About the 3-Book Series

SERIES OVERVIEW

“STARABELLA” AUDIO PICTURE BOOK SERIES

of Diversity and Acceptance

For Kids 2-8

Description by Sharon Fialco

 

The award-winning Starabella Narrrated 3-Book Series with Music welcomes all children to a bright new world – where they accept and celebrate each other’s differences rather than exclude, fear, and bully those who appear different. They learn to listen to the good voice inside themselves rather than follow the loudest, most threatening voice.

This bright new world was the childhood dream of pianist and composer Tara Fialco, my daughter. Faced with autism and gifted musically, Tara used her beloved piano to express many of her thoughts and feelings through music. Often teased, isolated, and picked on at school, Tara came home and wrote magical, touching melodies and lyrics about a far more accepting world than the world she had to face each day. Tara’s experiences at school were not unique. Too many children endure bullying at school on a daily basis. As parents, we do not want to send our beloved children with positive self-images into a classroom to have their sense of self turn to self-doubt and feel that they do not belong.

Our family came together and pooled our individual talents to produce the Starabella Series to help make Tara’s dream of a world of friendliness and acceptance a reality for all children.

For this series, Tara wrote and performed on keyboard 17 of the 22 songs. My daughter Dana, a talented singer and actress, wrote additional songs, performed many of the character roles, sang the songs, and narrated the stories. I, Sharon, former writer of interactive shows for children, wrote the stories. The Starabella stories became visually alive through award-winning illustrator Anton Petrov’s colorful, artistic interpretation. Joe Vulpis, a talented musician, arranger, and producer for well-known vocalists and groups worldwide, directed the CD recording for the books. He brought this recording to an unparalleled level of excellence in the world of audio books for children.

Through three audio books on CD with music and accompanying picture books, Starabella tells the story of a courageous little girl with learning differences whose eyes shine like stars when she’s happy! When she begins to have trouble finding her words, Starabella receives a special gift from her grandparents – a piano. Amazingly, Starabella is able to play any song she hears by ear and soon composes her own music to express her thoughts and feelings. Through her music, children listening to and reading the stories discover that Starabella has feelings and dreams much like theirs. They form empathy for Starabella. They discover that caring for another makes them feel good about themselves. They are inspired by Starabella’s spirit of determination to focus on their own talents and abilities to reach for their dreams.

Children listening and reading follow Starabella through three different stages of her early growing up: in her home (Book One, “Starabella: Mystery Girl of Music”), in the community (Book Two, “Starabella: New Adventures and Mixed Emotions”), and at school (Book Three, “Starabella: Welcome to a Bright New World”).

Children who listen to and view Books One and Two celebrate Starabella’s accomplishments, feel compassion for her extra challenges, root for her to reach her goals, and gain understanding of her through her music. They care about her by the time she enters kindergarten in Book Three as a member of a diverse kindergarten class. Children listening to and reading Book Three are asked to help Starabella’s classmates make social choices based on EMPATHY in order to create an atmosphere in which all children feel welcomed, valued, and encouraged to share what is special inside them.

Starabella is a heroine for ALL children. Her story appeals to the place in all children yearning for acceptance and understanding.

If we can teach children at an early age to practice empathy and appreciate each other’s differences and abilities, they grow into adults who can achieve a better, more peaceful world.

STARABELLA BOOKS’ AWARDS

♦ Nautilus Award for books that change the world to make it better.
♦ Ben Franklin Award for best cover.
♦ USA Book News Award for best hard cover audio picture books and series.
♦ USA Book News Award for best gift book.