Strength Through Stories Initiative Brings Over 7,000 Books to Children Affected by Hurricanes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 1, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO, CA ― Like many Americans, the team at March 4th (M4) watched hurricanes Harvey and Irma in a state of shock and grief. “We have always believed the right stories in the right hands have the power to transform our local communities, country, and world,” said M4 CEO Rana DiOrio “We couldn’t watch children losing everything—including the books in which they find comfort, entertainment, and inspiration for a brighter tomorrow—and do nothing.”

Just days after Harvey struck the U.S. mainland, M4 launched the Strength Through Stories initiative by reaching out to its community with an offer to send hurricane-affected children premium hardcover books with stories about kindness, bravery, and acceptance for each sponsorship received.

M4 also contacted potential corporate sponsors and was delighted when Ingram Content Group (“Ingram”) agreed to help underwrite the Strength Through Stories campaign. “Ingram was integral to making the initiative a success,” said DiOrio. “We truly couldn’t have done it without their magnanimous contribution.”

“We commend M4’s mission to engage young minds and Ingram is proud to work alongside M4 and First Book to help those impacted by this year’s devastating hurricanes.  Because of the Strength Through Stories campaign, thousands of books are reaching affected communities,” said Kelly Gallagher, Ingram’s Vice President, Content Acquisition.

M4 partnered with First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise focused on equal access to quality education for kids in need, to distribute the books. This is the second time First Book and M4 have worked together to bring books to kids in need. In April of this year, M4, along with its publishing partner, Sourcebooks, donated 21,000 books to First Book in recognition of Children’s Book Week. “The wonderful thing about working with First Book is that we know their network is the best and most effective way to get books into the hands of children who need them most,” said DiOrio.

Thanks to First Book’s extensive distribution network and the generosity of the M4 community and Ingram, 7,248 books are now making their way to children whose homes, schools, and communities were devastated by the storms.


March 4th
3701 Sacramento Street #494
San Francisco, CA 94118
[email protected]

Ingram Content Group
Elizabeth Fielding, The Strategy Group

About First Book National Book Bank |

First Book transforms the lives of children in need. Through a sustainable, market-driven model, First Book is creating equal access to quality education — making everything from brand-new, high-quality books and educational resources, to sports equipment, winter coats, snacks, and more – affordable to its member network of more than 350,000 educators who exclusively serve kids in need. Since 1992, First Book has distributed more than 170 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families in more than 30 countries. First Book currently reaches an average of 3 million children every year and supports more than one in four of the estimated 1.3 million classrooms and programs serving children in need. With an additional 1,000 educators joining each week, First Book is the largest and fastest-growing network of educators in the United States exclusively serving kids in need.

Eligible educators, librarians, providers, and others serving children in need can sign up at For more information, please visit or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

About M4 |

March 4th is catalyzing a universe of character-driven stories that foster kindness—and its constituent traits, such as bravery, empathy, curiosity, honesty, tolerance, and patience—in young people. Brought to life through video, film, games, and merchandise, M4’s universe meets the cross-format demands of young consumers, while increasing market awareness and penetration for M4’s partners.

About Ingram |

The world is reading and Ingram Content Group (“Ingram”) connects people with content in all forms. Providing comprehensive services for publishers, retailers, libraries and educators, Ingram makes these services seamless and accessible through technology, innovation and creativity. With an expansive global network of offices and facilities, Ingram’s services include digital and physical book distribution, print on demand, and digital learning. Ingram Content Group is a part of Ingram Industries Inc. and includes Ingram Book Group LLC, Ingram Publisher Services LLC, Lightning Source LLC, VitalSource Technologies LLC, Verba Software LLC, Ingram Library Services LLC, and Tennessee Book Company LLC.

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Back-To-School Must Have: Self Care Strategies

Author Challenges Families to 30 Days of Self Care for National Yoga Month and Beyond

(San Francisco, CA) Between the high bar of academic achievement, increased extracurricular demands, and greater access to the very-adult content of the 24-hour news cycle, kids today are under more stress than ever before. And, as they head back to the classroom this month, the pressure they feel is only going to increase.

“Adults are finally realizing that kids are under stress, too,” says Social Worker and Children’s Book Author, Laurie Jordan. Jordan wrote Yawning Yoga (Little Pickle Press, 2017) to address the sleep problems she saw mounting in America’s young people. “I was seeing more and more reports of kids unable to sleep because they were overwhelmed with their schedule, their social demands, and the world around them. In adults we know that poor sleep leads to many other health problems. I wanted to be part of the solution so that spiral didn’t happen to our next generation. I wanted to help kids develop the inner resources to calm themselves in any situation.”

Jordan and other experts around the country are now urging parents to consider including yoga and other forms of self-care in their kids’ daily lives and say the benefits go far beyond a better night’s sleep. “By combining mindfulness techniques, breathing exercises and balancing postures children learn to manage their emotions, handle stress, control impulses, and develop self confidence,” says Jordan, “Plus, they can be more engaged in learning when their minds are focused and calm. Which means the classroom is at least slightly less stressful the next day.”

To celebrate National Yoga Month during the month of September Jordan will be challenging families across the nation to 30 Days of After School Self-Care. She’s encouraging parents and kids to make self-care a regular part of their routine by posting an image of their self-care activity of the day to instagram with the hashtag #BacktoSchoolBacktoSelf. For more on the challenge visit Jordan’s instagram at

Yawning Yoga is available via Sourcebooks at

To learn more about Laurie Jordan and her Kids Yoga Trainings visit

Yawning Yoga is illustrated by Diana Mayo. To see more of Diana’s work visit


For author interview requests or more information contact Diana Prichard at [email protected]

Entrepreneurship in the Classroom: Helping Kids Succeed on Their Terms


(San Francisco, CA) From Silicon Valley to the Food Trucks of New York City, entrepreneurship has swept from sea to shining sea. Now, a book by San Francisco children’s media start-up CEO Rana DiOrio and Publishing Consultant Emma D. Dryden is bringing the concepts of entrepreneurship mindset to kids. 

“Starting a business is just the surface of being an entrepreneur,” says DiOrio, owner and CEO of March 4th, Inc.  “The mindset that allows someone to identify a need and the courage it takes to not just design solutions to those problems but implement them against all odds are things we need more of in all settings — from people of all ages.”

Vividly illustrated by Ken Min, DiOrio and Dryden’s What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur? encourages kids to explore and embrace their inner entrepreneur everywhere they go. Being an entrepreneur, after all, doesn’t mean making lots of money, buying a business, or speaking French. Being an entrepreneur means asking, “what if?”, being confident in your curiosity, and learning from your mistakes. All of which are important for excelling in early education and beyond. 

Winner of the Mom’s Choice Gold Award, What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur? is available via Sourcebooks:

To learn more about Rana DiOrio visit

To learn more about Emma D. Dryden visit

To learn more about Ken Min visit


For author interview requests or more information contact Diana Prichard at [email protected]

Sourcebooks and March 4th Announce Strategic Partnership

New Venture Will Significantly Expand Sourcebooks Jabberwocky’s Nonfiction Program


January 12, 2017—In a deal announced this morning, Sourcebooks has acquired from March 4th all publishing rights for Little Pickle Press, best known for creating books that relate meaningful, complex concepts to children, including the bestselling and award-winning picture book Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by author JoAnn Deak, Ph.D. and illustrator Sarah Ackerley, which has sold more than 250,000 copies, and a multi-award-winning series that includes What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?® and What Does It Mean To Be Kind?®

Since founding March 4th (formerly, Little Pickle Press) in 2009, Rana DiOrio has sought to create products that inspire character development—traits such as kindness, honesty, bravery, and patience—in young people, and to do so in a socially and environmentally friendly manner. In addition to Deak, Little Pickle is the publisher of a number of bestselling authors, including Shawn Achor, Elizabeth O. Dulemba, and Coleen Murtagh Paratore. Many of the company’s titles are multiple award winners, and in 2014 Foreword Reviews named Little Pickle Press Independent Publisher of the Year. In 2015, Little Pickle expanded into the middle grade and young adult markets.

“We are thrilled to partner with Sourcebooks! Dominique and her team embody so many qualities we admire—professionalism, entrepreneurialism, and kindness,” said DiOrio. “We couldn’t have wished for a better partner in furthering our mission to inspire character development in young people, and we are excited by the tremendous potential made available by our shared vision for the future.”

Kelly Barrales-Saylor, who joined Sourcebooks as editorial director for children’s nonfiction in June 2016, has been working to quickly build its children’s nonfiction program, which has already seen great success with titles like This Book Is Gay, Dear Nobody, and the New York Times bestselling Poetry Speaks to Children series.

“I could not think of a more natural fit than adding Little Pickle Press to our growing children’s business,” said Barrales-Saylor. “Rana’s mission to create books for a better world perfectly syncs with the Sourcebooks vision that books change lives. Little Pickle provides us with the opportunity to partner with a remarkably talented entrepreneur, as well as significantly expand our offering of books that inspire, encourage, and teach young readers.”

Little Pickle Press will live as an imprint under Sourcebooks’ Jabberwocky brand, the company’s children’s imprint. The acquisition includes about twenty-five frontlist and backlist titles, which will be available through Sourcebooks beginning February 1. March 4th will work with Sourcebooks to seek out and generate new projects for the Jabberwocky and Little Pickle Press imprints, with new titles to come as soon as spring 2018. DiOrio will continue to run March 4th, Inc., with a focus on creating and acquiring content and developing video, film, and merchandise strategies in support of Sourcebooks and other partners.

“There are opportunities for creating momentum and real change in this industry by having publishers band together to better support booksellers and authors,” added Dominique Raccah, CEO and publisher of Sourcebooks. “I’ve greatly admired Rana’s work for years. She has created something really extraordinary, and I am tremendously excited to join efforts with March 4th and the very talented Little Pickle Press authors.”

Heather Moore
Senior Publicity Manager, Sourcebooks
630.536.0553; [email protected]

About Sourcebooks

Sourcebooks is creating the next evolution of a book publishing company. We are committed to innovative publishing, to exploring every platform and creating breakthrough models. We truly believe that books have the power to touch people and change lives. Sourcebooks is home to 120 enthusiastic book-loving employees who are dedicated to finding new ways to connect with authors, readers, and ideas. We publish over 300 new titles each year, and are honored to have 67 New York Times bestsellers. Sourcebooks’ ecommerce businesses include Put Me In the Story, the #1 personalized books platform, Simple Truths, and 1-2-3 Magic Parenting. In 2016, Sourcebooks CEO and publisher, Dominique Raccah, was named PW Person of the Year and BISG Innovator of the Year. Sourcebooks is proud to be one of the largest woman-owned book publishers in the country. Visit for more information, and check out the Sourcebooks blog.

About March 4th

March 4th, Inc. (formerly, Little Pickle Press, Inc.) creates, acquires, and leverages intellectual property into stories and characters that are brought to life through books, Ebooks, videos, films, merchandise, EdTech platforms, and augmented reality apps for young people. Striving to be the change it seeks in the world, March 4th has been a Certified B Corporation since 2010 and has earned Best For The World distinction three times and Best For Workers distinction twice. Visit to learn more.

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SLJ’s October Pop Picks

JARAMILLO, Susie. Elefantitos/Little Elephants. illus. by Susie Jaramillo. 10p. (Canticos). Encantos. Oct. 2016. Board $14.99. ISBN 9780996995917. BL POP

Toddler-PreS –Following her wonderful Los pollitos/Little Chickies, Jaramillo returns with a beautiful adaptation of another well-loved traditional song for children. This accordion-style interactive board book features the nursery song in Spanish on one side and its English translation on the other. As an elephant balances on the web of a spider and finds the web holds strong, it invites another elephant to join in. The cumulative song goes up to five elephants balancing on the web in this sweetly illustrated book. The English translation changes the original lyrics somewhat to fit the tune, but the spirit of the song remains the same. Both versions have identical layouts and illustrations, and thanks to the concertina format, neither language takes precedence over the other. The cartoon-style elephants are appropriately gray and stand out against a white background, with the spider’s thread going across the page (the spider makes an occasional appearance), and the lyrics are simply and clearly displayed, accompanied by their corresponding number in a different color. The work has sturdy, turn-the-wheel effects that will send the elephants’ heads and trunks swaying, much to the delight of little hands. And the spider’s web? Well, of course it will break in the end! VERDICT Perfect for bilingual storytime programs and any bookshelf.–Lucia Acosta, Children’s Literature Specialist, NJ

As seen in School Library Journal’s October Pop Picks.

World Kit Lit: It’s #TalkLikeaPirateDay! Four Pirate Tales in Translation

This #TalkLikeaPirateDay we honor pirates who talk in other tongues.

Ages 9-12

the-treasure-of-barracuda-cover-411x600The Treasure of Barracuda,  by Llanos Campos, illustrated by Júlia Sardà, translated from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel.

According to the publisher: “Sparks is an 11-year-old deck hand on the Southern Cross, a ship full of illiterate pirates led by Captain Barracuda. When Sparks and the crew dig up a treasure chest left by the infamous pirate Phineas Johnson Krane, they discover it’s empty – except for a book! Now, they must learn to read in order to decipher its contents and find Krane’s real hidden treasure.” Recommended by author-editor-educator Lyn Miller-Lachmann, who notes you can get a 25% discount for pre-ordering.

To find more wonderful translated pirate titles, click here!

SFUSD Mathematics’ Growth Mindset features Your Fantastic Elastic Brain

Growth Mindset

Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference. Research shows that when students develop what she has called a ‘growth mindset’ then they believe that intelligence and ‘smartness’ can be learned and that the brain can grow from exercise. The implications of this mindset are profound — students with a growth mindset work and learn more effectively, displaying a desire for challenge and resilience in the face of failure. On the other hand, those with a ‘fixed mindset’ believe that you are either smart or you are not. When students with a fixed mindset fail or make a mistake they believe that they are just not smart and give up. Such students frequently avoid challenge, preferring instead to complete easier work on which they know they will succeed.

Children’s Books

A number of children’s books can help spark a conversation about growth mindset.


Your Fantastic Elastic Brain
by JoAnn Deak Ph.D. and Sarah AckerleyTeaches children that they have the ability to stretch and grow their own brains. It also delivers the crucial message that mistakes are an essential part of learning. The book introduces children to the anatomy and various functions of the brain in a fun and engaging way.

Get more books recommendations, suggest courses, additional articles, and more on the SFUSD Mathematics’ Growth Mindset page.

Foreword Reviews: 5 hearts for Roar Like A Girl

Foreword Rating: foreword

Reviewed by Catherine Thureson

The lessons waiting for young readers in Roar Like a Girl are powerful.

Coleen Murtagh Paratore’s Roar Like a Girl is a sweet story about a young girl struggling with change. Willa loves her life in the Cape Cod community of Bramble, and she is looking forward to her sophomore year in high school, until a single day shakes everything loose.

She breaks up with her boyfriend, the inn her parents own burns down, and her beloved dog, Salty, goes missing. Her mother decides it is time to take her life in a new direction, and too soon the family is heading for Troy, New York. Though determined to dislike Troy, Willa’s natural optimism leads her to explore her new community and make immediate friends.

Willa has no agency in the decision to move to Troy; her mother and stepfather choose it for her. Her sense that she lacks a voice becomes a central theme of her story. On her first day in Troy, Willa meets three young girls who want to build a clubhouse, though the city is refusing to hear their proposal. Willa reads books about the struggles women go through to have their voices heard, and her parents begin to teach her about the women who have been important in shaping history, but who are not always remembered.

Each chapter begins with a thought-provoking quote related to Willa’s struggles, words that may spark the interest of sympathetic young readers. As Willa settles into Troy, she learns that she does have a voice, and that it is strong. The clubhouse girls she works to help develop their own cheer: “‘Don’t roar like a lion; Roar like a girl. How’s a girl roar? Heart Smart and loud Proud.’”

Willa is likable, and she benefits from the friendly and fair people around her. Whether or not her circumstances are realistic, they are pleasant to read about, and the lessons waiting for young readers in Roar Like a Girl are powerful.

To read the whole review, click here.

Publisher’s Weekly: Paratore Brings ‘Wedding Planner’s Daughter’ Character to New Publisher

CCC’s Beyond the Book: Publishers Find Doing Good Also Pays

At May’s BISG conference, Mockingbird Publishing founder Ashley Gordon moderated a panel exploring the commercial rewards of social enterprise; Rana Di Orio, the founder of Little Pickle Press, joined the discussion.

“As publishers and authors seek a more direct relationship with readers, cause marketing is a key component in raising awareness and goodwill,” Ashley Gordon says. “Publishers also must compete with other industries to attract and acquire new talent. Our embrace of cause marketing will be a factor in our success.”

Ashley Gordon founded Mockingbird Publishing in 2010 to create beautiful books with not-for-profit organizations to help them tell their compelling stories. She has worked with companies and organizations seeking to incorporate digital publishing and new content technologies into their offerings, with specializations in higher education, social enterprise, and start-ups. Current and former clients include the National Association of College Stores, SIPX, Ingram Content Group, and Flat World Knowledge.

Rana Di Orio is the founder of Little Pickle Press, an award-winning publisher of children’s media dedicated to helping parents and educators cultivate conscious, responsible little people by stimulating explorations of the meaningful topics of their generation through a variety of media, technologies, and techniques. Little Pickle Press is a Certified B Corporation; B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Head over to Beyond the Book to listen to the entire podcast, or click here for the transcript.

Local author Coleen Murtagh Paratore visits School 16

TROY >> Fourth grade students from School 16 received a special visit from a famous local author on Tuesday.

Coleen Murtagh Paratore is a resident of Troy and has published over 20 books since 2004. When she is not busy writing books and teaching writing courses at The Arts Center of the Capital Region and Russell Sage College, she enjoys visiting with students at different schools throughout the state.

“I visit a lot of schools throughout the year, but visiting Troy schools always brings me joy, since I am a Troy girl at heart,” said Murtagh Paratore, who attended St. Joseph’s grammar school.

Each year the local author will visit schools throughout the Troy City School District as part of the Fireflies Reading and Writing Program.

This program is based off one of Murtagh Paratore’s recently published books by Little Pickle Press titled Fireflies: A Writer’s Notebook.

The book is filled with many different writing prompts to help students share their thoughts and ideas on blank pages. Some of the prompts deal with things such as going out into nature and writing down what you experienced during the nature walk, writing down life milestones or things that makes you happy.

Each fourth grade student from the district was able to receive a free copy of the writer’s notebook, thanks to a donation every year from the Troy Pioneer Savings Bank.

As she was handing out the writer’s notebooks to one fourth grade class on Tuesday morning, she informed the students that “there are no rules to the writer’s notebook and the idea of it is to write whatever is on your mind,” she explained.

To read the entire article, click here.

Rana DiOrio on the May 2016 BISG Panel: Why and How “Being Good” Pays

Click to listen to the audio and see the slides from the Book Industry Study Group May 26, 2016 panel in New York city, Why and How “Being Good” Pays: Case Studies Featuring The Commercial Rewards of Social Enterprise and Cause Marketing for Publishers.

Rana DiOrio on BISG May 2016 panel

Moderated by Ashely Gordon, Founder of Mockingbird Publishing, Rana (our Founder and CEO) was joined on the panel by Emily Smolarek and Lavanya Narasimhan (both Associate National Accounts Managers at Penguin Random House) and Chandler Arnold, COO of First Book.

Go, Rana!

Book promotes Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom

Monday, February 22, 2016

National Ag Day is coming up on March 15.

So, that means you still have time to get a copy of “The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen” (Little Pickle Press, 2013, $17.95) – what has been named the Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom program’s book of the year for 2016.

This children’s book by author Diana Prichard encourages young readers to consider how their favorite breakfast foods arrive on their plates.

You can read the entire article at the Bristol Herald Courier

B Corps Little Pickle Press and Cabot Creamery Partner to Support KaBOOM!


B Corps Little Pickle Press and Cabot Creamery Partner to Support KaBOOM!

Laura Mancuso
[email protected]

(San Francisco, CA) Little Pickle Press is proud to announce the Farm2Table book app for iOS iPad. In this interactive—and hilarious—adventure, kids explore how food gets to their tables. Based on the award-winning picture book, The Cow In Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen, Farm2Table engages kids with animations, videos, and a food/origin matching game. Children can have the story read to them (or record in their own voices) as they join Patrick in discovering a cow—and so much more—in the kitchen!

“The answer to ‘where does food come from?’ is not just the grocery store,” says Rana DiOrio, Founder and CEO of Little Pickle Press. “With the picture book, and now this fun and educational book app, parents can engage their children with the more meaningful answers of how food travels from farm to table.”

Little Pickle Press partnered with the farm family owned dairy cooperative and fellow B Corporation, Cabot Creamery, to conceive Farm2Table, which was developed by TapBook Author. In keeping with the B Corp philosophy that doing good is good for business, 15% of the net sales of Farm2Table will be donated to KaBOOM! to support their efforts to bring balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America.

Farmer and food/agriculture writer Diana Prichard said of the app based on her picture book and app development collaboration with illustrator Heather Devlin Knopf, “When I wrote The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen, my goal was to start a conversation with kids and their parents about where food comes from. It’s exciting to see the Farm2Table app taking that conversation to the next level and engaging kids in a whole new medium while at the same time helping children in underserved communities.”

The Farm2Table app is available in the iTunes store:

Learn more at or follow us @LPP_Media.

For more information about KaBOOM!, please visit

And to discover more about Cabot Creamery Cooperative, you can visit


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It’s the Why That Matters | IBPA Independent

January 2016
by Rana DiOrio

Little Pickle’s raison d’être is to create media that fosters kindness in young people—and to do so in a manner congruent with that mission. More importantly, we firmly believe that the future of civilization rests in society’s collective ability to instill kindness in its children. This is our why, and it fully informs our business model, distinguishes us from others in our industry, and serves as Little Pickle’s primary competitive advantage.
B CorpConsistent with our why, Little Pickle was the very first media company to qualify as a Certified B Corporation (“B Corp”). B Corps, such as Ben and Jerry’s, Method Products, and Patagonia, are leading a global movement to redefine success in business. By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, performance, environmental conscientiousness, charitable activity, and treatment of employees, B Corps distinguish themselves in competitive industries by offering a positive vision of what business can be.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Five Million Students Unite in Kindness



Youth nationwide inspire 250 million acts of kindness during the 2016 Great Kindness Challenge presented by Kids for Peace.

Kids for Peace announced today that over five million students united in kindness during the 2016 Great Kindness Challenge which took place in schools all over the world January 25-29th. The Great Kindness Challenge was created in 2012 to address school bullying and to promote healthy relationships. The program officially launched in Carlsbad, CA with 3 schools and 1,614 students. The yearly program has multiplied in enrollment each year, having grown to schools in all 50 states as well as international schools in 61 countries.
Schools and students are drawn to the program for its positive and proactive approach to creating kinder school climates through a checklist of 50 kind acts. The checklist is distributed to students at the beginning of The Great Kindness Challenge week. Students are encouraged to complete each kind act over the course of the week, as well as take part in additional service and community-building events.

Last year, schools nationwide joined together to set a new Guinness World Record for the “Most Kind-Hearted Handprints in a Collage.” This year, Kids for Peace invited all Great Kindness Challenge schools to complete the kind act, “Make a wish for a child in another country,” by participating in their global service project, Kind Coins for Kenya. The goal is to raise enough money to build a fully equipped six room schoolhouse in the remote village of Mikei, Kenya. Schools have answered the call by hosting water bottle recycling drives, kindness cookie sales, and wishing well coin drives. In addition to donating money for the Kenyan school, students are invited to submit a photo for a “Wall of Wishes” to be built inside the new African schoolhouse.

Community members also participated in this transformational week of kindness. Thousands of schools invited their elected officials, fire fighters, police officers, veterans, local businesses, and other community members to cheer on the students with Kindness Community Tunnels, city proclamations, kindness stations, and special incentives.

Jill McManigal, founder & creator of The Great Kindness Challenge, explains, “We know to truly transform school cultures, we must include the entire community inside and outside the school walls. That is why we have kind acts that honor and celebrate principals, guidance counselors, office staff, carpool drivers, crossing guards, volunteers, custodians, teachers and of course, students. We honor the whole school community with kindness!”
Principals agree and are happy to promote the program with fun incentives for the students. Chad Lund, principal of Jefferson Elementary in Carlsbad – one of the founding Great Kindness Challenge schools – took his encouragement to new heights! During last year’s Great Kindness Challenge, he promised to skydive out of an airplane with a “Kindness Matters” shirt if all his students completed their checklists. Well, they did and he jumped out of an airplane to kick-off the 2016 Great Kindness Challenge festivities.

While the excitement is large, it is the simple acts of kindness that prove to be the biggest hit. Some of the items on the checklist are: smile at 25 people, help your teacher with a needed task, help a younger student, and sit with a new group of kids at lunch. McManigal explains, “When students perform kind act after kind act, kindness becomes a habit. And when kindness becomes a habit, peace becomes possible.”

Lloyd H. Dean, the CEO of Dignity Health, the presenting sponsor of The Great Kindness Challenge agrees, “The Great Kindness Challenge is one of the most powerful means for our nation’s youth to demonstrate that they are an unstoppable force of kindness. We are proud to again support and participate in the challenge, and recognize that the impact of the millions of acts of kindness – big and small – will be felt globally.”

All participating schools received a Kindness Certified School certificate and a gift of Little Pickle Press’ inspiring book, What Does It Mean to Be Kind? by Rana DiOrio. The best gift of all is the joy that is felt as five million students complete kind act after kind act.

“Our team was overjoyed to reach the tremendous milestone of enrolling five million students in 2016,” said McManigal. “But now,” she says, “we have even bigger goals. We intend to have The Great Kindness Challenge in every school in the United States by 2020, creating a culture where all people care for and respect each other.”

If the students, teachers and principals who are already participating have anything to say about it, they’ll surely reach this goal.

About The Great Kindness Challenge
The Great Kindness Challenge is one school week devoted to performing as many acts of kindness as possible, choosing from a checklist of 50 suggestions. The Great Kindness Challenge has the power to increase empathy, tolerance, and compassion for all students from kindergarten through high school. Schools may still get involved by signing up at no cost here:
The Great Kindness Challenge is made possible by the generosity of presenting sponsor Dignity Health and supporting sponsors: KIND Snacks, Little Pickle Press, ExaMobile, ViaSat, The Code Crew, SDG&E, NRG, Leo Buscaglia Foundation, Servant Leadership Institute, Author Emma Lesko,and McGraw-Hill Education.

About Kids for Peace
Kids for Peace is a Carlsbad-based global nonprofit that provides a platform for youth to actively engage in socially-conscious leadership, community service, arts, environmental stewardship and global friendship. Founded in 2006 by a mother and a Carlsbad High School honors students, Kids for Peace has now launched over 350 chapters in six continents. All Kids for Peace activities are based on the Peace Pledge, wise words written by the children to inspire peace for all.

Click here to read the full article.

LearningRx Centers Team up to Donate Award-Winning book “Your Fantastic Elastic Brain” to Local School Libraries

THE WOODLANDS, Texas (Feb. 8, 2016) – A few area LearningRx brain-training centers have teamed up to add some brainpower to local school libraries.

To help local school children understand how they can stretch and grow their brains, Kim Bellini and Beth Buzbee, owners of The Woodlands LearningRx, have teamed up with Lisa Branch, owner of LearningRx Huntsville and LeaarningRx San Antonio Northwest, to donate the award-winning book “Your Fantastic Elastic Brain” to the libraries of area schools.

“Neuroplasticity is the ability for the brain to grow and change,” said Bellini. “It is important for children to know they have the power to change how they think, learn and remember.”

Written by neuroplasticity expert JoAnn Deak, Ph.D., and beautifully illustrated by Sarah Ackerley, the book has sold over 250,000 copies and won the following awards: The Mom’s Choice Gold Award; The Moonbeam Gold Award for Non-Fiction Picture Book; The Pewter Gold Ink Award for Distinguished Printing; The Parent’s Choice Silver Award for Interior Design; The Nautilus Silver Award for Children’s Non-Fiction; and was named as The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Silver Winner of Interior Design. It was also honored as a Next Generation Indie Award Finalist for Children’s/Juvenile Non-Fiction.

Encouraging children to become lifelong learners is one of the chief goals of The Woodlands LearningRx. The brain-training center, located at 10857 Kuykendahl Road, Suite 240 in The Woodlands, 77382, offers unique, one-on-one training to help students of all ages strengthen their cognitive skills and transform their abilities to learn at a core level. For more information, call 832- 482-3082 or visit

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Little Pickle Press to Raise Funds for Hand in Hand for Syria


Little Pickle Press to Raise Funds for
Hand in Hand for Syria

Children’s Media Company Steps Up to Support Humanitarian Effort

Laura Mancuso
[email protected]

(San Francisco, CA) Focused on creating media for a better world, Little Pickle Press is committed to helping those impacted by the Syrian crisis.

From November 24, 2015 until March 1, 2016, Little Pickle Press will donate 15% of any purchase of What Does It Mean To Be Global? to Hand in Hand for Syria, the first humanitarian organization to bring emergency aid into Syria when the conflict commenced in 2011. The nonprofit organization remains a crucial source of medical aid, food, educational materials, and safe water for the Syrians in desperate circumstances.

What Does It Mean To Be Global? helps children to understand that we are all part of a global community,” says Rana DiOrio, Founder and CEO of Little Pickle Press. “What better way to demonstrate this than by helping those in our world who are most in need?”

The first book in Rana DiOrio’s award-winning What Does It Mean To Be . . . ?® series, What Does It Mean To Be Global? has won six awards: The Nautilus Silver Award for Children’s Illustrated; the Mom’s Choice Gold Award for Children’s Picture Book, Peoples, Places and Cultures; Learning Solutions Magazine Teachers’ Choice™ Award for Children’s Books; an IBPA Benjamin Franklin Silver Winner for Interior Design in Children’s/Young Adult; the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Multicultural Nonfiction; and the USA Book News Best Books Award for Children’s Picture Book: Nonfiction

Written by Rana DiOrio and illustrated by Chris Hill, this book, available in English, French, and Spanish, allows readers to join children from around the world as they travel, play, and discover what it means to be global. The What Does It Mean To Be Global? trilingual book app is available for the iOS iPhone and iPad platforms.

Founded in 2009, Little Pickle Press is dedicated to creating media that fosters kindness in young people—and doing so in a manner congruent with that mission. Learn more at or follow us @LPP_Media.

For more information about Hand in Hand for Syria, and to learn how you can help, please visit

cover of "What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?"

Little Pickle Press Adds A Sixth Book To Its Award-Winning What Does It Mean To Be…?® Series

What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?
by Rana DiOrio and Emma D. Dryden Illustrated by Ken Min

“Inspires young dreamers to find the courage to be doers.” —Jerry Greenfield, Ben & Jerry’s

January 26, 2016— Little Pickle Press is proud to present What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?, the 6th book in its multi award-winning What Does It Mean To Be …?® series, and co-author Emma D. Dryden’s picture book debut.

With engaging text, co-authors and entrepreneurs DiOrio and Dryden take the conversation from “What for?” to “What if?”, while Ken Min’s accompanying illustrations depict Rae, a young entrepreneur who draws on her determination and resilience to create a big-scale solution from which her whole community can benefit.

Rana DiOrio has been helping companies grow since graduating from law school. As a lawyer, investor, and investment banker, she has assisted hundreds of management teams in achieving their goals. Becoming a mother inspired Rana to find a way to align her career and values. Her solution was to become an entrepreneur, founding Little Pickle Press in 2009 as a social mission company dedicated to creating media that fosters kindness in children, including her own. She lives in San Francisco with The Cowboy and her three Little Pickles. Follow her @ranadiorio.

Emma D. Dryden was raised by an actor father and a writer/researcher mother, both entrepreneurs who instilled in her a love of story and imagination. Emma spent over twenty-five years working at large publishing houses, editing and publishing hundreds of award-winning children’s books, before establishing her own children’s book editorial and publishing consultancy firm, drydenbks. What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur? is Emma’s first picture book. Learn more at

Ken Min grew up on the works of Margret & H.A. Rey, William Joyce, and DC Comics. He was born and raised in Los Angeles and studied illustration at Art Center, College of Design. His first book, Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-Ji received the Picture Book Honor Award from the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association, and his work has been frequently recognized by the Society of Children’s

Book Writers and Illustrators. Most days, you will find Ken illustrating, storyboarding, writing, or dreaming up stories for children. Little Pickle Press is dedicated to creating media that fosters kindness in young people—and doing so in a manner congruent with that mission. Learn more at or follow us @LPP_Media.


by Rana DiOrio and Emma D. Dryden illustrated by Ken Min
Little Pickle Press
Available January 26, 2016 | Ages 4-8 $17.95-Hardcover | ISBN 978-1-939775-12-2

2015 Looks a Lot Like 2010 for Children’s App Developers

The first generation of apps and interactive technology aimed at the children’s and education markets may have had a cool reception, but there are still lots of opportunities for publishers

DiOrio described how Little Pickle is currently working on a number of partnerships between for-profit brands that “embrace a social mission” and nonprofits whose efforts fit well with a given company’s social interests. In one instance, Little Pickle is partnering with the Great Kindness Challenge to donate copies of one of its titles, What Does It Mean to Be Kind?, to 16,000 schools.

The campaign, scheduled for Jan. 25–29, 2016, is a school week devoted to “performing as many acts of kindness as possible, choosing from a 50-item checklist.” Digital technologies make it possible to cost-effectively publish and share a discussion guide for teachers to use during that period.

“There are so many high-quality companies out there. Publishers can help them build community in support of a cause and give them favorable visibility for doing so,” DiOrio adds.

To read the entire Publisher’s Weekly article, click here.

The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen named 2016 Virginia AITC book of the year

Published Friday, Jan. 1, 2016, 9:51 am

Virginia’s Agriculture in the Classroom program has named The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen, a children’s book written by Diana Prichard, its 2016 Book of the Year.

The book encourages young readers to consider how their favorite breakfast foods arrive on their plates. Volunteers will read it in schools across Virginia March 14-31 as part of Virginia AITC’s Agriculture Literacy Project.

National Ag Day is March 15; the Agriculture Literacy Project will run concurrently with National Ag Week but has been extended this year.

“We expanded from Agriculture Literacy Week to two weeks due to its increasing popularity and demand for volunteer readers,” said Tammy Maxey, senior education program coordinator for Virginia AITC.

Last year 1,200 volunteers read to more than 50,000 children across the state. Volunteers have included participants in the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Program and Young Farmers Program, FFA members, employees of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and other state agencies, and members of other agricultural organizations and businesses. Farm Credit of the Virginias and Southern States Cooperative Inc. have been major supporters.

For more information, visit Companion educational materials will be available on the website to accompany the book.

You can read the entire article here.

For more on Agriculture Literacy Week, including supplemental classroom material, click here.