Johnny is a big fan of school but that all changes when the new kid, Gabe arrives. Gabe doesn't speak any English, and that doesn't stop Johnny from going out of his way to be unkind. What will Johnny do when Gabe starts to make new friends? Will he join in the fun of making a new friend or turn the other way? Johnny realizes a powerful message in this story where empathy and inclusion teach us that actions speak louder than words. Read to find out how chocolate milk plays a major role in the discovery of the real universal language.

Maria Dismondy is an Award-Winning Children's Author having written such successes as Spaghetti In A Hot Dog BunThe Juice Box Bully, Pink Tiara Cookies for Three, The Potato Chip Champ, Spoonful of Sweetness and Chocolate Milk, Por Favor.

How long have you been an author and what inspired you to start writing? Since 2007 — I was a teacher and being in the classroom working with young children inspired me to start writing. I wanted my message of hope and empowerment to get out to as many children and families as possible. Writing a book was one avenue to get the message delivered to my audience.

What is a book that impacted you as a child? Where the Red Fern Grows. The amount of love, loss and heartache in this story made me feel like I was the main character. I will never forget how emotional I was reading that book. I love when a book does this for a reader!

What is your favourite book now?  The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.

What is your favourite thing about being an author? Spreading joy and hope to children across the globe.  I also really enjoy speaking at schools and being able to share my experiences with children in person.

What was your biggest challenge about becoming an author? Learning the business  side of being an author was challenging for me. I started my degree in social work, then I went into child development, english and education. I never took one marketing or business course in my studies. Between working as a teacher full time, starting my book business and being pregnant with our first child, there was a huge learning curve when I took on this new adventure!

Any tips for aspiring authors out there? Start writing! This is the first step. Join a critique/writing group to share your work with others. Another piece of advice is to research the current market. Be sure that the idea you have and consider to be unique really is compared to books already printed and on shelves.

What are you working on next? A new children’s picture book that will be released May 2016

How can our readers find you?

Visit my website,, or click the social media links below.

related posts:

  • Great interview! My daughter loves her previous book ”Spaghetti in a hot dog bun”. Can’t wait to read her new book with my little one.

  • This has my 1st graders super excited for Maria’s visit to our school in March! Thanks for posting it! She’s a gem.

  • I love Maria’s advice to aspiring writers; simple, but effective tips! So smart to suggest researching the current market – you always have to have your customer in mind when you are an entrepreneur.

    I look forward to reading the upcoming picture book this May.

  • Looks like a great book I would love to share with my girls!! Will have to check it out!

  • My third graders and I absolutely love her books! Her books send such wonderful messages to us all! Can’t wait for more!

  • Love hearing how an author with no business experience created such a successful career. Thank you Miriam and Maria for the inspiring interview!

  • I’m looking forward to read the book with my son, it look like is a great book!

  • The book looks very interesting. Integrating new friend into a group is very supportive for the new child and the new family…. Love it already… looking forward to read the new ideas the author uses in this book to integrate new children into a new environment.
    All the best !

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