img_0358.jpgI see a lot of kiddos with worries. Sometimes the worries are developmentally appropriate and other times they are a first sign of anxiety. Either way, kids need to know HOW to handle these strong negative feelings. Parents and teachers can help coach kids to recognize and start to cope.

This book is authored by Michelle Nelson-Schmidt and published by Kane Miller books. Jonathan James and the What if Monster book coverThe story is about a boy who experiences those nagging thoughts of worry that often lead to anxiety. It is common to let your mind think about all the possibilities of “what if”…but this is where the book takes it a step further and turns the negative thoughts into positive ones…and Jonathan slowly begins to think of the “what ifs” that are empowering and fun too.

This story is a simple story with beautiful illustrations to remind our youngsters that these thoughts and feelings are common but can be overcome by thinking of what else will happen if you actually take the first step. It is a nice way to begin the conversation so that you can coach your child in thinking about the unexpected benefits of taking action.

These are the beginning principles of problem solving and coping skills to get kids to reflect upon the actions they can begin to take to tackle their own worry monsters.It reminds kids that they can take chances…and learn that they loves something new.  Plus this worry monster is cute and green!  Who doesn’t like a cute and cuddly green worry monster? They can learn to conquer fears together!

Jonathan James


You can even watch the author read the book at this link.

I love this book and my kids do too. We refer to this book often and reminders to take a chance and try something new.

Suggested Ages: 4 to 8 years

Click on the link here to purchase the book!



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Written by

Nerissa Bauer

I am a behavioral pediatrician, consultant, child advocate and blogger. I am a wife, mommy to 2 amazing children and 2 golden retrievers. Love cooking, travel, reading, tap and creating.