Empathy & Chocolate Milk, Por Favor

Happy Sunday.
What does empathy have to do with chocolate milk?
Make room for Chocolate Milk, Por Favor!

Today I'm delighted because I get to introduce you to the beautiful
Maria Dismondy multicultural newcomer for your book shelves.
Check out the book's brief synopsis on the back cover, left side.

Love Maria's tag line: Actions speak louder than words. Truth!
My son wrote this essay in 5th grade on that very maxim.

Our personal, classroom and community libraries simply can not have enough diversity titles as we help our littlest leaders learn about, appreciate and celebrate cultural and other differences. Check out this flavorful find and see what happens when two unlikely things ~ soccer and chocolate milk ~ connect these boys and help them speak one common language.

Use a double-bubble map to compare and contrast Chocolate Milk, Por Favor with I Hate English! by Ellen Levine or The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig.

Dismondy's Gabe, Levine's Mei Mei, and Ludwig's Brian are all  thrown into a situation where they're having to not only navigate a new culture, but also master a new language and/or different school situation. How are their stories similar? How are they different? How would you help each of them if they were in your class? What would you want? What would you need? 

For other compare/contrast titles, my alma mater has made this list of 50 multicultural tales available. And check out my friend Shawna's refreshingly comprehensive extension and enrichment ideas for Maria's book {here}. Then read 5 Ways to Cultivate Empathy from our friends at Happify.

Use Maria's signature Tips For Teachers/Parents page, written by my friend Elizabeth from Fun In Room 4B, to connect with and assist English Language Learners like Gabe as they learn and grow.

Follow Maria for more inspiration:

And for the real deal, listen to Maria reading her newest delicacy!

Author Bio: Maria Dismondy is an award-winning author, specializing in books about challenges children face. A topic close to her heart, Maria’s own childhood experience inspired her first book, Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun. Maria’s dedication to empowering children with courage and confidence has reached new heights, touching the hearts and hands of children the world over. Grounded in her belief that all children deserve a voice, Maria’s latest book, Chocolate Milk, Por Favor, drives home the important message of celebrating diversity with kindness, inclusion and empathy. As a sought-after speaker, Maria spreads her message by presenting at schools and conferences across the country. She holds degrees in education and child development. Maria lives in southeastern Michigan with her husband, Dave, and their three book-loving children.

Are you still reading? If so, you just stumbled on the secret bonus: Maria has graciously offered to give away a signed copy of her delicious treasure to one of you, my fabulous readers. Just leave a comment below (or on my book's Facebook page) telling us your favorite children's book with a diversity theme for a chance to win. 
{It will also help if you leave your email, but if I know how to find you, no need.} 

We'll put all of the comments into the Gruener Generator and select a winner this Wednesday, April 15th (Tax Day in the USA) after school, at 4 pm CST, to be announced in my Wednesday evening blog post.

Won't you join me in lifting our glasses to Maria to toast her efforts in 
elevating empathy and celebrating diversity
one kind act at a time,
one child at a time,
one book at a time,
to make our world a better, more peaceful place to be.

Oh, and don't forget to stop visit my friend Sylvia at
Learning With Mrs. Parker for tomorrow's tour stop. 


  1. Last year I read "The Sandwich Swap" by Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah and Kelly DiPucchio to my first graders as we talked about diversity. Then we all tasted some humus on a pita chip!

  2. I always like to use the crayon box that talked! I think it is simple for my Kindergarten students to understand and a powerful message!


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