There's a nightmare and it's real: a bat-eared, buck-toothed monster who might be an escapee from Dr. Seuss. Creeping out of the closet toward the little boy's bed, he's three parts seatey, one part worried; backing away from the little boy's popgun, he becomes a big crybaby; lucked into bed with the little boy, he looks ludicrous. ""I suppose there's another nightmare in my closet, but my bed's not big enough for three,"" says little boy, dropping off. . . while another bewhiskered creature peers around the closet door. For a book that's meant to calm a child, it's a rather peculiar message, and as a book this is just another instance of the current affection for Wild Things (with a look uncomfortably like the original). The trembling monster is funny enough in himself but his role is that of the ubiquitous reluctant dragon. A dubious equation, a small gasp of a story.