Mary Ann Burrows, a local artist and founder of Artists in the Village Society, has written and illustrated a children’s book.
Oh, Monkey is an introduction to the concept of our inner critic. The story follows the journey of a young girl who grows tired of hearing her monkey chatter in her ear every day, telling her what to do.
She sits down and has a chat with her monkey and explains this really isn’t working for her. She lays down some ground rules and explains to her monkey that if she wants to hang around with her, she will need to abide. They create a new way of working together and a new story that helps the girl overcome her fears and try new things in life, with her monkey at her side.
Burrows said Oh, Monkey is the ideal self-empowerment tool for young adults, offering insight and ideas on how to train your monkey with love and understanding.
“We all have a ‘monkey’. He is the protective voice inside of us that tells us that we aren’t good enough, smart enough, fast enough, etc,” said Burrows. “In an effort to protect us from getting hurt, he will often say anything to keep us from trying new things. If we listen to him or her, our monkey can also affect our behaviour and self-confidence and causes us to over-think things and head down the rabbit hole. At times, he sure can get the best of us and keep us from doing the things in life that our heart and soul desire.”
The book also has a creative area at the back where children can draw a picture of what they feel their inner critic looks like to them, offering them a visual for the critter that often talks them out of things through negative self-talk.
“Read with your child, this book is a great way to start up a conversation about self-talk, self-esteem, self-image anxiety and affirmations,” she said. “The book also has tips for positive self-talk that will help the child disarm their inner critic and take away their power.”
Burrows is a huge advocate for mental health, children and creativity. She was also a monthly Optimist contributor with Meg Neufeld of the Art-Full Living column.
She and her husband have been yearly supporters of Delta Hospital Foundation, the Delta Hospice and many other community service organizations through their foundation, the Harlow and Mary Ann Burrows Foundation.
Her next book, Gator on My Back, will be coming out in the spring of 2020. It’s about depression, sadness and self-empowerment. A percentage of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the Canadian Mental Health Society.
Born and raised in Chilliwack, Burrows and her husband have lived in East Ladner for more than 25 years.