Stella is brave, fearless and visually impaired. Her Star Quality enables her to see at night, as she travels the Universe along with her Star Guide Rocky, to rescue the Star People from danger. Stella must rely on her emotion, senses of hearing and touch to identify the colours she comes across in her adventures.
Now, I rarely review children’s books – I have none of my own, my little brother is now about to go to University, and the only regular contact I have with a little child is my niece, who’s about to turn 3. Away from sending her the Shirley Hughes “Alfie and Annie-Rose Omnibus”, I don’t know a huge amount when it comes to books for small children.
However, I do know a lot about special needs, having spent three years working in a centre for the deaf and visually impaired. I know that there comes a great deal of fear and worry when a child is diagnosed with something, and the impact of realising that the child will have to grow up “different”.
Author Michelle Brown clearly understands this, having written a charming story that not only educates about visual impairment, but celebrates it – not just giving knowledge to the child reading it, but empowering them with the wonderful abilities that Stella has.
The words tell a simple tale that will be perfect for young children, and the illustrations are beautifully done, granting the characters a huge amount of personality (especially Rocky. Rocky was definitely my favourite).
If a child has a visual impairment then I’d definitely recommend this to them, but also, if a child had a visually impaired friend or classmate, this could be worth a read too – it could help foster awareness, empathy and understanding, and, as such, is a great read