Bedtime for Buzzy
by T.J.Hackworth
Downtown & Brown Ventures

"˜'Didn't you know,' said Courageous Explorer. 'We must find it in your dreams.'"

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.

By focusing on the toys and the adventures they are having, the story places emphasis on the excitement of the imagination of a child. However, it also means limited development of the title character, Buzzy. While clearly intentional, it is a little disorienting, making it unclear who Buzzy is as he is not introduced nor does he seem to appear in any of the illustrations. That being said, omitting characterization does place perspective and intent on the task of getting to bed and falling asleep, which is the point. 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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