What's Under the Bed

Common Sense Media says

Artwork may spook, but fears are faced in the end.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness

Some monster images (sharp teeth, googly eyes, weird appendages) are on the scary side.

Language
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that some kids might be a little put off by the spooky pictures, but if they know there's a happy ending and see that the young boy faces his fears, they might enjoy the creepy atmosphere.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

Fred faces the daunting task of kids everywhere: how to fall asleep when there just might be something lurking under the bed. Then of course he lets his imagination run away with him. Will he dare to look?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This highly stylized book (the first-time author/illustrator has worked as a concept artist for Disney) is a welcome addition to the "something scares me" picture book genre. The simple, rhyming text says little but the dramatic illustrations effectively convey the young boy's increasing fear. Fortunately, worried preschoolers can rest assured that no monsters are lurking. And Fred faces his fears with happy results.

The mostly black-and-white illustrations have the feel and style of a graphic novel; the results will have artistically minded adults swooning. Splashes of color introduce the scary monsters of Fred's imagination and sharp teeth, googly eyes, and weird appendages abound. Sensitive kids might find the creatures just a little overwhelming. If that's the case, skip to the happy ending first and flash the second-to-last picture (because the very last one brings back the suspense).

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about nighttime fears and coping mechanisms. How can kids handle being worried about something under the bed or in the closet? What kind of game plan do parents recommend?

Book details

Author:Joe Fenton
Illustrator:Joe Fenton
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:September 2, 2008
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

This review of What's Under the Bed was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bysrneubauer March 27, 2010
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

2nd graders liked it...and so did I! :)

I am a student working on my Elementary Education degree. I recently taught a lesson to 2nd graders and I read this book as part of my anticipatory set. The kids thought the book was a little dark, but you could see the excitement on their faces as I turned each page. The illustrations are excellent. The way the book was set up kept the children in suspense from page to page. They giggled a few times throughout and really seemed to like it. I also enjoyed it and the fact that it is an easy read.

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