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  • Writer's pictureShameer Bismilla

The What Ifs

"What" and "if" - these two words do not have an impact when we use it in a stand-alone sentence. But when these two words are put together, it can create uncertainty, fear, doubt and for sure it affects one's self esteem.

Emily Kilgore and Zoe Persico have created a vivid description of uncertainties that a child has to go through in any day. The character, Cora has a problem reminiscent of Shel Silverstein’s poem “Whatif.” The chills I get from reading this book doesn’t even crack the surface. It reminded me of the negative inner conversations played in my mind when I was a young kid. In fact I think many adults including me have lots of "whatifs" in our heads when we are faced with new tasks. In this book, worrywart Cora played lots of “whatif” statements in her mind until she learned ways to deal with her anxieties. I could relate with Cora, how the "whatif" little monsters whisper of doubts and bad things in Cora's ears and she has these monsters pulling her down. I have lots of little "whatif" monsters with me all the time. Thank goodness for Cora's friend, Stella who teaches her how to turn her Whatifs into allies.

This amazing story is engaging, well-paced with surprises, with each new reading. This perfect children’s picture book is a good discussion starter to describe big, tough emotions. Totally worth having this book in your classroom or home.

Buy a copy at or borrow from public libraries in Singapore (Call Number: KIG).


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