book review, Something To Do

An Early Chapter Book about being an advoCATe of Kindness

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Books that share the values of practicing kindness while also working to eliminate bullying are always high on JIAB’s list of books to recommend. Imagine how unique and wonderful it would be to deliver those messages via a brave kitty and his ragtag buddies. The Adventures of Phatty & Payaso (an Early Chapter Book) by Marie Unanue is just THAT kind of book!

An Early Chapter Book about being an advoCATe of Kindness


Phatty the cat is on a mission to stop the bully hawk Crawler from hurting his friends and stealing his mother’s jewelry. This courageous cat and his band of buddies work together to learn about teamwork, kindness, and forgiveness, all while facing their fears in Central Park. Our unlikely heroes are an overweight cat, his know-it-all feline friend Payaso, and Max, a boy on the Autism spectrum. With booby trap plans, sneaky disguises, and an enormous amount of courage and grit, these buddies and a verified menagerie of animal friends come together to save the day.

The Adventures of Phatty & Payaso Book Trailer from Marie U on Vimeo.

An advoCATe of Kindness

Marie’s fascination with helped her to write a story that would help teach the character skills missing in today’s children. The book focuses on six skills that are lacking in today’s children. They are:

* Curiosity: Taking an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake; finding subjects and topics fascinating; exploring and discovering.
* Gratitude: Being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks.
* Grit: Finishing what one starts; persisting in a course of action in spite of obstacles.
* Self-control: Regulating what one feels and does in the service of goals and standards; being disciplined; controlling one’s emotions.
* Social Intelligence: Being aware of the motives and feelings of other people and oneself; knowing what to do to fit into different social situations; knowing what makes other people tick.
* Zest: Approaching life with excitement and energy; not doing things halfway or halfheartedly; living life as an adventure; feeling alive and activated.

About Marie

Marie Unanue

We couldn’t help but notice that Marie’s last name “Unanue” looks very similar to the word “unique” and that’s exactly what this savvy businesswoman is!

Marie is not only the author of this new children’s book series, but she is also an avid reader, a kindness advocate, and the former anchor of “Travels with Marie,” a weekly travel review program.  She is also the former vice president of sales and marketing of and former owner of Beyond Compare Events, an event planning, marketing, and public relations firm.

Her ultimate hope is to inspire children across the world to remember to always treat each other with kindness and compassion.

“Within the pages adventures of Phatty and Payaso, kids will learn about good behavior and how to treat people with kindness,” Marie shared. “Kids can identify with a character’s fear or insecurity and experience the feeling of achievement when the character overcomes it. This is not just a book about an adventure in Central Park, it is a book about kindness, character and overcoming obstacles. Like the best children’s content, though, these books have fun “inside jokes” for the parents reading along, with puns and pop culture references for those older bedside readers.”

Marie is also passionate about the inclusion minority characters in her work and The Adventures of Phatty & Payaso gives equal attention to special needs children, latinx culture, and of course, cat lovers. There’s nothing Marie loves more than the opportunity to visit schools and share The Adventures of Phatty and Payaso” and the message .  Visit her at

“It only takes a simple act of kindness to start a positive chain reaction within your community.  A kind word or deed also inspires others to perform their own small acts of kindness.”

Something To Do

Take the Kindness Challenge with Phatty and Payaso!

Kindness Challenge

If you have ever wanted a superpower like Batman, Superman, Supergirl and many other wonderful superheroes of the world, here is your opportunity. We all have the ability to magically put a smile of someone’s face, lift someone’s spirit and even brighten someone’s day by taking an extra minute and being kind to them. Taking the time to ask how they are, offer a warm smile or include them in your day. Being kind is so powerful and so often forgotten in the hectic world we live in, take the unitive to change that, live by example by being a kindness advocate and taking the kindness challenge. Go here to start your own Kindness Challenge and take the world by storm!

Be A Part of THE KINDNESS CHALLENGE on social media:

Here’s what you need for the kindness challenge. Print out the Be Kindness AdvoCATe sign from the Letsallbekind. com website, attach these cutouts to a pencil, paint stir stick or even a wooden spoon! Then photograph yourself, or yourself and a group of friends, your family, your animal or with anyone you’d like showing an act of kindness. Or simply, do the act of kindness and take a photo with the person you helped with a hashtag #LetsAllBeKind

A Park Adventure!

You may not have the chance to explore Central Park in NYC, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own park-related adventures right in your own hometown! has some great ideas on 10 Ways to Turn the Local Park into an Adventureland for Kids.


Happy Reading!