Kansas City-based author, Vladimir Sainte is putting pen to paper in hopes of empowering young people in Kansas City. Sainte has written and illustrated three books as part of his, “Just Like a Hero” series which focuses on helping children develop their emotional intelligence and coping skills. He will be releasing his fourth book in the series which will focus on helping children navigate grief and loss.
“My mission is to create inclusive literature to increase resiliency and a sense of worth in children,” Sainte said. ”I think everyone has the capability for growth, change, and adaptation, especially with kids. So teaching it from a young age, this is kind of like planting the seed.”
Along with being a successful author Sainte is also a licensed clinical social worker and has worked in Kansas City for over ten years.
Along with writing each book Sainte also illustrates each story, something he attributes to his love of art and comic books. According to Sainte, the themes and images in the stories help to destigmatize therapy and talk about difficult subject matters for kids. The story in each book centers around a young person of color which was important to help kids identify with a character that was like themselves.
“Kids can relate more to the stories they read, so I wanted to create a book that had a young Black kid, that talked about and was dealing with mental health,” Sainte said. “It’s about empowering these kids to see their intrinsic value, and their inner worth, but also to educate our providers or teachers or parents about what these symptoms look like for their kids.”
Plans for the next installment in the series are still being finalized but Sainte said he hopes to have the book published in early 2023. In the meantime, you can check out his books at KC Public Library or purchase a book by visiting his website, www.vladimirsainte.com. Sainte also gives author readings at local events and libraries.