“Hello! I’m William, as you can see! The first day of school will be hard for me.”
The author explains in the preface to this book that the story stresses the use of cognitive re-framing, a psychological technique for looking at the same situation in a different way. Throughout the story, each first day at school ‘what-if ‘ imagined worry is countered with a more likely outcome. This helps the protagonist William to realise he has the power within to manage his anxiety more effectively.
William is full of worries about his first day at school: what if the bus doesn’t pick him up? What if he gets lost, or cries, or can’t find his way around the school? What if the children laugh at him, or he hurts himself, or lunch isn’t what he’s expecting? These, and many other, what-if worries are stated and illustrated, and for each one, there is a reassuring description and picture of how each situation is resolved. When William cries, his teacher comforts him. When he hurts his knee, a kind nurse cares for him. When William worries the bus will leave without him, a helpful bus driver arrives.