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March 2017


Some of my favorite books are those that build character and leave a lasting impression on our students. That’s exactly what Maria Dismondy, an award-winning author, emphasis in her books. As a twin, I can easily relate with Maria Dismondy’s latest book, The Jelly Donut Difference.

“In today’s society, it’s important to remind children that, although we are different on the outside, we are very much alike on the inside.” – Maria Dismondy

I am excited to be partnering with Maria Dismondy and a number of inspirational educators around the world to share with you my review of Maria Dismondy’s latest book. In this book, Leah and Dexter are brother and sister. In fact, they are twins! However, they don’t always get along. There are even times they can be downright mean to each other.

After getting to know Ms. Marvis and hearing her story, Dexter and Leah realize the symbolism of a special kind of donut called a paczki (pronounced POONCH-key). The ooey, gooey jelly donuts in this story are a testament to the power of kindness, caring and generosity. My students absolutely loved the message in this book, as well as the illustrations. After reading the story, we shared how we can be kind to one another and pay it forward – just like Leah and Dexter paid it forward to Ms. Marvis. Overall, this book has a wonderful, heartfelt message. To find out more about Maria Dismondy’s books, check out her website:

Meet Maria Dismondy

I am truly blessed to call Maria Dismondy one of my friends. I had the opportunity to meet her at a Michigan teacher/blogger meet-up. She has a heart of gold and her stories are life-changing. Check out my interview with Maria.

Award-winning author, Maria Dismondy inspires lives through her poignant stories about topics challenging today’s modern child. Maria’s background in early education and commitment to teach the importance of character building enables her to touch lives the world over while touring as a public speaker in schools, community forums, and at national conferences. Maria’s eighth book, The Jelly Donut Difference, drives home the important message of generosity and kindness. She included the polish donuts as a nod to her heritage. When Maria isn’t writing, she can be found embarking on adventures throughout southeast Michigan and beyond, where she lives with her husband and three book-loving children.

Q: How did you come up with your first book Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun in 2008?

A: Spaghetti in a Hot Bun was inspired from my own experiences as a child. I had the idea to write the book when I was teaching first grade. I wanted a book that was realistic for children to relate to, that empowered them to have the courage to be themselves and that really made a difference.

Q: Since your first book, we’ve been introduced to many admirable characters. What do people love most about your stories?

A: Readers like the strong moral messages, the diversity found in the books and the likeable characters.

Q: What do you hope readers will learn from your books? Is there a message for adults in you stories too?

A: I hope that children remember the characters and how they handled difficult situations when they are in similar positions in their own lives. I believe adults can be reminded of the importance of the power of our actions in my stories. I hope caregivers, teachers and parents of young children will see the importance of modeling positive character to the children in their lives and see what an important role they have shaping the next generation!

Be sure to check out Maria’s latest book, The Jelly Donut Difference. You can purchase the book on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

Would you like to win a book for yourself? Enter to win using the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Entering is simple and you can have up to 7 entries! The winner will be chosen in one week, on Saturday, April 1, 2017.

Win a FREE Copy of The Jelly Donut Difference


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Reading,