I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a case of the “what-ifs”, and while this pandemic has done nothing to ease those feelings, this book we read for our #bedtimeread actually has.
The Whatifs, written by Emily Kilgore and illustrated by Zoe Persico, tells the story of Cora, who because of her nervousness, was often visited by the “whatifs”, mini monster looking things, who added to her feelings that something bad is going to happen. They visited her all the time, no matter where she was or the time of day, causing her to doubt even the thing she practiced and was good at–playing the piano.
Thankfully, at her piano recital, Cora encounters Stella, who explains to Cora that there are also good whatifs, and helps Cora change her thinking.
There are a couple of things that I loved about this book and reading it to my kids. One, I love that it gives young readers a visual of what nervousness and/or anxiety might look and feel like. Sometimes when you’re young you aren’t able to name abstract things, but calling them “whatifs” and giving kids a visual can help them do that. Additionally, even I as an adult hadn’t really thought about the positive whatifs and I really liked that change of thinking. Even though this seems relatively straightforward, the story is told in a way that is engaging to readers, and there’s a great Author’s Note in the back that explains why she wrote this book.
So, regardless of whether your kids have nervous personalities or not, this is a great book to share with them. They can learn how to deal with their whatifs like Cora, or learn to help a friend like Stella.