spaghetti in a hot dog bun book cover

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun

Having the Courage to Be Who You Are

Watch Lucy stay true to herself as she learns how to confront bullying with kindness!

Lucy has big hair, eats fun foods–like spaghetti in a hot dog bun–and is teased by a boy named Ralph at school because she is different. She tries to be brave but she wishes the teasing would stop. What should I do? she asks herself over and over. Lucy’s Papa Gino reminds her to do the right thing and treat people with kindness. So when Ralph gets stuck on the playground and needs help, will Lucy use this chance to teach Ralph a lesson? Or will she have the courage to be true to herself and make the right choice with an act of kindness? Readers of all ages can empathize with Lucy’s brave journey as she sets out to rise above Ralph’s mean words, stay true to herself, and build her self-esteem every step of the way. Filled with whimsical illustrations, this book comes with a free Reader’s Companion, containing arts and crafts projects, lesson plans on different types of intelligences, teamwork games, and more for children to go beyond the book. The best book for teaching kindness and confronting bullying. Spaghetti in a Hotdog Bun is perhaps the most beloved book by award-winning author Maria Dismondy. It carries the key message of love, courage, and positivity supported by the many advocates of positive parenting solutions. It will sit comfortably on your shelf alongside other books that focus on emotions, confidence, and bullying, like the work of Adir Levy (What Would Danny Do?) and Jacquelyn Stagg (Kindness Starts with You).

Details & Purchasing

Buy Direct

  • Published August 2008
  • 32 pages • 9x9 • Ages 4 to 10
  • Hardcover Picture Book, Picture Book, Ebook
  • ISBN: 978-193391630-9
  • Lexile Leveling: 610
  • Fountas & Pinnell Level: L

Book Reviews

RMcCoy1234 (Blogger)

This is a must have book for parents and teachers to have in their book collections. It will help open up communication with children about bullying and help teach children that being different makes them unique and special. Children should never have to deal with bullying, but when they begin going to school, many children will face a bully. Through Maria’s book, hopefully children will learn to not let bully’s and hurtful comments about being different hurt them. Read the full review

Nikki Michalski (Said)(Sultana)

What a wonderful story and message. It took me back to my 1st grade experience when having to take my lunch to school, my Mom made me bread with tomato paste (maltese is hupse bil conserva…you might recall that), anyway, I did get teased for eating “blood sandwiches” and after a few times, I told my mom that I did not want them any more, but to make me peanut butter and jelly like everyone else. Wow! Did I conform or what! Your book sends a powerful message and I look forward for your success with this book and possibly some others too!

Shelley Williams

As a first grade teacher, I can’t wait to read Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun to my students this fall. This book promotes powerful class discussion about treating others with respect and accepting differences. Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun is a terrific book to use when teaching the Civics GLCE’s in Social Studies.

M. Rutledge

It’s so hard for kids to be who they really are – with the media and harsh ‘cool kids’ at school dictating what’s ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun helps drive home the message that being different is what’s actually cool. And being mean – isn’t! I love this book and wish all kids (and many adults actually!), had the chance to read it. It’s a life lesson that’ll carry them through some tough times. The illustrations are really cute, too!

Book Awards

Coming Soon!


Cardinal Rule Press

P.O. Box 930237 • Wixom, MI 48393