Tuesday, August 26, 2008
What's Under the Bed?
Fenton, Joe. 2008. What's Under the Bed?
Incredible illustrations, simple text, What's Under the Bed is a book that almost works well. Almost. I loved the illustrations. They're striking. Using limited amount of colors--black, gray, white--with the barest splashes of red, green, and blue, it is also incredibly detailed. The book tells the story of a boy who is afraid that something or rather someone might be under his bed. The boy has a vivid imagination when it comes to imagining just who that someone might be--and what that someone might be like.
As I mentioned, the text is simple.
"Time for bed, Fred!"
"But I want to play with Ted."
"No, no, it's time to lay down your head."
And simple can be a good thing. The text also rhymes. Rhymes can be either very very good (think Adam Rex) or very very bad. In this case, the rhyming isn't a true detriment. However, the rhymes do feel a bit forced, a bit unnatural. Not all the time, just some of the time. I think writers sometimes forget that people don't really talk in rhymes all that often. And when you make all your dialogue rhyme, it loses authenticity, naturalness, the human touch.
I liked this book. Didn't love it. But there's nothing wrong with a "like."
© Becky Laney of Young Readers