Sandy Mak is a Certified Early Childhood Supervisor with over 20 years of experience working with children. She’s also the brand new author of What’s For Breakfast?, a fun and energetic book for any child who enjoys snacking just as much as they do reading. To celebrate the release, Sandy and I sat down to chat about the book.
MIRIAM LAUNDRY: Hello, Sandy! Congratulations on your first children’s book. Can you tell us who it’s for and how you started writing it?
SANDY MAK: What’s For Breakfast? is for children aged four to eight years old. During 2020 I decided on a path into writing. I started with brainstorming and writing my ideas down.
It was last year in 2021 that I started to write this children’s book and began this entire process of publishing it for all the children to read.
ML: What made you decide to become an author?
SM: What inspired me to become an author came from my passion and work with children over the 11 years of teaching children in my own dayhome. Through the years I have been able to do what I’ve enjoyed and to see the rewards of my work with them. To feel appreciated for the care I’ve provided for each and every child really made me want to reach farther in my work with children. I felt there was more I could do with children and have a bigger impact on them so I decided that my dream is to write a children’s book and publish it for all the little ones to read.
Story/circle time was always an exciting part of our day in my dayhome. Reading, learning new words, singing, going through the letters of the alphabet, waiting each week for a new theme to learn about meant so much to children that I thought: ‘what if I was able to read a book that was written by me?’ And there, my journey to become a children’s author had finally arrived. I just want to bring more for every child out there in this world and this is my journey to it!
ML: And where did the inspiration for this book in particular come from?
SM: The inspiration came from all the years of experience I’ve had in my life and in my work with children including my son. Children are always learning and developing new skills. From learning to make sounds, simple words, feeding themselves, reading, writing, getting dressed, tying their shoes. It was always through practice, patience, and perseverance that helped them learn those new skills. From there, I gathered some ideas together based on my life and work experiences to write this very first children’s book.
Breakfast was always a great start to my mornings for all the children including my son who attended my home daily. My mornings always started with the little ones coming in through my front door and then to the table asking “What’s For Breakfast?” and that is exactly what my book title is. From there I created the main character, Willie, who loved to eat breakfast and sing his favourite song “I like to eat… eat …eat” and the story continues as it unfolds to him craving a gooey, cheesy omelette that he must make himself. With the help of Willie’s mom and through practice, patience, and perseverance he learns to develop this new skill.
ML: Why was it important to you to share this story?
SM: I want children to know that it takes patience, practice, and perseverance to develop any new skill. We help build their confidence as well when you apply these. Anything we learn as a first time will not be easy but if you set your mind on it you will get there. Whether it’s learning to cook like Willie did with the help of his mom in this story, or learning to tie your shoes, getting dressed, add/subtract in math, writing alphabets, or learning a new sport. All of these take practice, patience, and perseverance.
Teaching kids to persevere and keep practising and they will get there helps them as they learn these new skills. It is an important part of learning and growing up and these will help them as they get older too and what better time to do it than right now.
ML: Well said. It also takes lots of perseverance to publish your own children’s book! Did you face any challenges throughout the process?
SM: My biggest challenge was 'can I do it?' Can I put in a year of my time to get on all the monthly calls and complete what I need to do to publish a children’s book. With a very busy schedule, with my full time job, spending time with my son and all the housework would I be able to write? That was my challenge but I did it! I managed my time and got here today.
ML: Indeed you did! Can you remember the moment someone first read your story? How did that feel?
SM: My son was the very first to know about my writing journey. The moment I shared with him, his eyes lit up and he said to me “ What? Really? You are going to write a book, Mom? Mom, you’re going to be an author!”
And the best part was he was the first to read my story. When he summarized the story for me he was so expressive with Willie’s lines. My son always makes me laugh with his silliness.
ML: That’s wonderful. You also had a community of other authors publishing their books at the same time. Why did you choose to join Publishing Mastermind?
SM: I wanted the step-by-step format to publish my book and with your Publishing Company it made everything easy on my end. I have to say I’m so glad that your name somehow appeared right in front of me when I needed it. You and your team have been so amazing. They are so well organized with all the steps for me to get to this point in having my own book in my hand right now and for all the children out there.
ML: Thank you, Sandy. And if you could share one piece of advice with other authors who are in your shoes, what would you say?
SM: My one advice is if your dream is to write a children’s book for all the children out there, go for it. I never thought I’d be here right now with my very first children’s book and I am! With you and your team that is so amazing, I am able to get to this point today.
ML: Yes, you don’t need to see the whole staircase to take the first step. You just have to go for it!
Lastly, what do you hope parents and children will take away from this book?
SM: To enjoy breakfast together! To learn new skills with practice, patience and, perseverance. These are the children of our future! It’s so important.
ML: Thank you, Sandy! And congratulations again.
Watch the Full Interview:
Sandy Mak is a Canadian author and Certified Early Childhood Supervisor with more than 20 years experience working with children. Her passion for empowering children grew over the years, which has motivated her to persevere. She has now dedicated her time to writing books for children. She hopes her stories encourage children to enjoy learning, develop new skills, and understand that they can do anything they set their minds to.