The What IF Monster and Cordelia

A few weeks ago, I was at the local Fun Fair for the PTO, in which my wife serves as the VP for. During the Fun Fair, there was also a book fair and two books that jumped out to me was Jonathan James and the What IF Monster and Cordelia. For those who don’t know, What IF Monster is about a boy named, Jonathan who is constantly visited by the What IF Monster. A small, sad green monster that makes you feel: “What IF I mess up?” Jonathan spends most of the story thinking: “What IF I fail at something?” Cordelia, another book from the same creative team is about a girl named, Cordelia who believes she can fly and do anything, until someone tell her, she can’t do those things.

Both books are great uses for your classroom about showing students not to be afraid to be who you are. In fact, they are great books to use for teachers about believing in yourself. During the month of November as I have pointed out, it is Epilepsy Awareness Month. Something that wearing purple and talking about Epilepsy is not to just become educated on Epilepsy, but also inspire those who have it. There has been a saying for years: “Epilepsy is something I have, not who I am.” Both books serve to inspire others to believe in themselves and to be happy with who they are. Something students and teachers encounter even in later adult years is that others tell you who you are isn’t going to get you where you should be. Even worst, you begin to believe in your own What IF monsters and that starts to not only undermine who you are, but unravel what makes you happy, much like Cordelia has happen to her.

Michelle Nelson-Schmidt has created an amazing book series, full of lessons for everyone and I highly recommend checking out her stories and her books for your classroom or PD. You will be happy you did.


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