Stories About Stories: What a Mix-up! by Atiqah Halim and Zafirah Idris
Stories About Stories is a series where authors bring you behind the scenes and reveal what goes into the creation of a book.
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Atiqah Halim and Zafirah Idris are the authors of the new Rubiah from Semarang series. In the first book What a Mix-up!, Rubiah, who is able to read people's minds, moves to Singapore to work as a domestic helper for the Tans.
One day, she gets a request to make carrot cake. She doesn't know what that is, but Rubiah is still game to give it a try.
Here, Atiqah and Zafirah share their thoughts about the book.
This book has been two years in the making, and we can’t believe that it’s finally published. Our first book! Our first series! And as mums of young kids ourselves, who else deserved a first read if not our own boys?
Six-year-old Ari enjoyed the story and has read it at least five times! He laughed out loud when Rubiah got her carrot cakes mixed up, and he can recite the ingredients by heart. Two-year-old Khalil enjoyed watching and listening to his mum’s very animated story-telling.
We hope families and kids with someone like Rubiah in their households will enjoy this book as much as we had pitching, brainstorming, writing and editing it. We have two more titles in this series and they will be out in 2019 and 2020. Wait for them!
Meanwhile, Rubiah wrote a note for our readers and fans (Well, we imagine that we have some out there!). We’ve translated the note from Bahasa for your reading pleasure. Let us know if you want us to pass your messages to her too!
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A note from Rubiah
"Apa khabar semua? (how are you?)
Many of you have been asking me how I am settling in at the Tans. So far, so good. Sir and Ma’am have been very patient with me. If I don’t understand their instructions, they will go through them again. Life in Singapore is not the same as in Indonesia. Here, everything seems to be moving so fast. There are so many things to do every day. Before I know it, it's the end of the day.
Jeremy is a lovely boy. He is always talking to me, asking me what I’m doing, showing me his LEGO creations and asking me to play with him. But I tell him I cannot play for a long time because I have to clean the kitchen. And then he will bring his toys to the kitchen and play on the floor while I do my chores.
I’ve been cooking carrot cake 3 weeks in a row because Jeremy really loves them! (I still don’t understand why you call it carrot cake when there are no carrots at all!) By the way, did you know that the white carrot cake has about 466 calories per serving, while the black carrot cake has about 566 calories? If you want to be healthy, don’t add in the dark soya sauce!
I tried making a Western carrot cake and it’s not bad. But Jeremy still prefers the Singapore carrot cake (with no carrots)!"