No Such Thing
Jackie French Kohler
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press, Reprint Edition, 2012
Format: Picture Book
Interest Level: K-2
In No Such Thing, Howard informs his mother that a monster lurks under his bed. In a humorous twist, a monster living under the bed informs his mother that a boy sits on top of the bed. The mother of the boy recites the antidote for monster fears chanted by generations of mothers: it’s your imagination, you’ve been watching too many scary movies, and monsters are only make believe. The monster mother offers a similar chant to her son.
Boy and monster remain unconvinced. When the mothers leave, boy and monster hear each other crying. The boy peers down; the monster peers up. After their initial fear and a discussion of myths about boys eating monsters and monsters eating boys, the monster climbs on top of the bed; the boy crawls under the bed.
They both call for their mothers. The story ends here, but children know the ending: Two screaming mothers and shouts of I told you so from boy and monster who in the end are very much alike and not scary at all.
Social Emotional Learning
Since the monster under the bed is as afraid of humans as the boy on top of the bed is afraid of monsters. children can begin to consider that sometimes what they are afraid of isn’t so scary after all.