AROUND FRED'S BED by Manus Pinkwater


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What Fred sees around his bed, first in a bad dream but still when he wakes up, are monsters--as pictured, a blubbery mommy, daddy, and baby monster, ugly to be sure but just too goofy-looking to be the stuff of nightmares. (Even their teeth and claw nails are rounded off.) Find himself is not seen at all: he covers his face with a blanket or pillows when he's hiding and with his hands when he unsuccessfully orders the monsters from the room, and he shows his back when he walks out (""If you don't go, I will"") and when he tells his parents about the visitation. The reason for this inept coquetry is apparent after Daddy says, ""There are no monsters here. Get into bed with us."" Fred does, and then you do see him, and get the joke--that he and his fat but vaguely saurian parents are monsters too. Indeed they might well strike you as more revolting than the ones that frightened Fred, but the fact that they look like a different sort of monster altogether tends to undercut the point. In any case, the truncated story and crude cartoons don't rate any space in your nightmare closet.

Pub Date: Dec. 7th, 1976
Publisher: Prentice-Hall