The Birdfish

And The Secret Of Crystal Island


About The Book

Dr. Suzuki’s Invisible Gift Method is presented to children ages 8-12 through the eyes of a Birdfish. The perfect gift to teach emotional intelligence in an entertaining way.

Being half bird and half fish, Staraku has never fit in. But when she leaves her home in search of a place to belong, a mysterious crystal island and a strange new guide show her that what makes her different makes her more powerful than she ever imagined.

When Staraku learns her island is on the brink of destruction, she must make a choice. Will she let the birds and fish who rejected her fend for themselves? Or will she use her new power to try to save them and bridge an impossible divide?

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The Birdfish received the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award in 2022 

moonbeam children's book award

The highly coveted Moonbeam Award is sponsored by the Jenkins Group and created in 2006 as a way to open up awards in children’s publishing to all types of publishers and genres.

This competitive contest recognizes winners in each of the categories of children’s publishing, Due to the nature of independent publishing, many books go unnoticed and this award brings attention to the under-sung children’s books and their creators who fell between the cracks in larger, more general contests.

It is a great honor to be the recipient of the Moonbeam Award.

Silver Moonbeam Award

As a therapist, an expert on fear and self-esteem, and a mom who adopted, I see this book as an absolutely necessary read. This story teaches kids to recognize, accept, and thrive in their uniqueness rather than fear it. It normalizes their experience and empowers them.

– Nancy Stella, PhD, PsyD Author of Fear Traps: Escape the Triggers that Keep You Stuck


Being adopted from Nepal, I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling different. This is the book I needed when I was younger.

– Jenee, 17 years old, California


This book accurately showcases the struggles and pain of trying to find your place when it seems like there is nowhere you fit. At the same time, it highlights the profound value in being different. Being an educator who works with intercultural students, this book will help kids identify their own challenges and find value in their uniqueness.

– Rebekah Sharp, International Educator

Why I Wrote This Book

The story of the Birdfish is incredibly personal to me. In fact, it is my story. And perhaps it is yours or your child’s too.

Let me tell you a little about myself. I am an only child, born and raised in Japan. Growing up, everyone knew me as “the tea ceremony master’s daughter,” and assumed that I would follow in my mother’s footsteps to become a master myself. So at the age of five, I started my training. I sat still and quietly for hours at a time learning the ritual of making and serving tea. While I was supposed to be meditating, I actually spent most of those hours wishing I was anywhere else. I never quite fit the mold.

As soon as I could, I left Japan on a mission to find my own purpose. I moved to the US and eventually to Switzerland, where I started my family and spent the next thirty-five years in Swiss-based financial advisory services. My work, my family, my life–it was all a blend of East and West. But in both places, I never fully felt like I belonged.

It wasn’t until I hit a crisis that I started having these vivid dreams. In them was a half-bird, half-fish creature with a funny little mentor who helped her find her power. I would wake up and start writing. Those dreams became the basis for The Birdfish and the Secret of Crystal Island.

The dreams also prompted me to start meditating again–this time for myself, not to please my parents. In meditation, I remembered the lost lessons of my childhood. Having cast them aside long ago, I asked them to guide me again.

It was only then, when I began to embrace both parts of me, that I began to feel whole.

It’s hard growing up in a world made of so many different types of people. At some point we all ask, “Who am I?” and “Where do I fit in?” I suspect there is a little Birdfish in all of us.

The Birdfish Portrait Katsura Suzuki

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My greatest wish is that your children–your silly, quirky, complex, beautiful, mold-breaking kids–will find their freedom and purpose in being exactly who they are. I hope this book will help them realize that what makes them different is what gives them a unique purpose. Along with the Birdfish, we can all discover our own power and help make the world a more welcoming place.

– Dr. Katsura Suzuki