By KATIANNA MANAKIS
Sarabeth Holden is a children’s book author, a business owner, a mother, a wife, and an activist.
She’s also kind and funny and a great person to talk to.
Early in her career Sarabeth worked for the Canadian government as a project manager, so the transition to writing children’s books was a big change. But she said she wanted to try something different.
“It was a very different turn but I always had that want for something creative in my life,” she said in an interview with Beach Metro Community News.
So, taking inspiration from her own life with her husband Sean and their children Jack and Ray, she wrote her first book titled Please Don’t Change My Diaper.
Sarabeth’s latest book, Benny The Bananasaurus Rex, took inspiration from her son and his obsession with bananas but also from her family.
Benny The Banansaurus Rex is illustrated by Emma Pedersen, who also illustrated Sarabeth’s first book, and tells the story of a boy named Benny who loves bananas. Sarabeth is Inuit and uses some of the Inuktitut language in the book.
“We’re not surrounded by our language all the time. We don’t have conversations in Inuktitut, there’s only certain phrases that we use,” said Sarabeth.
“My kids and I have always called Sean and I, my husband, Anaana and Ataata. And I thought you know what? Anaana rhymes with banana.”
Benny The Bananasaurus Rex is about dreaming big, a common thing in the bedtime stories Sarabeth tells to her children and a daily practice in her life.
As well as being an author and a mother, Sarabeth and Sean also own The Red Tape Brewery on Main Street south of Gerrard Street East.
She has also done a lot of work with Indigenous communities all over Canada. Sarabeth is a co-founder of the Toronto Inuit Association, supporting the local Inuit community.
She admitted she is busy but said she is always able to centre herself and focus on what’s important.
“Sometimes you get stuffed up, and it becomes completely overwhelming. And the important thing is to take a step back and look at it. People are always going to have opinions of what you should do and what you shouldn’t do,” said Sarabeth.
Her tone of voice changed when she started to talk about her kids. August and September were very busy for the family, workwise and with her sons starting school.
“I thought I was going to dread packing lunches for him everyday but I love it! And it’s inspired me to take better care of myself.” she laughed. “It’s about taking better care of yourself.”
For the future, Sarabeth said she has two stories in the works inspired, once again, by her sons.
“So far, all of my books have been inspired by my children and what they’re doing and what they’re doing that makes me think.”
For more information on Benny The Bananasaurus Rex, including how to purchase, please go to Inhabit Media at https://inhabitbooks.com/products/benny-the-bananasaurus-rex
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