Mike Mirabella Books

sister butterfly cover

Book 2 in The Carla Stories

Hot off the Press: I Used to Be Shy

I Used to Be Shy continues in the gentle tone of Sister Butterfly. Set against a bright playful landscape, the spirit of Carla holds out a hand to a shy boy, bringing him out of the shadows of shyness into the light of inclusion among new friends. This touching little musical story is a gift tied with a colorful bow of art.

[Elizabeth Peláez Norris, MA, Med, Teacher and Poet, Oakland, California]

Carla’s exuberant personality caused the reader to want to join her at Camp ALLBELONG. She loves being at the camp with all types of children. The camp includes some children with disabilities. Carla is the welcome committee for a new boy with mobility problems.

This book can be read as a poem or sung as a song of inclusion. It is such an uplifting story. Part of the book gives the notation of a new song so the reader can provide accompany the song. The illustrations are bright and show the changes as the new boy leaves his shyness in the cabin. I wish I could be a part of Camp ALLBELONG!  Let’s all join the song and belong!

[Elaine Butler, Librarian Support for Families of Children with Disabilities, San Francisco, California]



I have read this story several times and I love how it is about a shy person. Being shy myself, I am reminded of how scary and debilitating it can be.  I think this is an excellent book for parents of children with disabilities.  I think this book can be a guide or support for parents from both the story/song and especially from the About Carla section and About the Author section.”

[Ray Pedersen, Ocean View Elementary School Librarian, Albany California]

sister butterfly cover

Book 1 in The Carla Stories

Praise for Sister Butterfly

Sister Butterfly
— what a beautiful book! It gave me goosebumps reading it — so sweet in every way. I love how the students on the playground were pulled in to help them understand his sister’s differences and to not be afraid or distant because she is different.

[Victoria Long, Principal, North County Consortium Windsor Unified School District, California]

How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand? Gently open your palm and fingers and allow it to rest there, not holding your breath; open moment by moment or you might miss something. That’s the gift Carla Elaine Mirabella gave us all. Sister Butterfly brings Carla to each of us to hold the memory of her in our hearts, which is where it should be.

[Frannie Field, MFT, Author, Sausalito, California]



Sister Butterfly is based on the writer’s own daughter, Carla. She has Down Syndrome, and her dad is telling about her relationship with her sibling. The illustrations, by Amy O’Hanlon, make you feel like you are in a fantastic garden. It is so colorful and the story is so kind that the reader will close the book feeling happy.

[Elaine Butler, Librarian at Support for Families of Children with Disabilities (SFCD), San Francisco, California, Support for Families of Children with Disabilities]

Mike Mirabella has put his lovely heartfelt composition to words and illustration, giving the reader insight about his daughter Carla’s world. The colorful pages represent the beauty of differences and how two siblings, although unique in their own ways (as all are), interact and display a bond like no other. Both verse and illustration emphasize the desire to be accepted, included, share love, and be needed. Read, listen, and be transformed.

[Janis Wisherop, RN, Professor at College of San Mateo, California]

luck of irish sailor cover

Praise for On the Luck of an Irish Sailor

✭✭✭✭✭ Truly enchanting. On The Luck of an Irish Sailer, by Mike Mirabella, is a wonderful story that combines the nostalgic storytelling of an Irish sailor with the whimsical underwater fantasy of swimming with mermaids. But this Irish sailor isn’t just telling his tale, he’s singing it! And it’s the lyricism and songwriting chops of Mike Mirabella that makes this so special. I would recommend reading (or singing) along to the story and turning the pages along with the song as performed by Shay Black – easily found on Youtube. Great for the young, and the young at heart!

[Matthew Isaac Sobin, Amazon]

This sweet book is a joy. I read it to my grandchildren and they are enthralled by both the story and illustrations. They are thrilled too that their Uncle Shay sings the sailor part on the accompanying CD. Mike and Amy have produced a little gem.

[Mary Black, musician]



✭✭✭✭✭ A simply charming story with beautiful illustrations. A perfect gift for any child in your life. I am also introducing it to our local schools and children’s librarians to share during their read aloud times.

[Kathy Dwyer]

My five year old granddaughter absolutely loved the book. She plays the YouTube video repeatedly to memorize the song in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Beautiful graphics and excellent writing.

[Joseph Ludlow]

Mike Mirabella Songs

Mike Mirabella has composed, performed, and recorded original songs, including  Unconditional LoveSpecial PeopleCome to The BanquetAll God’s Children Sing and My Jesus Rose On Easter Morning. Many of his children’s songs have found their way into his award-winning illustrated children’s books.

Mike Mirabella plays guitar and sings “Sister Butterfly,” accompanied by Jerry Robinson on bass, on People Like Me,” a KTLN-TV show hosted by Debbie Fraser.


Legendary Irish singer Shay Black covers Mike Mirabella’s song, “On the Luck of an Irish Sailor.”

Mike Mirabella sings “Sister Butterfly.” Available on Amazon Music.


Mike Mirabella sings “I Am So Like You.”

(From Sister Butterfly)

Mike Mirabella sings “I Used to Be Shy.” (mp3)

Mike Mirabella sings “Little Brown Pony” (mp3) (from I Used to Be Shy)