Creative Child

Creative Kid Spotlight: Trisha Rao, Author of “Believe In Yourself”

by Winita Frederick

When 8 year-old Trisha Rao learned of the devastation many children in Turkey and surrounding regions were facing, she was struck with inspiration and a drive to share that inspiration with others.

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The result: a colorful 40-page journey through the animal kingdom. It’s bursting with color and insight, as seen through the eyes of a puppy named Sunshine, who’s guided by Papa Dog. The most inspiring part of all is Trisha’s pledge to donate one free copy to refugee children around the world for every book sold this year. We were delighted to interview Rao about her seemingly boundless well of both empathy and creativity.

The San Diego native began painting when she was 2 years old. Her Southern California backyard served as the perfect source for inspiration as she integrated rocks, sand, flowers, and leaves into her paintings. Around this time, Rao also began making up poems and songs, with her mom sometimes recording the young artist on her phone (Trisha was too young to know how to read or write yet!).

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While Trisha and her book are being featured in a section of our magazine called “Creative Kids,” I get the impression that Trisha is more interested in letting her inner light shine than being in the spotlight.

Rao’s precocious humanitarian concerns are exceptional, but she’s still a normal kid. When asked what she wanted to be when she grows up, she replied with an enthusiasm almost exclusively found in children: “I am passionate about a lot of things – painting, poetry, science, physical geography, astronomy, singing, dancing and sports…. but will continue to explore all my passions and decide in time what I’m most passionate about.” Attempting to save the world, one book donation at a time, certainly isn’t a bad place to start. 

As Papa Dog tells Sunshine when they encounter two happy elephants, “Everything you do must be right for you. Make sure it is so wonderful that you enjoy it.” It’s clear that Trisha practices what she preaches and has two supportive parents to instill these inspiring lessons.


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Believe in Yourself! It’s a simple message, yet Rao’s poem-turned-book has resonated with many children and adults, alike. From Turkish refugee children, to kids in schools across America, the insightful lessons of “Believe in Yourself,” paired with Rao’s stunning paint illustrations push us to trust that anything is possible if we work hard and believe in ourselves.

If you'd like to help Trisha reach her goal, you can purchase it on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.

Winita is a staff writer at Scooterbay Publishing Inc. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and worked as a library assistant and elementary school tutor throughout college. When she's not writing, she enjoys outdoor exercise, reading at the library, and spending time with family and friends.

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