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Gator on My Back cover

1. eBook Edition
  • EPUB format
  • PDF format
2. Paperback Edition
  • Premium Color
  • 44 pages
  • 11.0 x 8.5 inches
3. Hardcover Edition
  • Premium Color
  • 44 pages
  • 11.0 x 8.5 inches
Target Audience:
  • Young Children (7-11 yrs old)

Depression, Mental health, Coping mechanisms, Childhood depression, Understanding emotions, Teachable content, Animal metaphors

Gator on My Back
by Mary Ann Burrows

One day an alligator climbs up onto a boy's back and changes his world completely. This new friend makes the boy feel sad and believe bad things about himself. A fox appears and asks the boy to talk about the feelings that are making him look so sad. When he does the gator gets scared and runs and hides in a cave. Once on his own again, the boy realizes how much power the gator has had over his life. Suddenly he has the energy to play and enjoy his life again! The gator comes back, but this time the boy has the understanding to set rules in place. When the gator misbehaves, the boy knows he can banish him back to his cave. This beautiful book teaches children about depression and sadness, and how to cope with this big, strong feeling. It’s an incredibly important and useful learning tool. Recommended for children ages 5 and up.

Mary Ann Burrows photo

Mary Ann Burrows is the author and illustrator of Gator on my Back. She was born and raised in the Fraser Valley in Chilliwack, B.C.

The mother of two adult children, she is an artist, a life/creativity coach, and the past founder of Artists in the Village Non-Profit Society. Mary Ann has a passion for creativity and children, and is dedicated to raising the awareness of mental health to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

Through her creativity she strives to help empower others, helping them rise to their own potential and live their happiest, healthiest lives. This is her second children’s book. Her first book, Oh, Monkey! about the monkey-mind was released in the fall of 2019, and is available on

A portion of every book sold is be donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association. CMHA provides advocacy, programs and resources that help to prevent mental health problems and illnesses, support recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive.


Mary Ann Burrows

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