions and conversations are brought to life through Buzzy’s presence and imagination, but each character has a distinct voice and message to share as Buzzy’s energy slowly winds down at the end of the day.

The language is straightforward and fun, as in, “‘Well I’ll be!’ exclaimed Courageous Explorer, quite courageously,” and the smaller size makes the book ideal for cuddling under the covers with or sharing as a late-night read aloud.

Parents and children alike will appreciate Buzzy’s appealing and amusing attempts to delay bedtime, and his eventual capitulation, in T. J. Hackworth’s Bedtime for Buzzy.

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The Children’s Book Review:

Buzzy doesn’t want to go to bed. He’s having too much fun playing with all of his toys. His dad calls out, “Buzzy, it’s time for bed!” – and that’s when the adventure begins. Buzzy’s toys will understand his need for adventure…won’t they?

Buzzy goes to Moon Man, the astronaut, who is ready to explore outer space, just like Buzzy. But Moon Man feels a wave of sleepiness come over him, and he crawls onto his space hammock for a good sleep. Buzzy goes to his next toy friend, Captain Pirate. Surely this ravenous ravager of the seven seas will agree with Buzzy, that bedtime is no fun and it’s really time to play? No such luck! Captain Pirate and his Pirate Crew all lay down in the warm sand for a nice snooze.

Eventually Buzzy realizes that he’s actually a little tired too, and if he sleeps, he’ll have more energy for all of his adventures tomorrow. This time, when Daddy asks if he’s ready for bed, Buzzy is ready. After all, only in his dreams can the real adventures begin!

Bedtime for Buzzy is a sweet story about a wee one who does not want to go to bed. As this is a topic that every parent is familiar with, Buzzy is a fun way to show kids that it’s okay to go to sleep. Even your toys need rest! The illustrations are sweet and the words are simple and easy on the ears before bed. Although the reader never actually sees Buzzy, the star of the story, the tale is told from his perspective and through his eyes. Readers will see what he sees, experiencing his toys and his adventures from his singular point of view. What a fun and inclusive idea! Now all kids can imagine themselves as Buzzy. And with children’s books it’s always nice when little ones can identify with the main character wholly and completely.

Recommended for children two and up who do not want to go to bed.

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Kirkus Reviews:

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 Pirate Captain), 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?” Pirate Captain 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.

A giggle-worthy ode to creativity, perfect for youngsters who have trouble saying good night.

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Readers’ Favorite:

blueink-starblueink-starblueink-starblueink-starblueink-star FIVE-STAR REVIEW

Bedtime for Buzzy is an adventure for children by T.J. Hackworth. Buzzy has had an exciting day playing with his toys. It’s now nighttime and his father says it is time for bed. Buzzy isn’t ready since there are a lot of activities to complete. He and Moon Man are busy building a moon base, Giant Dinosaur has not finished stomping through the Great Divide, and Captain Pirate needs to find the treasure. But he encounters resistance from Moon Man, who wants to rest and urges Buzzy to do the same. Buzzy plans to search further for the treasure, but Captain Pirate and the crew are tired and refuse to dig any further. They take a well-deserved sleep instead. Buzzy decides to join Giant Dinosaur, although he is beginning to feel a little sleepy himself. Will Giant Dinosaur want to rest like the others or play with him some more?

Bedtime for Buzzy is an adorable storybook for small children to read. They will probably agree with Buzzy because they also want to stay up late when it is time to go to bed. Buzzy’s reaction to his father’s bedtime command is natural too. It is a nicely written novella by T.J. Hackworth, containing about thirty pages. The novella’s cover and other illustrations are very nicely sketched by Sean Baptist and are vibrant in colour. Each one shows the adventure Buzzy takes with his cool assortment of toys, which children often do with active imaginations. Children will like Bedtime for Buzzy.

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Reader Vacation:

Buzzy feels like most kids do, there is just not enough time for adventures. After a full day of fun Daddy comes in and tells Buzzy it is time for bed. Buzzy simply refuses to go to sleep and consults his toys about Daddy’s request. Most of his toys agree that if they want to continue their adventures all of them need sleep. Buzzy is almost convinced to go to bed. It is not until Courageous Explorer tells Buzzy a secret that only sleep can bring.

Bedtime for Buzzy is a cute children’s book that should make bedtime reading fun and convince children that getting rest is not the only benefit of going to sleep. The story moves along at a good pace to keep children interested and has a clever resolution. The illustrations are simple yet engaging. Parents will enjoy reading this bedtime story as much as kids. 

4 of 5 stars

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The U.S. Review of Books:
One of the quintessential dilemmas for any parent of a small child is how to get him or her to bed. Bedtime for Buzzy entertainingly and originally addresses this issue in a delightful storybook based around the title character Buzzy. The story and illustrations focus on Buzzy’s toys—a Moon Man, Pirate, Dinosaur, and Explorer—as a metaphor for all of the exciting things a child has to play with while awake and all of the reasons he or she doesn’t want to go to sleep. While Buzzy sees his toys and their respective adventures as a reason to stay awake, each toy teaches Buzzy the value in rest as a necessary means to ultimately achieving the goal of their adventure. This helps to serve as enticement for bedtime so that perhaps the reader, or small child being read to, will also understand the value in sleep.

The last toy to engage Buzzy is the Explorer who offers one more reason to go to bed. He tells Buzzy that a hidden city can only be found in his dreams, illustrating the importance of not only sleep, but imagination and dreaming.

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Nevermind the Furthermore:

I’m thrilled to add Bedtime for Buzzy to our library of bedtime books. This adorable book is well-written and beautifully illustrated.

Buzzy doesn’t want to go to sleep, but his toys feel differently. One by one they convince Buzzy that a good night’s rest is the only way to continue their fun tomorrow.

I love the lesson in this story. We parents can tell our kids a million times why they need to go to bed, but we usually just come across as fun-smashers. Bedtime for Buzzy talks to children from a perspective they can relate to. I highly recommend it for those parents whose little ones fuss and fight every time they say, “Go to bed.”

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