Under the Bed Fred by L. Bailey
Bailey, Linda. Under the Bed Fred. Tundra Books, 2017.
In this offering of the “monsters are not scary” genre, award winning author Linda Bailey has written a chapter book for newly independent readers. There are five chapters telling the story of Leo, who is afraid of the monster, Fred, who lives under his bed. Eventually Leo befriends Fred and discovers he is not scary. He takes Fred to school, where Fred defends him against the class bully, who is portrayed as a red-headed child with a green shirt. Most readers will relate to dealing with a bully at school.
The book is well paced for a new reader’s daily reading time. The text is simple and nearly every page has an illustration. One can imagine a child in Grade 2 or 3 being able to read a chapter each day and feel success at having completed a 63 page book by the end of a week.
The illustrations are comic style. The monster looks a lot like a brown bear. There are lots of action images, extreme expressions, and speech balloons. The text appears as a very large typeface to emphasize something scary or loud. Sometimes the text is printed at an angle and sometimes words like “KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!”, “GRRRRRROWWLL!” and “CRASH! OOF! POP!” are printed over images for effect.
Overall, this is a good book and it is therefore recommended for public and school libraries.
Recommendation: 3 stars out of 4
Reviewer: Sean C. Borle
Sean Borle is a University of Alberta undergraduate student who is an advocate for child health and safety.
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