SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Seventeen-year-old Quincy Kadin decided to turn her experience with anxiety into a teaching moment. She wrote the children’s book “Frankie’s Fishy Feelings” to help kids better understand and manage anxiety. The book, illustrated by Adhemas Batista, features a character dealing with anxiety and imparts essential coping skills for children.
Kadin, who grew up with anxiety throughout her life, was inspired to write the book to create awareness and initiate conversations about mental health.
“I wanted to write this book to get that conversation into people’s homes, and I thought that a children’s book would be a great way to do that because there’s even less conversation about mental health with kids,” she said.
The book’s main character, a shark called Frankie, was thoughtfully chosen by Kadinn to illustrate that even the scariest of things can experience scary feelings. The book features a toolbox of coping strategies geared toward children, born from Kadin’s own experience and drawn from her therapist.
Kendra Delahooke, founder and clinical director of the Child Therapy Center of Los Angeles, stressed the need to normalize conversations about anxiety.
“It’s so important to normalize anxiety,” Delahooke said. “Everyone feels that it’s terrible to feel, but it’s not anxiety that’s the problem. It’s when anxiety, when our kids feel it for long periods of time, that’s the problem. So, if you notice how your child isn’t finding relief even when you’re trying to help them, it could be a great time to look for some professional help.”
Kadin’s hope is to get “Frankie’s Fishy Feelings” into every school library in California as a resource for youngsters. To that end, she has created a GoFundMe to further the mission. You can find more about the book and mission to help mental health at www.frankiesfishyfeelings.com.