This month, our Hooked on Books author is Oakville, Ontario's Rumeet Billan! She is the author of Who Do I Want to Become? and one of Canada’s Top 10 Power Women. Read on to learn more about her debut picture book with a focus on character education.
What is Hooked On Books?
Our team at Teachers on Call loves to read and encourage students and their families to do the same. With Hooked on Books, we introduce our community to the latest children’s book with a behind the scenes author interview to learn more. There is also a chance to win the debut book in a social media giveaway, with a grand reveal of the winner(s) by the featured author themself. A large focus is introducing readers to Canadian authors and illustrators from coast to coast with a mix of emerging and well-known literary talent including Chris Ferrie, Jess Keating and Barbara Reid – just to name a few.
About Our Author: Rumeet Billan
Dr. Billan is a local author who lives in Oakville, Ontario. She has been profiled as a Generation Entrepreneur by Forbes.com and she was just named one of Canada’s Top 10 Power Women.
Thank you for entering our giveaway to Win Rumeet's Book!
A big thank you to everyone in the Teachers on Call community who entered our giveaway to win Who Do I Want to Become?, courtesy of Dr. Rumeet Billan and Raincoast Books!
Click on video to find out our winner, selected by Rumeet personally!
We’re super thrilled to have had Rumeet Billan with us for an interview! Check out her answers to our questions.
Tell us about the person who you consider your greatest inspiration in life?
I’m going to bend the rules here and share that I have two inspirations in my life: my mom and my son! My mom has shown me the importance of hard work, education, and above all, kindness. I admire her intelligence, dedication, and resilience. My four-year-old son inspires me to want to be the best that I can be, while always accepting me just as I am. He doesn’t care about what I do professionally and what my title is, he cares about who I am, and how I show up every single day. He inspires me to be curious, to play, and to have fun. He is my everyday reminder of love, life, and everything I want to do and be. I am grateful to have them in my life.
Did you ever struggle with figuring out what you wanted to become?
I may still be struggling with that question! In grade six, we were what we wanted to be, and it would be included in the school yearbook. At that time, I said I wanted to be a Lawyer, even though I didn’t know what that actually meant or entailed. Later on, in high school, there was pressure to know what you wanted to become so that you could choose your courses accordingly. After speaking to my guidance counsellor, the field of human resources made sense at the time. I didn’t imagine that I would (or could) become an entrepreneur or an author. It’s interesting how career paths may not always align and knowing that it’s okay that we may not have it all figured out is important to our growth.
When faced with a challenge, what steps would you recommend a child take in addressing the problem?
For children, being mindful of the language they are using to describe the challenge and their role in it is incredibly important. For guardians, not minimizing the problem is just as important. When my son is faced with a challenge, as minor as I may view it to be, it’s big for him. I always remind him, that he's going to get through it, and I’m intentional about the language we use to discuss the problem and solve for it. We also have an “I got this” thing that we do, and I can literally see his body language change, and the difference it makes.
What’s the best way we as parents can encourage our future entrepreneurs at home?
Create an environment where failure is not feared. An environment that encourages learning from mistakes. This is how we grow and find meaning from the challenges that we face. It contributes to thriving!
Tell us about your book!
Who Do I Want To Become? is for anyone, of any age, who has been stumped by the question of what they’re going to be when they grow up. A class project is due, and Dylan is struggling with the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Ultimately, he realizes that it’s who you are that matters the most. This book is a new take on a question asked time and time again. One that invites us to discover something wonderful about ourselves that has nothing to do with what you want to be and everything to do with who you are and who you want to be.
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