A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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.
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What's the story?
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).