Busy Night is a funny and quirky story for children aged four and up. It is colourfully written and illustrated by Ross Collins, a recognised talent in children's books with many titles to his name. In Busy Night, Ben--a young boy with a loose tooth--reluctantly goes to bed to find that his night's sleep is interrupted not only by the Tooth Fairy but also by other nocturnal visitors including the Sandman (a sensitive dream-weaver), two wailing but timid ghosts, the raspberry-blowing Thing from Under the Bed and a bewildered out-of-season Father Christmas who has been tricked into coming down the chimney by his naughty elves!
Children will love the unexpected element to this story and Collins also effectively turns each stereotype on its head. The Tooth Fairy, far from being all sweetness and light, turns up late, with a tattoo on each arm, pliers and a tooth shaped wand. She has plenty of attitude, calling the Sandman "Sandypants" and telling the ghosts to "Bog off". Other characters are equally memorable, including the mild-mannered Sandman who promises "Lovely dreams ... of peaches and cream" and politely suggests that everyone form a queue or draw straws to see Ben. The illustrations complement the writing with flawless attention to detail and excellent use of space, colour and humour throughout. Ben ultimately sends the night-time visitors packing, conveying a very important message to youngsters--that anyone has the power to banish those night-time fears. --Tracey Hogan