LITCHFIELD COUNTY — Melissa Davilio Hart of Bristol recently visited a Facebook group page titled Friends of Little Free Library, posting that she had written a children’s book that would be dropping in a few weeks. She wanted to share copies with stewards of as many of those book boxes as she could in Connecticut and other states.

Melissa Davilio was born and raised in Bristol, and has been writing on and off since she was a teenager. She began writing seriously as a way of healing while recovering from domestic violence and addiction.

Two other books written by Davilio are “Between the Empty Spaces,” a collection of earth-based poems to promote self-healing through appreciation of nature, and “Love, and other Saboteurs” about recovery from domestic violence and substance abuse.

Her first children’s book of poetry, “An ABC Animal Orchestra,” is available now at She said “I love kids and couldn’t have any of my own so I wanted to find a way to help those in need. Little Free Library fit the bill.”

She has begun a fundraiser to purchase as many copies of “An ABC Animal Orchestra” as possible to donate to Little Free Libraries in Connecticut and across the country. Books will be purchased at the cost price of $12 in bulk. She said “I want to help educate our little ones across the country in a fun way.”

Book illustrator Jan Alessio was born and raised in Waterbury and now resides in Thomaston. She said, “I am basically a self-taught artist and musician. Since my mother was an artist, that was my first inspiration, followed by getting involved with music.” She began drawing at age six and acquired her first drum kit at age 11. She is very active in the local music community.

“I have made some great friends through music. Working with Melissa was something new and exciting since it was my first book of illustrations. My past history of artwork was for art shows and commissions. I look forward to creating more colorful characters with Melissa and her wonderful poems and stories for children and adults.”

The book is available for sale at, which notes on its website that “ ‘An ABC Animal Orchestra’ is a fun-filled journey through the alphabet into the exciting worlds of wild animals and musical instruments.”

Connecticut Media Group