What's Under the Bed

Book review by
Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media
What's Under the Bed Book Poster Image
Artwork may spook, but fears are faced in the end.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

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


What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bysrneubauer March 27, 2010

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 kid... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

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?

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).

Talk to your kids 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

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate