Oklahoma Author Hopes New Books Will Help Kids Understand Their Mental Health

Author Alex Stephenson joined News On 6 to talk about the books he has written to help kids with different issues from trouble sleeping to self-esteem. He says he wanted to use his skills as a counselor and illustrator to help children understand their mental health.

Wednesday, April 3rd 2024, 10:03 am

By: News On 6

A man from Green Country is using his skills as a counselor and illustrator to help children understand their mental health. Author Alex Stephenson joined News On 6 to talk about the books he has written to help kids with different issues from trouble sleeping to self-esteem.

His new book "The Anger Armor" just came out in March and you can find more of his work here or at House Cat Books on Facebook.

Tatum: So you have several books? I do. Yeah. They cover all kinds of topics from trouble sleeping to self-esteem, a lot of really big things that in the human experience, we go through why choose these kinds of topics?

Alex Stephenson: Exactly. You just answered the question, but I'll speak a little bit more on that they are things that we all experience sometimes troubles with, and oftentimes things that we don't know how to talk to children about. So I tried to make books that help parents and help adults in the lives of children open up those conversations to educate and to make them a little bit more normal.

Tatum: Sure. And another topic that you cover you you have this one, the first fire to Cherokee story. Yes. You have several books that talk about the Cherokee Nation. Tell me tell me about these and why choose that.

Alex Stephenson: So, these are a real labor of love. One of my good friends, Brad Wagnon, is a Cherokee author, he is really passionate about bringing Cherokee culture and Cherokee stories into the hands and lives of children. So a few years back, we decided that we were going to start making children's books based on some of the Cherokee stories that already existed, and it's been just so well received. And it's been such a really meaningful experience for both of us to see something like that continue and become accessible to the children.

Tatum: By the way, he illustrated this one too. So not only are you coming up with these stories, you're also creating the visuals for some of these two, I think, which is just so impressive. We have your latest book behind us The Anger Armor, tell me about this book.

Alex Stephenson: Yeah, so this one was really important to me that I write it a lot of children, a lot of adults, a lot of people struggle with anger. And the tricky thing about working on anger is that anger is a super effective way to solve problems. It gets people to listen, it gets people to leave us alone. Unfortunately, the solutions that it provides are short-lived and cause a lot of damage. So I wanted to write a book about why anger might look like it works really well to get things accomplished. But in the long run, why it might not be the best way to solve problems. And some ways to deal with anger We talked in the book about anger as armor we put it on because it keeps us safe. But over time, the young girl in the book Alia, she noticed that it was also keeping people away from her to the armor that she thought was really doing a job was actually causing a disservice for her.

Tatum: I love that. Because even as adults, that's often a topic that's hard to confront. Do you find maybe putting it in a children's format that's easy for them to understand and a concept that they can really start to think about at a young age, perhaps approach it differently, the older that they get?

Alex Stephenson: That's my hope, that's my absolute hope is that yes, it becomes something that if they learn it as a child, they take it into adulthood, but also at the same time, something that if the adults who are reading it might also have some questions or struggles with anger themselves that they'll maybe pick something up as well. A lot of the ideas that I use in my books are ideas that I use in the therapy that I do in my normal daily job. So these are things that I've covered in therapy for years with people,

Tatum: And what a great way to cover that also for children and in an easy, digestible way. I think that's awesome. Maybe the most important question, we've got people at home, we've introduced them to you and your work, where can they find your book?

Alex Stephenson: So all of my books are available on Amazon. If you search Alex Stevenson books, I also have a Facebook page. It's called house cat books. That's the company that I write my books under. So if you look on Facebook or TikTok, or pretty much any other social media house cat books would be a place to find updates on the books that are already out and updates on books. They're going to be coming out in the not-too-distant future.

Tatum: All right, awesome. Congratulations.


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