Author: Ellen Javernick
Illustrator: Colleen Madden
Blurb: “If you tell someone that they can’t play with you, there’s no harm done, right? But what if everybody said that? What if everybody forgot to be kind…and made fun of other kids’ artwork at school, or told a fib, or refused to share with a person in need? The world wouldn’t be a very nice place to live. But what if everybody thought before they spoke, so the world would be a kinder place?”
About: This book is the second book in the What If Everybody? series and probably has one of the biggest impact on my students because we have all said things and sometimes we meant them and other times we didn’t but either way it’s important to think about the impact.
This book gets the reader to think about how our words impact others whether we meant them or not. For example, one page the setting is the beach and the character wanted to scare her cousin so she teased by yelling out that there was a shark. If everybody did that, there would be hysteria by others who heard that and didn’t know she was only teasing. Another example given is if a classmate got glasses and the character told him he looked funny. That would affect someone’s self-esteem and could make them very self-conscious. I know when I had to start wearing glasses I was so self-conscious and if this would have happened to me, my whole day would have been ruined. Like the other two books, each page takes us to relatable settings, such as the zoo, school, and home and puts us into scenarios that we may experience and even something we may even hear ourselves saying.
-Have you ever seen yourself in a similar situation? *Remind students this is a safe place to be honest.
-How did you handle that situation?
-Do you think sometimes we say things we don’t mean to say?
Activities to try with the book:
-Scenarios: Just like the What If Everybody Did That? book, I like to use this book with my social skills group. I like to read the book to them and as I’m reading, I don’t show them the pictures. I set up each scenario and read up to “What if everybody said that?” and we talk about how those presented in the scenario would impact the rest of the situation and we then rewind and change our words or actions.
–Writing Prompt: What if instead of saying, “This is hard!” on an assignment you said, “I can do this!“? Do you think changing your words will help you?
Other books by Ellen Javernick:
-What If Everybody Did That?
-What If Everybody Thought That?
-The Birthday Pet
-The Perky Little Pumpkin