- ISBN-13: 9781416949435
- ISBN-10: 1416949437
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
- Publish Date: September 2008
- Page Count: 32
- Reading Level: Ages 4-7
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 57.
- Review Date: 2008-09-22
- Reviewer: Staff
Fenton channels the dark humor of Edgar and Ellen and other creepsters in his first picture book. Putting himself to bed, Fred cannot stop worrying about creatures that might be lurking beneath it. Employing a very simple AB rhyme scheme, the book is a litany of Fred's fears. “Is it tall? Or rather small?” Fred, his haplessness signaled by the oversize glasses he wears even to sleep, finally summons the courage to peer under the bed and, predictably, finds his teddy bear, Ted. The ending suggests that Fred will spend the night awake anyway. “What's that noise? What's that sound?/ Is there something on the ground?” Although the text feels obvious, the cartoon art—shaded b&w drawings, with one additional spot of color per spread—is highly effective as it mimics the odd, shadowy perspectives and strange angles a child sees when peering around a dark room. White googly-eyes pop from the pages, and the hairy hungry creatures Fred imagines are at once scary and, for the stouthearted, humorous. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)
Halloween reading for scaredy-cats
While reading about scary things under the bed might not make the fears go away, Joe Fenton's newest, What's Under the Bed?, will give little scaredy-cats something to laugh at. When bespectacled Fred climbs into his bed with Ted, his stuffed bear, it's time to begin his nightly wonderings. "What's that noise? What's that sound? Is there something on the ground?" The black-and-white illustrations, at times punctuated with the imagined monster's colors, are oversized to the point of hilarityespecially the very big head, complete with little hairs. When Fred discovers the object of his fears, he can finally go to sleep .Ê.Ê. or maybe not.