"If we give them the skills now, there is hope for the future."
That is what Bunbury author Josh Langley said when he was describing his most recent children's book 'Being Wildly Kind'.
The book is the fourth one in a series which started with 'Being you is enough', 'It's ok to feel the way you do' and 'magnificent mistakes and fantastic failures'.
"There is no storyline to the books, I just tell the kids exactly what they need to know," Mr Langley said.
Mr Langley started out his writing career with publishing for adults until his publisher said he should have a go at writing children books.
"I don't have kids myself so I took it from the angle of 'what would I go back and tell my eight year old self'," he said.
"The books are very outside box to normal kids literature.
"Usually kids books are written by authors who are teacher, parent, librarian or psychologist - someone who is involved with kids, where as I'm not."
Mr Langley said as an eight year old he was a 'happy go lucky' sort of child.
"But it was all a front because I was in a dysfunctional family," he said.
"I became a people pleaser to try and avoid any arguments in the house."
Mr Langley said he thinks about if his eight year old self could understand his feelings better then he would have reacted differently to things as he was growing up.
The message in 'Being Wildly Kind' is more important than ever, Mr Langley says.
"During the middle of the pandemic there has been pockets of kindness but overall its like every man for himself and the general thing about kindness has been lost, particularly empathy," he said.
He said the book tries to get children to think about what it would be like to be in someone else's shoes.
"The books have simple messages, there is no decoding and everyone can relate," Mr Langley said.
"It's almost a self help guide for kids 5-12 year olds."
Mr Langley said with mental health always a big issue, particularly with children he hoped his books could help children develop the emotional intelligence needed as they grow up.
"I especially want boys to know what their feelings are," he said.
"Key message is to always talk to someone and give them a safe space and so talking about feelings becomes familiar."
Mr Langley will be launching his latest book in Bunbury at Collins Bookstore on May 22, at Busselton Dymocks on May 29 and will feature at the Margret River Readers and Writers Festival on May 15 and 16. He will also be touring around the regional schools for two weeks with the book as well.
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