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Review: William, The What-If Wonder by Carol Wulff

William, The What-If Wonder On His First Day of School is a clever story about a little boy who tackles some big problems. On the first day of school, William is plagued by fear and anxiety. What if I trip? What if I'm hurt? What if the bus leaves without me?

As each hurdle presents itself, William realizes that he has the "power" to change his perspective. Identified as "cognitive re-framing" - this story provides young readers with simple strategies for "effectively managing their anxiety." Although written from the purview of a social worker and pediatric psychologist, the story conveys a poignant message in ways that are kid friendly. Also of note is the use of color to capture the nuances of William's struggles. Hues of blue and gray quickly give way to a much sunnier yellow whenever William changes his point of view. Final Analysis: If you want to teach children the value of mind over matter, then this book will definitely get the job done!

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(Author) Carol Wulff, LSW, is a Licensed Social Worker and mother of a child with anxiety. Remembering how painful it was to witness her child’s mind racing just to get through the simplest of tasks, she vowed to one day write a book to help others learn how to tackle those annoying what-if thoughts. Cognitive reframing— seeing the same situation in a new way—empowered her child to manage the anxiety and approach new situations with confidence. She created William, the What-If Wonder to help children learn how to use their power to change their view and see past their worrisome thoughts. Carol lives in Medina, Ohio, with her husband and three children.

(Contributor) Margaret R. Mauzé, PhD, ABPP, is a board certified pediatric psychologist. She earned her PhD in clinical child and adolescent psychology from the University of Kansas in 2005. She achieved specialty board certification from the American Board of Professional Psychology in the area of clinical child and adolescent psychology in 2008. She worked at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for seven years before moving into private practice. She has special interest in working with children with acute and chronic medical illness and children struggling with anxiety and depression. She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband and two children.

(Illustrator) Clare Willett enjoys creating characters and bringing them to life! She has created city logos and enjoys sharing her artistic talents when needed. She is pursuing a career in zoology and wildlife management.

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