Kaye Banez wears a number of hats. She’s a sales and marketing specialist, culinary instructor, and vocational coach, among others.
Now the Richmond, B.C.-based mother of two can add another: Author.
Banez is launching her first book, See Yah in the Morning! A Bedtime Story, on August 26 at the Richmond Oval.
“This is a book that is meant to entertain all young children, but at the same time, I have incorporated some fun and interactive learning features that can help a child who has autism or any learning challenges and have them engaged with the story,” Banez informed Canadian Filipino Net.
According to Banez, See Yah in the Morning! is especially helpful for those working hard to develop their communication skills.
“This book has elements of repetition to engage children in the story and provide them with a script for saying goodbye and goodnight. Because the gesture is not innate to some children, the characters are always waving, giving children the opportunity to learn the meaning of such gestures. Bedtime is often not a fun routine, but it can be — with a little imagination and reassurance that all will be good the next morning!” she explained
Banez related that she was inspired by her son and daughter to write the children’s book.
“My five-year-old old son, Lazarus, will be reading the book at the launch. He is my inspiration for this book, and he and his sister Estella are the greatest blessings in my life,” Banez said.
She continued: “I wrote this book so that when he grows up and people ask him what he has accomplished in his life, he can say that at age five, he read a book written and published by his mother in front of hundreds of people at a book launch and fundraiser in support of autism awareness, community building and inclusion. He can say that at a young age he was already on the road to success, to greatness. My little three-year-old, Estella, has always been a fierce advocate for her brother.”
According to Banez, the book is designed to be read by adults to children.
“However, because there are elements in the book that encourage the children to read along and anticipate the repetition in the story, it will only be a matter of time when the children remember the story and can read along with the book. My three-year-old daughter has already memorized 90 percent of the story,” she said.
See Yah in the Morning! was illustrated by Jenkin Liao, a cousin who lives in Australia.
“She has just graduated and is now about to practice physiotherapy, but she has always created some beautiful illustrations for my children's birthday parties,” Banez said about her illustrator-cousin.” We also dedicate this book to our grandparents who are in their 90s as a tribute to them and our family.”
Banez also said that See Yah in the Morning! is the first of a series aimed at helping children engage in their daily routines and celebrate the milestones that they achieve.
The book is published by Bammstella Creations, a company established by Banez.
“Bammstella stands for ‘Bamm-Bamm’," is the nickname we gave to my son when he was growing and actively kicking in my womb and "Stella" is for Estella who is my daughter,” she said.
The book launch on August 26 at the Richmond Oval also doubles as a fundraiser for autism.
“We are expecting over 150 people for this event,” Banez said.” This event is more than just a book launch, but a community-building event as well. One dollar of every book sold in its lifetime will be donated to Canucks Autism Network, but at the launch, we will also be fundraising for other amazing charities such as Vancouver Public Library Foundation, Pacific Autism Family Network, and the B.C. and Alberta Guide Dogs. “
According to her, she said a personal mission to advocate for quality learning resources.
“I have an extensive working background and studied experience in mental health and youth with special needs,” Banez said. “My specialized knowledge of K-12 programs with accommodations needed for children with special needs makes me very attuned to my clients’ requirements. I have been an academic tutor and vocational coach consultant since 2008, specializing in children and young adults with mental health, developmental and learning challenges. My most important role is being the mother of Lazarus and Estella.”
Banez has worked in the field of educational publishing for many years.
“I understand that people of all ages learn best when they are motivated, engaged and when they can relate to what they are learning about. My passion is to produce resources that are positive, empowering, and skill-developing for children,” she said.
In her spare time, she works as a culinary instructor at Langara College, specializing in Philippine cuisine.
See Yah in the Morning! sells for $12.75 plus tax and shipping. After the launch, the book can be purchased online through bammstellacreations.com.