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Turlock author uses animals to encourage dreams
I Am Unique
Turlocker Mireida Mendoza is the author and illustrator of the children’s book “Unique I Am" (Photo contributed).

For some time Turlock resident Mireida Mendoza had a story she wanted to tell, but to get it from mind to page and eventually to book shelves, Mendoza would have to take the advice of her main character and leave the doubts and fears behind.

“I had to tell myself to stop being afraid of what might happen and just give it a try,” Mendoza said.

It turned out to be some good advice.

Mendoza is the author and illustrator of the children’s book “Unique I Am,” which was published in November.

The book is about the friendship between a kakapo, which is a ground-dwelling owl parrot native to New Zealand, and a pekapeka, a lesser short-tailed New Zealand bat.

Both are considered endangered species, which is an issue Mendoza hopes to raise more awareness through the book. Mendoza hopes the book teaches children to respect and care for the natural world and “keep our wild animals telling their story,” she said.

Before she got the spark to write a children’s book, Mendoza used drawing as a creative outlet. Her two sons would ask her to draw something for them and more and more she found herself drawing animals, which eventually provided the spark of an idea for the book.

Mendoza said “Unique I Am” delivers a lesson on finding the confidence to pursue one’s goals and dreams, which is a lesson she tries to impart to her own sons.

“I try and teach them the wisdom to live happy lives and I thought this was something that needed to be shared.

And for her two sons, they are happy to share it with the world.

“They love the book and are very proud of me,” Mendoza said. “They tell their teachers and friends, ‘my mom wrote a book.’”

“Unique I Am” can be purchased from Amazon.