The usual assortment of bits and pieces lie under the boy’s bed: ‘… a smelly shoe, / A piece of jigsaw, green and blue, / Some purple pants, an apple core.’ But in the night ‘… there are bugs and beasts, nibbling crumbs for their midnight feasts …’ and also a dozy dragon, an alligator, a lazy grizzly bear and something ‘… bigger than a stable door, / Horrible, hairy, with warts on his nose’. All the creatures which a child might imagine lying in wait to pounce are there, but these mean no harm, they are too busy gobbling and squabbling to bother about anything else. Most harmless of all is the horrible, hairy creature, petrified by what is in the bed. And who is the frightening thing in the bed? Why of course it is YOU, and when you sit up all the creatures run out the door.
Under the Bed is a rumbustious account of night time fears vanquished. I would, however, be a little wary of reading it with very nervous children as it might exacerbate their fears, but reasonably robust children should find it great fun, and enjoy booing the creatures as they run away. It would also make a useful talking point about things which are feared, but which actually pose no threat. The painterly artwork is bright and bold and the upside-down cover will provoke curiosity.