In new book, author strives to help children believe in themselves


By Karen Billing

Staff Writer

Local resident Melissa Botello recently published the children’s book “Adventures of Prince Domar: Discovering his Powers.”

In the book, Prince Domar lives in San Diegar and has a big math test he is trying to pass. His mother, Queen Melar, tells him that he has special powers, the power of positive thinking that will help him succeed in anything he tries as long as he works hard and believes in himself.

“I like this story because we all struggle with believing in ourselves,” Botello said. “A big part of achieving our goals is believing in yourself. I love that message.”

She said it is a message she is very passionate about: helping people overcome a defeated attitude, change their thought process and accomplish their goals, whether it’s children or adults.

Botello hopes to partner with local schools through book fairs and author visits, selling the book with all proceeds going back to the school. Her first book fair will be at Stone Ranch Elementary in 4S Ranch, through Nov. 5.

Botello has worked in the medical device industry for 15 years but has always considered herself a storyteller. Often when her eyes would become too tired to read another book at bedtime to her son Dominick, she would make up one of her own. It was there that Prince Domar was born.

She wrote the storybook three years ago and looked for an illustrator, finding one in Stone Ranch Elementary School teacher Lauren Pfannenstiel. She was very happy that what Pfannenstiel came up with was exactly what she had in mind.

“It brought tears to my eyes to see him come to life,” Botello said of her illustration of Domar, a kid who wears his hair spiked with eyes the color of his favorite candy, Whoppers.

The finished product is a result of Botello’s own positive thinking and hard work.

“It felt like I had another child,” Botello said. “The book was born and it’s a story that’s near and dear to my heart. If one little one reads it and it makes a difference, it’ll feel like a success.”

To purchase the book, visit