Starabella Shines Bright!

We, at Starabella & Co. are very proud to share this blog written about Starabella by Lou Melgarejo, a fellow parent, who writes one of the best blogs for parents and children dealing with autism. Do yourself a favor and join him at lous-land.blogspot.com/. You will be entertained, brought to tears, rise with him above adversity, and be informed. You will find in Lou a warm kindred spirit.

 

Starabella Shines Bright!

Not long after I put out “Fixing” Autism I read a comment from a woman by the name of Sharon Fialco saying that they too had a child on the spectrum and that her daughter was very musical. In fact her daughter was a pianist and composer. Together with her family they put together a trilogy of books complete with musical accompaniment. The comment was very warm and touching. Sharon went on to say that she was so moved by my video that she wanted to send me a copy of the books as a sign of appreciation for my video.

I was taken back and a little leery of just giving out my home address, but the gesture seemed genuine and a quick Google search made me rest a little easier as I looked over their website and read some more on the Fialco family.

I didn’t just receive a book. I received BOOKS… three of them. Also included was a soundtrack CD. They are visually stunning. Very kid appealing. I decided that I would go through all the materials and then thank Sharon for her extremely kind gesture. Unfortunately, things got so crazy right after the video that I received the books and then put them on top of my son’s armoire where I knew they would be safe… and then forgot about them.

I was putting away clothes the other day when I saw the edge of the book. I had one of those groaning moments where you just can’t believe how impolite, rude, insensitive and thoughtless you have been. So once I remembered them, I went through them right away.

Now just as Sharon was so kind to send me these books unsolicited, I would like to tell you about these books. I am not being paid, I wasn’t asked to review them in any way. If they were not worthwhile or did not have any sort of redeeming quality, I can assure you I would just send Sharon a thank you email and be grateful for the gesture. But let me tell you, that is far from the case. These books are nothing short of magical.

If the books aren’t magical on their own, the story behind these books is even more so. Starabella was a family project put together by the Fialco family and based on their own family dynamic. Their daughter Tara Fialco is a pianist and composer who is on the spectrum. She also holds a certificate in Early Childhood Education from Honolulu Community College. Through her gift of music, Tara creates a world that teaches lessons of understanding and acceptance that are so desperately needed today. There is also a beauty in the way the books do not shy away from the challenges that face Starabella and the concern that her parents have for her well-being.

(From L to R) Sharon, Tara, Dana and Marvin Fialco

Starabella is the main character; a whimsical and mysterious girl who at a young age starts to lose her speech but discovers a remarkable talent and outlet… music. Clearly modeled after Tara Fialco, Starabella begins to engage again as the gift of a piano helps to pull her out of her shell. The project was directed by Sharon Fialco but the whole family goes to bat as father Marvin Fialco helped with publishing and Dana lends her beautiful voice not only serving as the narrator, but as the vocalist in many of the songs and also serving as a composer.

Each book is absolutely beautiful with colorful and vibrant illustration by Anton Petrov. Heightening the experience for your little one, included with each book is a companion CD. The CD contains narration (the CD story goes into greater detail than the printed story in the book) and music that are sure to help your little ones become immersed in the world of Starabella. The Soundtrack CD has all the songs from the series and can be easily transferred to your iTunes for easy portability.

If you are looking for a book that will teach your child important life lessons, I highly recommend the Starabella series. A great book for siblings or young family members of children on the spectrum, Starabella will show that while people may be different than them, they are still worthy of and receive love, friendship and understanding.

You can purchase the Starabella books at http://starabella.com/ and 10% of sales go towards Autism Speaks. You can also become a fan of Starabella on Facebook.

Thank you again to the Fialco family for such a wonderful gift. Not just the the physical gift of the books and CD, but for creating such a wonderful story that is rich and educating.

If you have not already, please take time to watch my video, “Fixing” Autism and share it with your friends.

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Labels: ASD, autism, autism speaks, autistic, Dana Fialco, empathy, family, fatherhood, fixing autism, kids, lou, lous land, parenthood, parenting, Sharon Fialco, special needs, spectrum disorder, Starabella, Tara Fialco

2 comments:

Renee McAfee said…

These books sound incredible! Thanks for the information. It was very insightful.

What an incredible story, of this young woman’s journey, as well as all the family who helped her with this project! Such an amazing story!

I will share this book series with other parents! Good Read!!! 🙂

Danii said…

It’s always great to read success stories about person on spectrum. Great info!

 

 

 

 

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