September 22, 2017

Welcome to Under-the-Bed Fred!

Welcome to Under-the-Bed Fred — a new chapter book for early grades!

From the moment I started to write this book, I felt I knew Fred well. Why? Because the story is so rooted in my own childhood fears of that "thing" that lurks under the bed, inside the closet or behind the furnace in the basement. For me, the "thing" was a shape-shifter, but it usually manifested as a wild animal — lion, tiger, wolf. If pressed to explain how such a creature could have ended up under my bed, I would have had a ready answer. The Winnipeg Zoo. Obviously! I had been there. I had seen the animals. Clearly, this one must have escaped.

Well, that was then. And now, after all these years . . . here's Fred, turning up in a book. He's the "thing" that hides under Leo's bed. And Leo, like me, is obliged to leap from his bedroom door into bed to avoid getting his ankles grabbed. Once there, he doesn't dare dangle an arm over the side. Nor can he get up to pee at night.

But unlike my young self, Leo tackles his problem head-on. "Hey, you!" he eventually says. And so the conversation starts . . . and with it, one of those odd-couple relationships that are such fun to write. Leo has things to teach Fred. Fred has things to teach Leo.

It's about friendship. The first in a series.

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