A 14-year-old dream has come true for Mount Gambier resident Rosangela Garofalo Crispino.
Her dream of writing a book educating children about Italian culture has come true when she launches her children’s picture book Alina Piccolina and her adventures with Zietta on Thursday, September 29 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, The Riddoch Arts & Cultural Centre.
Celebrating Italian language, culture, tradition, cuisine, family and love, Alina Piccolina holds a special place in the heart of Rosangela.
“It comes from my passion for my Italian culture. The desire came from my relationship with my niece Alina – who the character is based on,” says Rosangela.
“At a very young age, my niece was obsessed with Dora the Explorer. I wondered why there was no Italian equivalent, so I took up the challenge!
Rosangela created Alina Piccolina as an educational character to deliver a strong message about belonging.
“Belonging is my philosophy, and I believe that when we understand and know our heritage and culture, we gain a sense of who we are.”
Author Rosangela Garofalo Crispino
In 2018, Rosangela’s dream started on the road to reality when she attended Flinders University’s New Venture Institute’s Venture Dorm (eNVIes) course and was voted The People’s Choice Award. The award confirmed Rosangela’s belief that the children’s book was relevant and would be supported by the community.
A chance encounter saw Alina Piccolina illustrated by local illustrator and graphic designer Tahlee Chant.
“Illustrating Alina Piccolina has allowed me to create more art, more designs than ever before,” Tahlee said.
The first in an upcoming series of books, the public is invited to the official launch, with $2 from each book sale going towards the Stand Like Stone Foundation as an educational fund so the money stays in the region.
This is a free event with reservations available by contacting Mount Gambier Library on 8721 2540 or booking online at mountgambier.sa.gov.au/library under ‘Programs and Events’.