A young boy hiding underneath his bed imagines all sorts of dragons, ghosts, and witches having fun around his house while he waits patiently under his bed for the truly terrible beast he hears coming down the hall. The story's surprise ending has that screeching beast in the hall turn out to be only the boy's sister who is angry that he put a spider in her shoe. Joining the boy under his bed are all the scary monsters and dragons who want to take refuge from the sister's wrath, too. Told in verse with lots of onomatopoetic words, each page ends with the refrain, "I'm not going out there." The large and colorful illustrations add to the fun, making this a book that laughs at imaginary monsters rather than cowering from them. The boy's impish grin as he peers out from under his bed also lets the reader know this is all in fun. Preschoolers dealing with sleep-time worries or sibling rivalry will probably enjoy this book.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-In this rhyming tale with a twist, a boy is hiding under his bed and refuses to come out. Each page introduces new and frightening creatures (witches, a ghost, monsters) and concludes with the refrain that this particular creature is not the reason that "I'm not going out there!" The verse seems forced at times. "There's a dragon breathing smoke,/Who looks far too fierce to stroke,/And his eyes have got a scary sort of stare./I hope he doesn't stay,/But he's not what makes me say-." Even the various creatures are frightened and join the narrator under the bed when confronted by a far scarier being-his sister, Kate, who is furious that he put a spider in her shoe. The bold and colorful illustrations are sure to entertain children, who will enjoy joining in on the refrain. Pair this with Lauren Child's I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato (Candlewick, 2000) and John Wallace's Monster Toddler (Hyperion, 2003) for a sibling theme.-Maren Ostergard, Bellevue Regional Library, WA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Bouncy rhymes, bright colors and an entertaining punch line make this likely to amuse young listeners-at least the first time through. Repeated readings, however, may leave listeners wondering why the freckle-faced narrator shares his house with a fire-breathing dragon, a headless ghost, a pair of green-skinned witches and a group of monsters with a fondness for ballet. Perhaps, like the mention of underwear (a guaranteed laugh-getter) and the obligatory cute kittens, they're all included for their undeniable kid appeal. Unfortunately, repetition may also reveal the sometimes awkward rhythm and occasionally strained rhymes of the brief text. Off-kilter perspectives and bold colors add interest to the illustrations (a dozen two-page spreads) as does the combination of vaguely retro furnishings and contemporary accessories. The penultimate illustration reveals the source of the narrator's fear: his sister Kate, irate because she's figured out who put a spider in her shoe. Siblings may smile, but even those who fight similar battles regularly will agree that this is slight entertainment at best. (Picture book. 3-6)