About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever - Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (PomegranateKids, PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books); MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE (Little Bee Books); FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jan 19, 2021); PEDAL, BALANCE, STEER: Annie Londonderry, First Woman to Bike Around the World (Cawkins Creek/Boyds Mills & Kane, Spring 2023) picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my young grandson.


Hurray! It’s almost time for the #50PreciousWords 2023 International Writing Contest.

Some of you have been participating since the beginning. But others are here for the first time. So, I’d like to share a bit about the back story of this contest.

In 2012 I had a dream. I wanted to write picture books. One of the most important things I did was to participate in writing challenges like Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 and all of Susanna Hill’s contests. Why was that important? Because it got me writing. It got me revising. It got me submitting. Hmmm….writing/revising/submitting. I believe that if we do those three things enough times, our writing improves and agents and editors get a chance to see our work. And as much as I am thrilled with my own success, nothing makes me happier than to hear about the success of others in our kidlit community.

When I first got the idea for this contest back in 2016, I thought a few of my friends might take pity on me and submit a story – to my surprise, there were 128 entries.

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Perfect Picture Book Friday: WHEN PB MET J Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends! And Happy National #GiveKidsASmileDay! And today’s featured book is definitely going to give kids a smile because it all about the friendship between PB and J…Peanut Butter and Jelly! The author is one of my oldest kidlit friends, I met her in Switzerland when I went on my trip around the world in 2019, and she’s the fearless leader of the #DreamTeam book promotion group, Katelyn Aronson.


Written by Katelyn Aronson

Illustrated by Sarah Rebar

Published by Viking Books for Young Readers

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Friendship, Humor, Food

Synopsis: From Amazon:
The best friendship since sliced bread!

Once upon a kitchen, the Fridgers chilled on one side.
The Cupboard Crew loafed about on the other.
The kitchen may look like a peaceful place, but there was never more division than between the Fridgers and the Cupboard Crew. The Fridgers could be a little too cool. The Cupboard Crew—well, they often got stale. It was clear that the two should never mix. But that was until Peanut Butter (PB, for short) met Jelly. When Jelly finds herself in a sticky situation, it’s Peanut Butter to the rescue. And the result is the best friendship since sliced bread.
When PB Met J is the deliciously funny origin story of every child’s favorite lunch. Readers will cheer that these sweet and salty characters should always stick together.

Why I Love This Book:
1. I love funny punny books…and this is one of the best!
2. I love books with important messages!
3. The illustrations are so much fun – kids are going to love this!

And guess what, friends? Katelyn stopped by to chat a bit about her inspiration for this book. And even though it was JUST her book birthday less than two weeks ago, she’s giving the present!!! Please make sure you leave a comment on the post and please follow her on social media for a chance to win a copy of this incredibly funny book!


As a little kid, I loved collecting play food and serving it up at make-believe restaurants with my sister.

I also loved watching an animated short on Sesame Street called Teeny Little Super Guy. It was all kinds of kitchen utensils and glassware having adventures in a kitchen.

My imagination fused these two childhood loves together—play food + kitchen utensils coming to life when humans aren’t watching. Then I mixed in a little Romeo & Juliet/ West Side Story tale of feuding families and out came When PB Met J. It’s an origin story about how “the best friendship since sliced bread” came to be.

Obviously, the fact that Sesame Street artist Sarah Rebar agreed to do the illustrations brought this project full circle and made my childhood dreams come true!

Oh, how wonderful that Sesame Street artist Sarah Rebar was snagged to do the illustrations for WHEN PB MET J…no wonder I love the art so much!


Here’s a craft activity that is sure to make kids smile…they can use it for Valentine’s Day cards or for letters they exchange with friends or for anything special that they write. Years ago, we did this activity in my kindergarten class, but it’s so simple, even younger children will have fun.

Make a Love Boat Mailbox for Valentine’s Day cards or any special friendship notes.

You will need: Shoebox with lid, piece of cardboard (from cereal box or men’s dress shirt), construction paper, markers or crayons, white school glue or glue stick, scissors, Valentine stickers (optional…you can always cut them out of construction paper).

1.      Cut the piece of cardboard to fit the front of the bottom of the box as the “bow” of the boat.  Glue in place.

2.      Cut a hole in the lid for the “mail” slot.

3.      Cover the outside of the box and the lid with construction paper and glue in place.

4.      Cut several strips of paper and roll to form the smoke-stacks.  Glue in place.

5.      You can add decorations and designs with markers, crayons and stickers.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! With the wind chill factor, it’s supposed to be -30 degrees F here in New Hampshire – warming up on Saturday to about 10 degrees F. Brrrrr. But I’m staying warm, putting together the Heads-Up-The-#50PreciousWords-Contest-Is-Coming post that will go live tomorrow morning with all of the guidelines so that you can start writing your entry and all of the PRIZES – what incredibly generous industry professionals we have in our kidlit community!

Make sure you leave a c:omment to be entered in the giveaway…and for extra tickets in the giveaway hat, please follow author Katelyn Aronson on
Twitter: @mademoiselleK8 
Insta: @authorkatelyn
Web: www.katelynaronson.com
And if you read the book, please leave a review on Amazon. Reviews are very important!

Perfect Picture Book Friday: MISSING VIOLET Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. I probably connected with the author of today’s featured book during one of the #50PreciousWords contests (which is coming up soon – March 3-5 – so please stay tuned for details). I don’t know if Kelly Swemba entered a form of MISSING VIOLET, but if she did, I’m sure it was a winner because it’s a wonderful story. The book launches on January 31 (Yup…just a few more days – but it’s available for PRE-ORDER at your local indie bookstores and Amazon). And the lovely Kelly is offering a giveaway – one lucky person is going to win a copy of MISSING VIOLET! Please make sure you leave a comment at the end of the post – and please share on your social media for extra tickets in the giveaway hat.

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