Tickled Pink About Kindness Giveaway

After great success with her books Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun and The Juice Box Bully, author Maria Dismondy has done it again! This month, we celebrate her latest gem - Pink Tiara Cookies For Three - a story about how Sami and Stella learn to successfully navigate through the rocky waters of a triangle friendship. Maria has been traveling the teaching-blog circuit on her Pink Tiara Book Blog Tour, and today, I'm privileged to share a guest post on kindness by this amazing teacher, mom, writer, and friend. Tomorrow she'll be in CA visiting my friend Kim at Finding JOY in 6th Grade, so visit her there as well!
I am happy to be a guest blogger today! I love what Barbara stands for and writes about on this blog. I believe in the theory behind the Pay it Forward movement. I think if we want a better world, we can start by doing something ourselves, instead of wishing and hoping others will make the difference. On the other hand, I believe that by doing good deeds, you can influence kindness in others as well. Let’s focus on children, especially since they are our future! Whether you are a parent, grandparent or teacher, or you play any other role connecting with children, you are in a great place to implement these five simple steps to encouraging kindness.

1. Do unto others. One way to teach children to be kind is by modeling it. When children see us treating others with dignity and respect, they see that our actions match our words. It’s one thing to just tell kids to be good to others, but to show them how it’s done, that’s a lesson that will stick!
2. Making spirits bright. There doesn’t have to be a reason to do something nice for someone else. Think about all the people in your life that could use some sunshine in their day.  Make cookies for your mail carrier or create homemade cards and artwork for the elderly. Make up a fun activity that you and your child can do together that will brighten someone’s day.
3. Volunteer. Volunteer with children. A few ideas such as donating old toys to the local thrift store, using their own money to buy food for a local food bank, participating in a fundraiser for people in need, joining others in a fun walk or run that raises money for a good cause or working at a local soup kitchen will help teach children that it is far better to give than it is to receive.
4. Teach Responsibility. One study out of the University of Minnesota showed that children who did housework had better feelings of responsibility and self-worth years later. And children who feel good about themselves are more respectful to others. (via Parenting.com)
                Toddlers can: put away their toys, get dressed and undressed, put their dirty clothes in a hamper and help out by getting their own snacks (make up a snack drawer they can easily access).
                Preschoolers can: help prepare dinner, clean up their dish from the dinner table, and help with easier chores.
                Elementary aged kids can: take out the garbage, sweep, and make their beds.
5. Read. I think the best way to teach your children a character trait is to first model that trait. The second best way is through children’s literature because someone else is modeling the trait or lesson you want to teach! Here are some of my favorite books that illustrate kindness:
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Heartprints by PK Hallinan
Spaghetti In A Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy (that’s me!)
The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Thanks, Maria!  Click here to purchase an autographed copy of the book from Maria's website and HERE to watch a video trailer of this treasure.

But wait, there's more:  Maria is giving away an autographed copy and a tiara cookie cutter! How cool is that? Each of the following three things will give you one entry: 
1. Leave a comment sharing your favorite friendship book. 
2. Tweet about the giveaway and let us know you did. 
3. Blog about the giveaway and share the link.  
The Gruener Generator will randomly select the winner on Tuesday, January 24th, at 5 pm central. 
Good luck!

This giveaway is now closed - congratulations Catherine, your name was chosen and you've got a book coming!


  1. Great guest post. I really want Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun.

  2. I recently acquired Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun. Love it!

    First Grade Delight

  3. I love her books! I have Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun and The Juice Box Bully. I would LOVE to get her new book! I love teaching friendship with How to Fill A Bucket books and Heartprints.
    Rambling About Reading

  4. Hey Barbara, I really enjoy your blog. You have such creative ideas and I like using both Spaghetti in a Hog Dog Bun and The Juice Box Bully in my guidance program!

    I have recently started blogging myself and I posted on your giveaway! I would love for you to check it out at http://counselingcorner-allison.blogspot.com.

    My favorite friendship book would have to be The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I used it this week in a guidance lesson. I had 2 other teachers help me act out the story. The kids loved it!

  5. I love using the Juice Box Bully with my kids. What a great book! I can't wait to read her new book.

  6. My favorite friendship book is called "Pink" by Lynne Rickards. It may not be the "friendship" book of all books, but it shows how a pink penguin struggles with being different but learns that being different is not so bad after all. His friends at the end of the story accept him for himself. I just came across this book recently and my 2nd graders had a good class discussion about friendship and being different.

    Following Optimism

  7. I can't wait to check out your books! I like to use "How Ro Use All Your Friends" with groups. Cute way to get kids to pay attention!

  8. My favorite friendship book is Frog and Toad are Friends. Thanks for the great giveaway!

    catherine0807 at hotmail dot com

  9. I love Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch for kindness and Bad Hair Day for friendship.

    I tweeted and blogged about your giveaway, too!



  10. Another great giveaway! A nice addition to any classroom library

  11. My Favorite friendship book lately is Enemy Pie. The kids can really relate and then you can make a friendship recipe too! Thanks for the opportunity!!! Love your blog!!!

  12. I have two books that I like for teaching friendship: The Giving Tree and Swimmy. Both of these books exemplify that a true friend will do anything for you.

  13. Thanks for inviting so many to share ideas/thoughts. I read, You Can Be A Friend by Tony & Lauren Dungy to students in grades 3-5. It goes along with my respecting others unit and students create posters based on their experiences. It has an amazing impact. For the lower elementary levels I read Dont Need Friends by Carolyn Crimi an amazing tale of friendship.

  14. Thank you for all of your kind words! I continue to write because I know there are good people like you out there that are sharing the messages with children!!!! :) Maria Dismondy


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!