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Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster
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Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  309 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Whenever Jonathan James finds himself in a new situation, he hears his Whatif Monster asking all kind of questions to stop him trying something new: What if it’s scary? What if they laugh? What if it’s hard? Finally, Jonathan James has some questions of his own: What if they don’t? What if it isn’t? What then?
Paperback, First American, 32 pages
Published July 1st 2012 by Kane Miller EDC Publishing
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Average rating 4.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  309 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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A Allen
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a cute story for kids about the "what if" questions that Jonathan James asks himself when worried about trying different activities. Then, the positive outcomes possible if he challenges that negative self-talk and tries something difficult! ...more
Rosa Hitchcock
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
EVERY small child should have this read to them! And again when they start middle and high school... And pack it up with them when they go off to college. Can't wait for more Monsters! ...more
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Could be useful for discussing anxiety with children.
Taylor Meyer
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Summary: Jonathan James finds himself in new situations and hears his What if monster asking all kinds of questions to stop him from trying something new. What if it’s scary, what if they laugh, what if I fall, What if its yucky? Finally, Jonathan James gets the courage and asks the equations of his own such as What if its fun? What if I like it?

Characteristics that support the genre: This story is written in repetitive fashion. Each page starts with the What if question accompanied by a picture
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mackers
My 4 year old's favourite book at the moment... Jonathan James has a "whatif" monster who whispers worries and doubt. "What if you tumble? What if you lose? What if she laughs?" etc.

But Jonathan James has some questions for the whatif monster, "What if I climb to the top of that tree, and I never slip or skin up a knee ? What if I run in a really big race, and have a great time no matter what place? What if the chance I take in the end is just how I find my very best friend?"

An adorable poem wit
Ashley  Jacobson
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kai-read
I love the message of this book!! We all have those "what if" monsters in our head telling us all the terrible things that COULD go wrong. But what if it all goes right? What is we are successful? What if everyone likes us? What if we are good at it? What if.... The only regrets we should have in life are the chances we didn't take. This adorable little green guy reminds us that it's ok to try and that so many things can go right! ...more
Emily Byrd
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is about the Whatif Monster trying to convince Jonathan James not to do lots of fun things throughout the day because he might fail, or be embarrassed, the monster lists lots of "what it" things that might happen. Eventually Jonathan James turns it around saying "what if" he loves doing all of these thing, and has so much fun.
I really liked this book because it encourages you to be brave even if sometimes you are scared about what might happen. It also turns the negative "what if" int
Amanda Malek-Ahmadi
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jonathan James and the What If Monster was our first introduction to Michelle Nelson-Schmidt. We now own the majority of her books and aspire to own all of them. This story is so great to share with children who may be experiencing all these what ifs and not know how to express them. Her illustrations are so vibrant and fun. They seem to jump off the page. At the same time that we discovered this book we found Miss Michelle’s weekly Wednesday StoryTime Live via Facebook. Miss Michelle is a true ...more
Courtney L Harper
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-the-kiddos
Perfect for anxious kiddos who are prone to worry!! The whatif monster points out all the things that could go wrong for Jonathan James in various situations, but then he flips the script and comes back at the Whatif monster by pointing out all the things that could go RIGHT in each situation. There's a plush toy you can get as well that I encourage my daughter to talk to when she's worried. She loves him! ...more
Christine Houghton
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever been scared to try something? Even if you wanted it a lot!? What stops you from giving it a go? Most of us are afraid of the "What if."
Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster addresses this issue in an easy to understand book for children and adults alike. Teach children to overcome the "what if monster" and go for their dreams!
Christina Bueno
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I find that this book speaks to my experience with anxiety in words that children can easily relate to and understand. Each one of us has whatifs in our minds throughout the day. This book brings awareness around those thoughts and worries. As my baby grows older, I feel this will be a great tool in giving him words to express and share his fears with us and others.
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
This is a book that adults need to read as well. How often do we not do something because we're scared of failing or looking silly, or dumb? Probably more often than we'd like to admit. This is such a good reminder to think about the positive what ifs! Can't recommend this book highly enough. ...more
Chris George
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
If worry or anxiety is something you or someone in your life deals with, this book is amazing for (re-) gaining perspective.

Beautiful illustrations accompany the prose that is not too serious but packs a punch. We also have the adorable little "What if Monster" plush.
Stacey Williams
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I love this book so much! One of my favorite children's books that helps to overcome fears and anxieties. ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sweet & practical book for talking with kids about fears or anxious thoughts.
ash | novelly rooted
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Every child should read this book at some point in their life.
Jacob Dreiling
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m buying a copy of this book for every damn kid I know. As a counselor and play therapist, this is going in my bibliotherapy rotation.
Pamela Kinslow
I loved this book alot
Jane Ridgewood
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such an adorable story with a positive message for younger readers!
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
We liked this story. The only reason it scores 4 out of 5 for me is that it’s story seems somewhat simple to me. However, I think the lesson is a super important one that kids should learn!
Brooke Box
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book encourages you to think about what you can accomplish if you don’t let the what ifs get in your way.
Amanda Wrazien
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the sort of book I needed as a child! It has helped my daughter immensely with her severe anxiety. I can’t say enough about how much we love this book.
Carrie hales
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Its a family favorite.
Bob Platypire
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We have the plush that goes along with this, and it is super cute.

This book itself is amazing. Besides the fact that the pictures are great for little ones, the story and message are great, too! It helps kids to understand that everyone has worries, but that we can deal with them without letting them overwhelm us. It's fantastic.

Bob says: 5 Platypires and Pugglepire approved!
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Nelson-Schmidt, Michelle Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster. PICTURE BOOK. Kane Miller, 2013. $12.99. Content: G.

This is a cute story about a little boy named Jonathan James who unfortunately has a pessimistic “Whatif Monster” constantly around him. The Whatif Monster is worried about Jonathan falling out of a tree, failing at his attempt to dive off the diving board, painting an ugly picture, etc. “Now wait just a minute! I hear all your worries; I hear all your claims. But what if you’re w
Mar 29, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a terrible book. A perfectly normal boy gets saddled with this anxiety-ridden little monster who plagues him with pessimism and self doubt as he goes about his day. By the middle of the book I wanted to crawl into bed for a week. Then the little boy has an epiphany which leads him to question whether bad stuff will actually happen to him if he goes about his life as usual. The example I liked the least reads "and what if I jump into that pool, and everyone thinks I look really cool?" as ...more
Patricia McCowan
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ed438-picture
The book is about Johnathan James and how he has this little monster running around with him asking him "what if?" all these bad things happen. Johnathan stands up to the monster and says "what if?" that chance he takes turns into something really good. The words are very simple and could be a read for a young reader. The pages are written in a rhyme scheme that makes the words flow pretty easily. The illustrations are flat and simple making it easy for non-readers to see what is going on. I thi ...more
As is the case for many of us, Jonathan James would like to take all sorts of risks. But his sidekick, the always anxious Whatif Monster prevents him from doing so. After all, something might be hard or someone might laugh at him. Finally, Jonathan turns all those fears on their ears and wonders about what if something turns out to be easy or fun or leads to his making a new friend. This would be a terrific title to share with youngsters and start a conversation about some justifiable fears and ...more
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received a shipment of books today including this little gem for a special 3-year old in my life. So happy to discover this creature, I'm sold on the Whatif Monster who helps us take all of our worries down a notch or two and maybe even turn them around into positive potentials. I read this three times already. Curly red-haired Jonathan James, Whatif Monster's bud, is extra cute too with his confident companionship. What if we all worried just a little less and dreamed a little more?! Whatif A ...more
Jennifer Newman
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
LOVE this book! An inspirational message to build confidence in every child, whether they are filled with doubt or not. As a former elementary teacher, I can say that if you show children they can conquer the world, they will, and with great gusto. Every parent should own this book and read it regularly with their child. Great confidence starts at home. Tuck them into bed and read it together. Happy Reading!
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I write and illustrate books for children. I love to laugh, I love to have fun. I do not have time for mean people. Life is too short to not do what you love for a living. Or deal with mean people.

I like smiling. It's my favorite.

“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
--Christopher Robin to Pooh”

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