I’m super excited to announce our next author profile: Maria Dismondy. I had the great pleasure of conducting a cyber- interview with Maria for this post and you are in for a good read! And, after you’ve gained oodles of information about Maria and her books, you will have the chance to receive an autographed copy of Maria’s newest book! So, let’s get started.
Maria Dismondy is the author of three wonderful books (and one on the way) that are all centered around nurturing good character in our children.
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun is all about having the courage to be who you are. The main character, Lucy, is teased by a boy named Ralph. Even though Ralph isn’t the nicest person, Lucy steps in when he is in need of some help. Here’s a look at the trailer for the book.
The Juice Box Bully was co-written with Bob Sornson. In this book, kids learn to stand up to bullying. This book is no longer available for purchase, but you may be able to find a copy at your local library.
Pink Tiara Cookies for Three is her newest book. In this story, a friendship between two turns into a friendship of three with some challenges. The girls learn about teasing and how to nurture their growing friendship. Check out the trailer below.
And coming in early 2013, The Potato Chip Champ will roll out.
So, let’s read a little more about this mom, author and educator!
Maria, when I read on your website that you grew up with the Smurfs , Cabbage Patch dolls and New Kids on the Block, I was immediately transported back to my childhood. Do you have a favorite childhood memory about reading or writing?
I got my first diary when I was in kindergarten. I wrote in it every day, about the weather! It had a Precious Moments character on the front, complete with a lock and key. If anyone wants to know about the weather from the early 80’s, I’ve got it covered! Since then, I have grown to love writing in a diary and have 19 filled journals hiding out in my house.
You have written three books that all center around a positive message. Why is this so important to you?
My background is in Child Development and Education. I taught for many years and saw what was happening to children. First graders were worrying about how they looked and what they wore to school. A kindergartener told me she looked fat. It was absurd and I was furious. I knew that I needed to do something to educate parents on increasing their children’s self-esteem and helping build their character. I also wanted to reach out to students and anyone who worked with children, not just parents. I am happy to say that I have spoken to over 50,000 children since the start of my journey, spreading inspirational messages about believing in and accepting themselves!
Your book, Spaghetti on a Hot Dog Bun is being turned into a musical. How did you celebrate this wonderful news?
Until I see it on opening night, I am trying not to celebrate! It feels too good to be true!
What are some things you do at home with your girls to promote good character?
We read three times a day (my husband reads to them first thing in the morning with his first cup of coffee! Then it’s before nap and before bed). I find that when I don’t have the words to teach my girls something, there is an author out there that does. We also spend time discussing what happened in the books we read and I refer back to the books. For example, when something happens in our day, I might say “Hey, remember when Fancy Nancy blah, blah, blah?”
We also spend time talking about our feelings. I think if children can recognize how they feel and how their actions make others feel, this is the first step to a lifelong journey of showing empathy. Empathy is the missing element in bullying situations. Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is an excellent trait to have.
Tell us about your Happiness Project.
In December 2011, I read The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin. I decided to conduct my own project during 2012. Basically, you pick different areas of your life to focus on each month. You go back each month and review your progress. It has been a fun journey and has helped keep me focused on what’s important in my life.
Do you have any literacy rituals in your family?
Other than reading books throughout the day, we use books on tape and cd to help us get our showers in the morning. We have an old boom box on the floor of our bedroom. We let my three-year old pick out the books she wants to hear and her and her baby sister will listen for a good 20 minutes. That’s enough for me to shower, dry my hair and throw on some clothes and makeup! Once a week, we make a trip to the library. My three-year old picks out five books and we keep them in a basket next to her bed (so they don’t get mixed into our family book collection). Finally, we keep books in several areas through out the house (our bedroom, the girls’ rooms, family room, playroom, and in our car.)
If you could give parents one piece of advice about reading and/or writing with children, what would it be?
Make reading a daily activity. Talk about literacy throughout the day. It will start to click with your children early on. They will begin to recognize print in the environment (for example, my three-year old can recognize the words Target and Costco among other stores we visit frequently!) Visit my blog for other fun ways to incorporate literacy into daily routines! Sign up for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. You’re child will receive an age appropriate book every. single month until they are five years old!
Maria, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to the Growing Book by Book readers.
Now, for our GIVEAWAY!!!
When I contacted Maria Dismondy about doing a profile on her and her books, she graciously offered to give away one autographed copy of her newest book, Pink Tiara Cookies for Three to one lucky Growing Book by Book reader.
It’s super easy! Just leave a comment on this post. There you go! Entries will be accepted until 11/5/12 at 9:00pm (CST). The lucky giveaway winner will be randomly selected the week of 11/5/12 and announced on this site. I will contact the winner via email also. The winner has 3 days to respond with a mailing address or else another winner will be selected. We can ship to USA addresses only. Good luck!
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