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.

Happy Book Birthday: TAD LINCOLN’S RESTLESS WRIGGLE Plus Giveaway

I’m definitely dancing for this book birthday! I remember seeing the manuscript early on from one of my CPs, the incredible Beth Anderson…and loving it! And I know you are going to love the finished product – it’s already gotten some GREAT reviews. So let’s sing a big Happy Book Birthday to:

Here’s a brief synopsis from the Amazon sales page:

Tad Lincoln’s restless wriggle just wouldn’t quit, much to the delight of his father, President Abraham Lincoln—if not so much to anybody else! This picture book brings to life the famous first son who coped with a disability and other challenges while showing compassion, intelligence, and wisdom beyond his years.

Tad Lincoln’s boundless energy annoyed almost everyone but his father, President Abraham Lincoln. But Tad put that energy to good use during the tough times of the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln guided Tad’s wriggle on visits to hospitals, to the telegraph office, and to army camps. Tad greeted visitors, raised money for bandages, and kept his father company late into the night. This special and patient bond between father and son was plain to see, and before long, Tad had wriggled his way into the hearts of others as well. Beth Anderson and S.D. Schindler follow Tad’s antics during the Civil War to uncover the generous heart and joyful spirit that powered Tad’s restless wriggle.

The book has already received stellar reviews:

“Anderson’s lively text offers anecdotes along with insights into how Tad’s high-spirited escapades may have given Lincoln welcome relief from his weighty responsibilities. Created using ink, watercolor, and gouache, Schindler’s lively illustrations bring a lesser-known White House resident to life within a distinctive period setting. A vivid introduction to Tad Lincoln.” —Booklist

“Learn about the Lincoln family through the life of their youngest child… the story’s strength lies in its quiet depictions of Abraham Lincoln and his wry humor that many children’s history books ignore. The fine-lined and delicately colored illustrations capture the energy of the day and don’t sugarcoat the Whiteness of Lincoln’s world; most of the Black characters depicted are servants. Readers fascinated by this glimpse into Tad’s story will want to know more, and caregivers and educators will delight in the extensive bibliography and source notes that will aid that exploration. A lively glimpse into the Lincoln home.” —Kirkus Reviews


  1. I love how relatable this story is…kids will connect perfectly to young Tad’s restless wriggle!
  2. I love this portrait of Lincoln as a caring hands-on dad!
  3. The illustrations are in perfect harmony with the text and will keep the reader turning the pages!
  4. I love that the author managed to combine heart with humor!

Dear friends, please remember that the best way to thank an author for a book that you love is to buy the book, review the book, tell friends about the book, and ask your library to purchase copies of the book.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. And don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of TAD LINCOLN’S RESTLESS WRIGGLE: Pandemonium and Patience in the President’s House…and please share on social media…it’s a wonderful way to spread the word about great books…and it earns you extra tickets in the giveaway hat.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: LARRY’S LATKES Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends.
I always love turning the spotlight on new books…and today’s book is definitely a NEW book because today is the LAUNCH DAY of LARRY’S LATKES by the amazing Jenna Waldman. That means we get to sing HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY to YOU!!! And, even though it is the book’s birthday, the lovely Jenna is giving one lucky person a present…the winner of today’s giveaway can choose either a copy of the book OR a picture book critique OR a Zoom Chat…WOW!!!!


Written by Jenna Waldman

Illustrated by Ben Whitehouse

Published by Apples and Honey Press (October 1, 2021)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Hanukkah, animals, humor

Synopsis: From Amazon:
Everyone knows that Big Larry makes the best latkes in town. This year he is throwing a Hanukkah party for all this friends, and the latkes need to be extra special. So he goes on a quest to find some brand\-new flavors. But peaches are a soggy mess, and turnips are a flop. Big Larry’s kitchen is a latke disaster. Good thing he has some help from his friends.

Jenna Waldman brings her joyful rhymes and a friendly alligator to Hanukkah, helped by a sweet menagerie created by Ben Whitehouse.

The yummy latkes! And you’ll find the recipe in the back of the book!

Why I love this book:

  1. Amazingly hilarious text in a fabulous read-aloud rhyme
  2. Super-cool illustrations with just the right infusion of goofy to delight young kids
  3. And I love stories for children where the main character learns to try something new!

I also love when authors stop by to chat. Jenna was kind enough to share a bit of the story behind the story. WELCOME JENNA!!!!

JENNA: Thanks so much, Vivian, for helping to celebrate the launch of LARRY’S LATKES. Here’s a little bit of the background of how the book came to be.

In 2018, I wrote an entry for Susanna Hill’s Holiday Contest. Three years later—it’s having it’s Book Birthday! 
Sharkbot Shalom may have come out first, but Larry’s Latkes is my first sale, and I’m feeling extra emotional with its release. When I signed the contract for Larry’s Latkes, it was Thanksgiving 2019, and we were visiting my family in Portland, OR. We were all blissfully unaware of what was going to happen in early 2020. I’m grateful to have had books to work on during the pandemic, and latke recipes to perfect—a welcome (and delicious) distraction. At moments when I was feeling overwhelmed by distance learning failures, or fears for the future, I could look at Ben Whitehouse’s art and feel joyful again. (I mean, a flamingo, rhinoceros, and a goat eating latkes at a food truck run by an alligator at a farmer’s market?!) I’m hoping that this book can help bring joy to its readers too! 

And here are the healthy ingredients for the latkes!

I’m sure it will, Jenna.
And now, dear readers, if you’d like to learn more about Jenna and her books or connect with her or order a signed copy of her books:
Twitter: @SarafinaDesignWebsite: www.jennawaldman.comIG: jennawaldmanauthor
For singed copies (ask for signature in comments): https://www.booksinc.net/book/9781681155654


Photo courtesy: https://www.redtedart.com/25-hanukkah-chanukah-crafts-the-festival-of-lights/

Hanukkah comes early this year…starting just after Thanksgiving on November 28. Here are a bunch of amazing crafts to try with the kids: https://www.redtedart.com/25-hanukkah-chanukah-crafts-the-festival-of-lights/

Please make sure you leave a comment to be entered in the fantastic giveaway…the winner’s choice of a copy of the book, a picture book critique, or a Zoom Chat with the lovely Jenna Waldman.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend! Tomorrow is the Picture Book Summit…I’m excited to spend a day in PJs, listening to awesome kid lit folk like YUYI MORALES and JON KLASSEN!

KAREN GREENWALD: Will Write for Cookies Plus Giveaway


Plate of Cookies




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