Tate Publishing and Enterprises bit on the project. “They offered that if I did the book cover, then they would publish it for me,” said Stephens. “My two cousins worked on that and sent it all in, and when it was approved, (the book) was printed.”
The lessons contained in the book stem in many ways from Stephens’ own Christian values, and offer situations and emotions that are very relatable for a wide range of readers.
“I found my inspiration in my children,” she said, “and these are some values I as a parent hope to instill in them.”
Some of them are simple but important morals that can help children better navigate the often tricky world of social interaction.
“It’s like the first (story), where the rabbit has a fear of being in the water,” she said. “He doesn’t swim with his other two friends. He just sits and watches. He enjoys them being there with him. He has to face his fear later and does so with their help, but it’s also about accepting your friends for who they are.
“They’re important things you want kids to know,” she added. “You always have kids with disabilities and people who are different, and you should accept everyone.”
Other stories were more directly inspired by Stephens’ faith and the struggles that believers often have in life.
“The one story where the frog doesn’t do what he parents tell him, then he gets scared when he goes out and is lost,” said Stephens. “That kind of reminded me of how sometimes I’ve got away from the Lord and feel lost without him.
“The last story was about sharing, an issue that comes up almost daily at our house,” she added. “It is so important to us to teach our kids about sharing with each other. This year at Christmas I had the boys pick out two toy each to give to other children who may not have a toy for Christmas. It was wonderful to me that after the strain of giving that first toy they got excited and kept bringing me things to give.”