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Hanna's Shelf

One of my biggest passions is reading. I love to dive into the written word and become immersed into the world the writer has created.

Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster

— feeling amazing
Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster - Michelle Nelson-Schmidt

What if it's scary? What if it's hard? What if your bad? Jonathan James is afraid to try new things in this children's tale of a young boy and the little green what if monster that fills his head with anxious worry and doubt whenever he tries something new. The rhyming text flow as it covers different scenarios in Jonathan James' life. Now before you think this is just a gloomy tale, Jonathan James takes a stand and turns all the what ifs around showing us that not all what if's are bad. What if win? What if it's fun? What if I find my very best friend?  This book is perfect for children in grades kindergarten through third grade. I'm an adult and find myself easily relating to what Jonathan James is feeling throughout his journey. The lesson of the story is simple yet delivers a vibrant color filled book that captures kids attention.  For kindergarten a great activity to do would be to get the children to draw a smile face on one side of an index card and a frowning face on the other side of the same index card. After reading through the story once, explain how we are going to do a fun activity. Everyone including the teacher will hold up the smiling or frowning face as the teacher reads each what if in the book. As the students look around they will see that everyone is scared of one what if or another. I would use this activity as a community building activity on the first day of school to show all the kids that they are all on the same level. It's scary starting school for the first time but we can turn our scared feelings into a more positive what if. By giving those negative what ifs to the Whatif monster and leaving all the positive I can do it feelings inside themselves to face the day. 

Reading Level: Pre-K to 2nd Grade

Lexile Measure: in progress/requested