Local author teaches important life lessons through children’s books

Plus she shares advice on how to get your little one to read

Boss Lady - Author Maria Dismondy on Live in the D

As you probably know, March is National Women’s History Month, as well as Reading Month, and Maria Dismondy fits the bill for both. She is a local children’s book author, former teacher, public speaker, she started her own publishing company, and now she is even hosting a classroom of her own online.

It all began with her first book, Spaghetti In A Hotdog Bun, which she published in 2008. At the time she was a teacher and realized there were not many books for kids that had characters that looked like them. Instead, many children’s books had animals as the main characters. The book teaches kids to have the courage to be themselves.

Since then she has written many more books, all with positive messages for kids. She likes to focus on positive character traits like perseverance, courage, and self-esteem.

In the process of writing, she met Stephen Tulloch, a former Detroit Lions player, and she co-wrote a book with him. She loved the experience of helping him share his story and wanted to help other authors do the same, so she started Cardinal Rule Press in 2015.

As an author, publisher, and former teacher she was invited into a lot of classrooms to be a public speaker. When the pandemic hit, however, right at the start of her busy season, Reading Month, she could no longer go inside the schools. Like many, she did the pandemic pivot and decided to bring her lessons to their homes with Sunny Side School, a virtual classroom. She was able to speak to 20,000 children in just one month. Families can still sign up for her Sunny Side School, to teach their little ones the soft skills they need, since they are no longer in the classroom full time.

Maria is also a mother, so how does she get her kids to read? She says she tries to have them pick out books about things that interest them.

To hear the full interview, watch the video above.


About the Author:

Michelle Oliver is a Multimedia Journalist for the 10 a.m. lifestyle show, "Live in the D." She is known as "the food girl" because of her two popular food franchises, Dine in the D and Find Your Fix. Michelle also covers stories on homegrown businesses, style, and other fun things happening in the D.