Book Review of Stella’s Brave Voice
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The Children’s Book Review
Written by Marissa Bader
Illustrated by Arlene Soto
Ages 4+ | 40 Pages
Publisher: M. Bader Media, LLC (2023) | ISBN-13: 9798985768138
What to Expect: Twins, family, self-confidence, empowerment, and identity.
Written for any reader who has ever felt unheard, Stella’s Brave Voice teaches real, workable strategies for speaking up and feeling confident without being inconsiderate.
Stella and Paige are twins, which means they have a lot of things in common. It can be challenging for people to remember they have lots of differences, too. Sometimes, it’s even hard for them to remember that! Stella is quieter than Paige, so Paige sometimes forgets to let Stella speak for herself—this makes Stella mad, but she’s afraid to talk to Paige about it. What if she hurts Paige’s feelings? That would be terrible because even when she’s mad, Paige is still Stella’s best friend in the whole world.
Luckily, Mom is ready with helpful suggestions for how Stella can find her voice. The first-person narration is combined with changes in font color and size to help readers feel immersed in Stella’s thoughts,
Through clever dialogue, the story helps readers recognize what emotions like anger, fear, and hurt feel like in the physical body and teaches practical skills for managing negative emotions and building confidence—such as asking for help, rehearsing situations in advance, and using your imagination. Vibrant digital illustrations underscore the upbeat tone of the story. Stella herself is engaging and relatable—a great role model for any child who sometimes feels too quiet to be noticed.
Stella’s Brave Voice is an instructive and enjoyable follow-up to The Only Me—and definitely not just for twins!
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About the Author
Marissa Bader is a Minneapolis-based children’s book author and freelance writer who also holds a Master of Arts Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She served as the Twins Editor and mental health writer at Lucie’s List for several years and has written for a variety of publications such as Psychology Today, MN Parent, HuffPost Parents, and Twiniversity, to name a few.
Marissa’s children’s books, The Only Me and Stella’s Brave Voice were inspired by her own three daughters, a set of twins and a singleton. Marissa loves witnessing their unique personalities blossom and reminds them often to use their own brave voices – and, amazingly, they each do the same for her.
When not writing, you can likely find Marissa reading, savoring nature, or having dance parties with her exceptionally energetic daughters and husband.
About the Illustrator
Arlene Soto is a Hispanic American (yes, she’s a fluent Spanish speaker), owner, and production artist (illustrator, formatter, graphic, and web designer) of Intricate Designs, based in Denver, CO. She has an extensive background in Fine Art, an AA in Architecture (Miami Dade College), and a BFA in Sustainable Interior Design (RMCAD). Needless to say, art and design are well-engrained in her being. She is also a homeschooling mother of three feisty girls, two dogs, one chubby cat, chickens, and a bunch of plants.
She has been happily working with authors to bring their stories to life through art and design. She aims to focus her portfolio on projects that center on diversity, inclusivity, and anything that sparks curiosity. She’s intuitive and passionate about each project that comes her way and is always happy to help!
Find out more at https://intricate-designs.com.