For parents, it is no secret that a basic fear of kids is something lurking under the bed. This basic fear idea has been used by numerous authors of children’s books as well as quite a few authors of adult novels. While the author of an adult novel aims to scare readers, the author of a book for children, especially a picture book, seeks to reassure the child. Few do it as well as author and illustrator Joe Fenton does in his book.

Told through rhyming text the book begins with the opening line “Time for bed, Fred!” Fred would rather stay up with Ted, his stuffed bear, but it is time for bed. Once in bed with Ted, Fred soon hears a noise. Ted falls over to the side and then eventually off the bed While Fred looks over the other edge of the bed.

Fred wonders if there could be something under the bed and his imagination runs colorfully wild. “Could it be green? Or maybe it’s red? Does it have a very big head?” He imagines several different possibilities and combinations of the possible creature before discovering it is only Ted who had fallen off the bed earlier.

But then, “Is there something on the ground?”

That thought ends the book. A thought that could be interpreted as funny or as scary depending on the child involved. Like any children’s book, one needs to know the child involved before making a recommendation. The illustrations in this book are the main selling point of the book. They could be interpreted by a sensitive child as a bit scary and some adults may not care for them either.

However, this book with its wonderful illustrations and easy rhyming text should appeal to most children and the adults in their lives. Colorful and well done in all aspects that targets readers ages 4 to 8, it would be a welcome addition to the reading arsenal while providing a light hearted look at a basic childhood fear.

What’s Under The Bed?

Written/Illustrated by Joe Fenton

Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

September 2008

ISBN# 1416949437

32 Pages

As a member of the Amazon Vine Program, this book was sent to me in exchange for my objective review. 

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

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