January 8, 2012

Picture Book Review & Giveaway!

I'm excited to have the opportunity to review the book Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are by Maria Dismondy, illustrated by Kimberly Shaw-Peterson.  Dismondy has this award-winning picture book and others, all focusing on the important messages of being yourself and standing up for what's right.  Read more about Dismondy and her books here.
 I think I loved this book at first sight, partly because I am passionate about peace and acceptance in the classroom (I even did my senior research project in college about building peace in the classroom), but also because the main character, Lucy, eats weird food and has out-of-control curly hair.  Sounds like a certain teacher-runner I know...(thank goodness for my CHI straightening iron...)

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun is a sweet story about a little girl named Lucy whose grandfather teaches her that while everyone is different on the outside, we all have a heart and feelings on the inside.  Lucy is teased at school by a boy in her class, Ralph, for having poofy hair like a poodle and for eating spaghetti in a (you guessed it) hot dog bun for lunch.  One day, when Ralph gets himself stuck on the monkey bars, Lucy sees her opportunity to tease him right back, but, realizing how scared he is, she helps him instead.

Both Lucy and Ralph learn an important lesson in this book, and it would make the perfect read aloud in an elementary classroom to set the tone for the year, introduce conflict resolution strategies, or stop a bullying problem before it gets out of hand.  The story is simple and easy to understand, and the pictures are beautiful and full of color.  This picture book would best suit primary grade-aged kiddos.  A follow up activity in a first or second grade classroom might be for the kids to draw a picture and write a sentence about what makes them special and different from others, like Lucy is different because of her favorite foods and hair.  Even if you're not a teacher, this would be a great family read aloud and discuss starter!

Now, the best part--Maria Dismondy was kind enough to provide me with TWO copies of Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun, so I am giving one signed copy away to a reader!
Yikes!  Sorry about the awful glare!
To enter to win your very own copy of this special picture book, simply leave a comment below telling me why you'd like to win or what you'd like to do with this book.  Are you hoping to share it with your children?  Read it as part of a bullying lesson in your classroom?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas!  This giveaway will end at midnight on Sunday, January 15th.  I will choose a winner using random.org and will post the winner the following morning.  Thanks for entering, and be sure to stop by Maria Dismondy's website!

Disclaimer: I was provided with one copy of the book to review and one to giveaway.  I was not asked to provide a specific opinion, and all thoughts expressed in this post are my own.


  1. Cool giveaway, Amy! I would LOVE to win this book to read in my Grade 1 class. We have some ongoing issues with one little student and some bullying. But like you said, it would be a great springboard into writing about why we're special and different.
    Take care!

    Grade ONEderful

  2. I would love to be the winner so I could use it in my classroom! I have my fingers crossed! Thank you!


  3. Our school is currently working on a program called "Character Counts" and later on in the year we will be focused on 'courage'. Wouldn't this be the very best read aloud for the whole school assembly?
    Hope that you will help that idea come to fruition!

  4. This book would be perfect in my classroom this year!

    I have a class with 17 girls and 6 boys and two of those boys are out of my room 90% of the time for special instruction. So, as you can imagine, there is some drama in my classroom with a capital D! The girls can be very petty and hateful to each other and it's been an ongoing fight all year. While the counselor and I have met with these girls many times and it has lightened up, I still see it every day.

    I think this book would be amazinggg to show those young ladies in my classroom how important it is to be accepting and caring!

    Thanks for the great review! I'm loving this : )

  5. Would love this for my 4th graders. We have a program called HEART at our school and this would tie in nicely. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Wow, this book would be wonderful with my silly little squirrels this year! We are regularly having bullying issues, particularly with my girls. Seems as though the drama in their lives is starting early, and I would love to have a good read aloud like this to set a great tone for the next couple of trimesters.

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Sounds like a very cool book! I'd love to share it with my boys - an all male environment can be tricky to manage but they are doing so well so far with being themselves. I would love to support this and then perhaps do some writing about people who are different from us but who can help and teach us.

  8. I would love to read this book with my children and share it with my future students when I go back yo teaching.

  9. This book looks absolutely adorable and I would love to win it to share with my neices and nephews. :)

    Love childrens books so much!

  10. My little man LOVES books, this would be another great addition to our library!

  11. Great addition to my classroom library, especially with our new antibullying policy in NJ! Thanks!

  12. So cool! I love a picture book, and working with kids with severe disabilities, I appreciate one about acceptance. I'm putting it on my wish list!

  13. This is something we focus on a lot in my classroom but there is more yet to be learned. We had a meeting recently about a student who is different (he wasn't there) and how people were treating him. Things have improved greatly but it always needs more reminders. Books are a GREAT way to do it.

  14. I would love to win this book and would actually read it to my 6th graders. We all need a reminder to help other people and treat them like we would want to be treated. :)


  15. I'd love to use this book with my 3 classes -- I teach 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders and would love to share with all three classes and have them do a team building activity with all grade levels!


  16. I would love to win this book to read to my third

  17. I'm just starting out and I'd love to add this book to my class collection.

  18. I love children's books, especially those with a great message like this. Plus, I love the illustrations! I earned my teaching degree this past April and hopefully will have my own classroom someday soon. Next month, I'm starting as an instructional assistant and will be working with two third grade students, both in their regular classroom and an extended resource room. Looks like a great book! Thanks!

  19. I'd love this book since I too, have out of control curly hair. I'm sure my "real life" children someday will, too. I'd love to add this to my growing book collection. Thanks!!

  20. Hi everyone! It's Maria Dismondy, the author of the book in the giveaway. My new book is being released this weekend! There will be MANY chances to win on my blog tour. Check it out starting Monday, January 16th at my blog www.mariadismondy.com/blog

  21. Hey Amy! I'd love to use this book in my classroom to help correlate some of the things I've learned about Girls on the Run. I am just starting to get involved, but love the idea of it! I think this would be a great book to teach kids to be okay in their own skin. A great one at the beginning of the year too, when kids aren't so sure. THanks for sharing!

    Mary Beth
    Run Teacher, Run


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