High up in the Chitrakoot tree, Koki the cockatoo spends her day immersed in her books. But after the other cockatoos tell her she doesn’t have a voice, Koki sets off on a search for what she’s missing – and ends up finding something even better.
Age Range: 4–7 years
Grade Level: 1–3
Hardcover: 36 pages
You wouldn’t tell someone with a broken leg to just keep walking. The issue with mental illness is that we often can’t easily see a person’s suffering – they might not even know of it themselves – because of the mask we have been told to wear, showing everyone we are always okay and fine. The way to learn is to listen; rather than to just look.
Riya: I didn’t open up about what I was going through for a long time because I was ashamed. I thought I had chosen to do this to myself and that I would be judged for being shallow and obsessed with superficial issues. Although I wasn’t very aware of how I looked; I did care about what I was achieving, and this need to prove myself to the world was a part of my inner beliefs about my lack of worth and purpose in the world. This concept of worthiness lies at the root of many destructive illnesses that manifest themselves in the deterioration of both our bodies and minds. Sharing my story has helped me come to terms with the fact that it a) was not something I controlled b) is not something to be ashamed of and c) can serve to help others fighting a similar battle. It is important to remember that everyone views the world through their unique lens; so everyone’s experience and feelings are equally valid, even if they don’t match yours. By being open to sharing and listening, you might change someone’s life for the better – including your own.
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