Starabella is a special baby from the moment she is born. Her parents adore her and her sparkling eyes. But only as she grows older do her parents realize that she is special in some ways that other children are not. Can Starabella learn to use her music to express herself where she can't find any words?
Every once in a while, there is a book that is so much more than just another children's book. This, and the rest of the Starabella series are one of those treasures. When I first opened the package in the mail, I was instantly struck by the exceptional quality of the book. Beautiful hardcover, with luminous illustrations, and a thoughtful layout. You and your children can enjoy just sitting and looking at the picture without ever reading a word.
And let's not forget the CD. A whole new story with many more dimensions is told when you listen to it. Not only does it narrate the book with different actors playing each part, it adds more to the story, and mixes it with original songs that your child can sing along to.
As more and more children are diagnosed with autism everyday it is likely that you know someone who is on the spectrum - maybe even your own child. This is a wonderful book to help build dialog and understanding for both children and adults. Not only for those with autism, but anyone with learning or other differences.
Book for Children Ages: 2 years old and older
Family Reading Time: Because this book has a CD that can read the book aloud, this is a great opportunity for older children and younger children to read together, regardless of reading level. This subject matter definitely lends itself to reading as a whole family and talking about children that may learn or experience the world differently.
- Go through the book the first time just exploring the pictures together. Then read the words on the page, then listen to the story on the CD. This can be a good opportunity for children to build their memory and comprehension skills as you talk about what was different each time, or the new things that you noticed.
- For young children they may not want to read the whole book in on sitting. This is okay, just read while it is fun, then save the rest for another time.
- People communicate (which means they tell other people what they are thinking or feeling) in lots of different ways. How did Starry communicate with her parents?
- Have you ever had trouble explaining to someone else how you feel? What did that feel like?
- Do you know anyone that seems different from you? How should you treat them? What are some ways you can work on learning to understand each other?
- What is your favorite kind of music? How does it make you feel when you listen to it?
- Take your children to a concert - preferably one of a style of music they have not been exposed to often. if your children are younger and you are concerned they will not be able to sit through a whole concert, check your community calendar - many communities have concert in the park events during the summer that are great for kids (and often free!).
- Let your children make their own music. Use oatmeal containers and wooden spoons for drums, put rice or beans in an empty bottle to make a shaker, or even see how many different sounds you can make with your own voice. If you have a piano or other instrument in the house work on teaching your child a simple song on it.
- Practice using other ways to communicate. Make different facial expressions (sad, happy, angry, afraid) and have fun figuring out what each face is.
- Play red light, green light, but instead of saying the words make up your own hand gestures to tell other players to go or stop.
Children's Book Review Rating: 5 Stars - Beautiful Book*