NOTICE: I received a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. Maria Dismondy has graciously given an additional copy as a giveaway on this blog.
CHOCOLATE MILK, POR FAVOR (affiliate link) is a wonderful children’s book written by Maria Dismondy. Maria’s works help children in dealing with common childhood issues such as bullying and being different. I was first introduced to her work through one of her previous books entitled Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun (affiliate link). Maria’s books gently guide your child through these issues while helping them to feel empathy towards those around them.
Maria’s books are cute and easy for children to understand. After purchasing Spaghetti I sought her out because I wanted to know more about her, and I found a dynamic person that causes everyone who meets her or reads her books to want to be a better person.
In Chocolate Milk, Por Favor, Gabe is the new kid at school. Johnny decides that he doesn’t like Gabe because Gabe looks and talks differently. Johnny spends his entire week avoiding Gabe, but at the end of the week, Johnny is alone while Gabe has made friends with the rest of the class. Will Johnny learn to look past their differences and embrace their similarities?
Chocolate Milk, Por Favor is an engaging book with colorful illustrations. I enjoyed reading this book to my sons. The more children are exposed to a certain topic, the more comfortable they become with it. Children below a certain age do not even notice differences between humans, but when they begin to notice how we respond is critical to how well they will accept others.
I highly recommend Maria’s books to enjoy along with your children!
Ideas for teaching a diversity lesson along side Chocolate Milk, Por Favor:
- Examine your past ancestors and the languages they spoke. What cultural traditions does your family celebrate? Are there ethnic foods that your family eats? Invite other families over for a diversity celebration. Have each family bring food representing their cultural background.
- Discuss cultural differences with your child. When children ask questions about why another child or adult wears certain clothing, eats different foods, or sounds different when they talk, they are trying to figure out the world around them. Help your children research the differences. Many times, in researching the differences, you uncover more similarities.
- Have your child draw an outline of Johnny and Gabe using only a pencil. Before coloring in the drawing, discuss the similarities between both pictures. e.g. 2 eyes, 2 ears, hair, both boys, both liked soccer, both the same age.
- Watch a movie where the characters speak or look differently
- Cool Runnings is a movie about the Jamaican bobsled team that competed in the Olympics.
- The Gods Must be Crazy is a movie about a culture that is trying to make sense out of a bottle that “falls out of the sky.”
- How to Train Your Dragon deals with looking past what you believe about something (the dragon) and seeing its true character.
- Big Hero 6 celebrates the uniqueness and differences of all the main characters. Each character has their own set of talents to bring to the group. Each character uses their differences to help others.
- Use eggs or apples to illustrate that something that looks different on the outside is the same on the inside. Use a white and brown egg or a green and red apple. Have your children draw a picture of the two apples and talk about the differences on the outside. Cut open the apples and draw pictures of the inside of the apple to illustrate how the apples are similar.
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 southeaster Michigan with her husband, Dave, and their three book-loving children.