The Inspiration Behind Frankie’s Fishy Feelings

frankie's fishy feelings

I am the author of “Frankie’s Fishy Feelings,” a children’s book about a five-year-old shark named Frankie who suffers from anxiety as she approaches the start of “Kindersharken.” She suffers alone until she tells her mom, who takes her to therapy. She then learns coping skills to manage these “fishy feelings” and can do everything that she wants!

Right now, I am a junior in high school in Los Angeles. Growing up, I struggled with fairly significant anxiety. I can remember it all the way back to preschool. This affected my friendships and especially my experiences and activities, as there were many things I just wasn’t comfortable doing. I felt super isolated because it felt like I was the only one feeling that way. And even at three or four years of age, I was able to see that my emotions were taking control of me. In the fifth grade, I talked to my mom about therapy. It was a scary step, as I hadn’t been that vulnerable about those feelings before. But she was more than happy to help. She found me a therapist, and I was able to learn the skills to manage my feelings and take control of my own life. This was such an empowering feeling; it was the first time I had really advocated for myself. And, after a lot of work, I (like Frankie) got to do everything I wanted to do. 

Last summer, my family and I took a trip to South Africa. My anxiety was heightened as I was far from home and I was in an unfamiliar place. As I was getting on my flight home, I had a panic attack. The flight crew and the pilot didn’t understand what was going on, even as I explained it to them. They thought I was sick and had a contagious illness! I was off-boarded and stuck in another country halfway around the world with my mom, with no idea how I would get home. This made me realize how little people understand anxiety and how it presents. 

After I got home (gratefully, through another airline!), I sprung into action. I wanted to do everything I could to educate people about anxiety and share what I have learned along the way. After some brainstorming, I decided a children’s book was a great way to get these skills and stories out into the world. I remember how important it was when I learned that my feelings had a name, “anxiety,” and that many other people have it too. I wanted to give this to other kids. And that is how Frankie’s Fishy Feelings was born! My first priority was getting the book out to as many places as possible. Once my book was published, I quickly set up a website, and a GoFundMe ( in order for people to not only find out how to donate, but also to access the coping mechanisms inside the book. I reached out to my close friends, families for whom I babysit, and anyone else in my circle to donate or suggest a school that would benefit from a copy. At this point, I have sold far more books than I could have imagined and received enough donations to donate hundreds of books to underserved schools. It shows how important the topic of anxiety is, and how much people resonate with this story. I hope to be able to donate many more to help other kids fight their fishy feelings!


Quincy Kadin is a high school student from Los Angeles. She is the author of a new children’s book, “Frankie’s Fishy Feelings.” 

You May Also Like