Ladner author and founder of Artists in the Village Society, Mary Ann Burrows has written and illustrated a second children’s book.
Gator On My Back, recommended for children ages five and up, is a story that follows the journey of a young boy who wakes up one day to discover that a slimy alligator has climbed onto his back.
The alligator slowly starts to take control over the little boy’s life turning his light to black and his happy to sad. The alligator tells the boy that no one likes him and that he will never be anything worthwhile. The boy slowly becomes sadder and sadder.
Disheartened, the boy sets out to find a better life and of course the alligator tags along.
The story is about the importance of talking about your feelings and about self-empowerment. It shows that depression is not you and that it can make you feel and act differently.
“Over the years I have walked beside family and dear friends that have suffered greatly with depression,” said Burrows. “I have seen the ugly monster, of depression, take people that I love away and cause them great pain. It is heartbreaking to watch. I have also seen how a good therapist can help people learn how to manage depression.
“Depression is not the person. It is like the elephant in the room. Nobody wants to talk about it. It is the biggest un-talked about secret. When someone breaks their arm, everyone runs to sign their cast, but people are ashamed or embarrassed to talk about or admit that they are suffering with depression or mental illness. It’s time to talk about it. Depression can hit anyone. It doesn’t discriminate.
“My hope is that the book will help bring awareness to the importance of mental health and also help to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.”
Proceeds from the sale of Gator on My Back are being donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Books are available on Amazon and all major online bookstores.
For the summer months, the author has a limited number of soft covered, signed author copies available by mail within Canada for $20. See: www.gatoronmyback.com(proceeds to Canadian Mental Health Association).
Burrows has lived in East Ladner for the past 25 years with her loved ones. She is an artist, an author, a local art teacher at McKee Seniors Centre and is a life/creative coach.