Riso Books Publishes “Island Girl, Menina da Ilha” Bilingual Portuguese/English Book

Industry: Education

Author Idalina Mendoza Shares Short Stories about Growing Up in Flores Island, Azores, Portugal

Livermore, CA (PRUnderground) November 30th, 2022

Riso Books, publisher of Portuguese-English bilingual children’s books, has published “Island Girl, Menina da Ilha,” a collection of short stories by author Idalina Mendoza.  The hardback book illustrates Idalina’s life growing up on the picturesque island of Flores in the Azores island in Portugal. 

“The memories I have of growing up in Flores have been such a strong inspiration throughout my life, and they are so vivid, that writing them down is not only my way of preserving them for my family, but also honoring my parents and grandparents who played such strong, important roles in all of these stories,” said Mendoza. “I hope reading about life in Flores will inspire others to celebrate their own childhood memories.”

Island Girl, Menina da Ilha is a lovely memoir that chronicles Idalina’s early years living in a quaint village, cooking and doing laundry with her grandmother, getting ready for local festivals and admiring her mother’s strength as she went out for her routine diving expedition to gather sargasso for the family, even at 9 months pregnant! The descriptive language, pencil sketch-style illustrations and genuine sentiment engages the reader, bringing them into Idalina’s world as a little girl experiencing the wonders of her island.

Riso Books was founded by Angela Costa Simoes, a mother, wife and entrepreneur in the California Bay Area.  She began writing bilingual children’s books as a way to make learning a second language easy and fun for children and adults of all ages.

“As a third-generation Portuguese American who first visited Portugal at the age of 20, I have always enjoyed hearing stories of what it was like to grow up and live in the Azores long ago before the modern conveniences of life were common on the islands,” said Angela Simoes, founder of Riso Books. “A big part of the mission of Riso Books is to preserve and carry on Portuguese traditions, stories and way of life. So when I read Idalina’s stories, I knew immediately that her stories needed to be captured in a way that could be shared with the Portuguese Diaspora across the globe.”

Purchase Island Girl, Menina da Ilha on Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Barnes & Noble.com and many other online retailers.  

About the Author

Idalina was born and raised in Ponta Delgada, Flores, in the Azores Islands. She immigrated to the unknown lands of California in the Bay Area at the age of 10 with her parents and her four siblings, not knowing what kind of future awaited her. As Idalina began a career in finance later in life, married with two children, she eventually obtained the title “Executive Administrative Assistant” for an outdoor company and has continued that work for the last 22 years.

During the Covid lockdown, she began to wonder what she could do with her talents–how could she contribute to the world. With heart & courage, Idalina started an at-home-based business, a YouTube channel, and eventually began writing short stories of her childhood. This book is her way of preserving her past along with sharing her present with all of you. Idalina is proud to incorporate her Portuguese heritage into her day-to-day rituals (e.g. cooking, fashion, spirituality) and hopes that you might be inspired to celebrate your own heritage in your own way. When not working, you can find her on a trail– running or hiking. She never turns down a “High Tea” invitation or a glass of red wine.

About Riso Books

Riso Books was founded with the mission to provide Portuguese/English bilingual children’s books that not only helped children learn Portuguese, but also identified with the experience of the Portuguese Diaspora. Riso Books’ Founder, Angela Costa Simoes, is a 3rd generation Portuguese-American born and raised in California. Visit portuguesebilingualbooks for more information.

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