Happy Mother’s Day: #50PreciousWordsforKids – Here Are Their Stories Plus a Giveaway

Happy Mother’s Day! I decided to share the #50PreciousWordsforKids stories on this special day – kind of a gift to all the moms out there.


What a thrill to receive so many amazing stories! I loved reading all of their precious words. And what is so astonishing, is that Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Bunny’s Book Club

Hello friends!

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday…and I’ve got a PERFECT PICTURE BOOK for you!

But we need to make THREE announcements first.

  1. The lovely Susanna Hill is hosting her Valentiny Contest. For details on how to enter and win one of the fabulous prizes, go here.
  2. Last week we promised a copy of Andrea J. Loney’s debut picture book, BUNNYBEAR…and the winner is…


Congratulations, Jean! I’ll be contacting you ASAP so I can give your address to Andrea.

  1. Next month we’ll be honoring Dr. Seuss with the #50PreciousWords Contest…last year we had an unbelievable 128 entries…and prizes galore. I’m putting the challenge together now…more details to follow. If you’d like to donate a picture book, book on the craft of writing, piece of art, critique, or whatever else you think would warm the heart of a kid lit writer, please contact me: viviankirkfield@gmail.com…I plan to list the prize donors and their bios and photos/book covers on the February 11th contest post.

And now…hurray…I get to tell you how much I LOVE Annie Silvestro’s debut picture book!



Written by Annie Silvestro

Illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss

Publisher: Doubleday Books for Young Readers (2017)

Ages: Preschool – Grade 3


Reading, libraries, friendship


From Amazon:

Join Bunny for a top-secret trip to the library in a story that celebrates the love of reading.

 Bunny loves to sit outside the library with the kids and listen to summer story time. But when the weather gets cold and everyone moves inside, his daily dose of joy is gone. Desperate, Bunny refuses to miss out on any more reading time and devises a plan to sneak into the library at night . . . through the library’s book drop!

 What follows is an adorable caper that brings an inquisitive, fuzzy bunny and his woodland pals up close and personal with the books they have grown to love. A warm celebration of the power of books, Bunny’s Book Club is sure to bring knowing smiles to any child, parent, teacher, bookseller, and librarian who understands the one-of-a-kind magic of reading.

And the book has received glowing praise from major reviewers:

“A sweet salute to reading.”—Kirkus

“[Annie Silvestro] makes the pleasures of reading abundantly clear.”—Publishers Weekly

“Mai-Wyss’ soft, muted watercolor scenes sprinkled with charming, expressive cuddly animals is the perfect complement to Silvestro’s enchanting story about the love of books.”—Booklist

Opening Lines:

“Bunny loved books.”

Why I like this book:

  • I love books that encourage young children to become lovers of books and reading…and this book definitely does!
  • Wonderful read-aloud!
  • Encourages parents and children to utilize the library.
  • Beautiful illustrations team perfectly with Silvestro’s text.


bunny-paper-bag-puppet-slidePhoto courtesy: http://www.education.com

Paper bag bunny puppet

Paper bags are one of my favorite craft materials…they are inexpensive, easy to work with, and so versatile.

You will need: 1 paper bag, construction paper, scissors, glue, crayons or markets.

  1. Cut out eyes, nose, whiskers, and ears from construction paper and glue on.
  2. Use crayons or markers to add details.
  3. Kids will enjoy role-playing with the puppet.
  4. Visit https://www.education.com/activity/article/bunny-paper-bag-puppet/ for more fun activities for kids.

This book provides a unique opportunity to get a library card for your child if he or she doesn’t already have one. And please check out your local library…most libraries have an array of free activities for children and adults.

That’s all for today…but don’t forget to come back tomorrow:





This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill. Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

MARCH-ing Books to Kids

You all know how passionate I am about helping children become lovers of books and reading.

As I journey along on this picture book writing path, I meet others who share the same mission.

Yesterday I visited the website of author AJ Irving and discovered a brilliant initiative to get books into the hands of kids who don’t have any. Yes, you read that right! There are plenty of kids, here in the good old USA, who grow up in homes without books. And we can help!

MARCH-ing Books to Kids.

Phonemic Awareness – With Fun Games to Play

phonemic awareness I’m guest posting today over at Sarah Forrest’s Easy Read System Blog. Summer is a time when many families are traveling – why not build this important skill with fun games that help pass the time.

I hope you will hop over and read it: http://www.easyreadsystem.com/news/building-literacy-through-vacation/

Please stop by again on Friday for a super picture book review and activity.

Parenting Blog Award: The Positive Parental Participation Blog Award

The Positive Parental Participation Blog Award

The Positive Parental Participation Blog Award

Awards are a great way to let someone know they have done a stellar job!  At the Academy Awards ceremony, actors and actresses covet the golden Oscar.  Thoroughbred horses and their jockeys train fast and furiously to win the blue ribbon and flower-encrusted wreath.

Bloggers also have their own ways of giving ‘props’ to other bloggers…’The Very Inspiring Blogger’, ‘The Sunshine Award’ and the ‘The Versatile Blogger’ are only a few of the many awards a blogger can receive.  Usually, the bloggers who receive the awards have to list a number of interesting things about themselves…and then pass the award along to a bunch of others.

During these past two years, I’ve connected with many wonderful people.  I’ve created a special parenting blog award (I hope I’m allowed to do that)…The Positive Parental Participation Blog Award.  This is an award that recognizes a blogger who exemplifies the tenants of Positive Parental Participation:

  • Encourages children to love books and reading
  • Believes that young children need to play in order to learn
  • Supports positive parental participation

I’m sure my list would run off the page if I included all those who deserve this award…so I’m starting with just nine special bloggers.

  1. Susanna @SusannaLeonardHill: Your Perfect Picture Book Friday list is an AMAZING resource for every parent and teacher of young children…your summer school visits with your daughter provided a lovely view for all of us on parenting the growing child.
  2. Milka @PerfectingMotherhood:  I love your dedication to providing your young children with books and creative experiences…somehow you’ve found a wonderful balance of being there for them and giving them space.
  3. Marilou @SpanishPinay:  I’ve enjoyed following your new-mom journey…Little Spanish Pinay is a lucky little girl…you are a wonderful mother…working hard to provide a positive loving environment for your precious child.
  4. Ella @MyMemorableChildrensBooks:  I connected with you when I first started blogging and you have continued to impress me with your dedication to getting books into the hands of young children.  Your birthday book giveaway, wonderful book reviews and sharing of information about various book freebies that are available are all great resources for parents.
  5. Kirsten @CreatingCuriousKids:  I met you through Susanna’s PPBF and Julie’s 12×12 and was immediately struck by how involved you are with your children’s lives…you provide amazing activities for them, you help at their schools, and you share your passion for books and reading with them.  Your latest post also shows how you are encouraging them to care about others and reach out to help in their own small ways.  When they are adults, they will be caring about others in BIG ways, I know!
  6. Elizabeth @MirthandMotivation:  You were my first blogging ‘buddy’!  Your posts never disappoint…they are always filled with peace, hope, inspiration, amazing photography, beautiful verse and wonderful quotes.  Your blog is enjoyed by people all over the world…you are a great writer, a talented photographer and a caring human being!
  7. Chris @BookDads:  We connected a while back when you graciously reviewed “Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cookingand then you invited me back as a guest poster.  You empower moms and dads as they travel the parenting road…you also promote the love of books and reading and you do a stellar job…I love that!
  8. Emily @mummumstheword   It was a happy day when I linked one of my parenting/importance of picture books posts to yours, Emily!  I’m so proud of your tremendous success with your children’s books…you are helping so many with the beautiful stories you tell!  And I’ve enjoyed your honest and humorous posts that relate your first-time parenting adventure with your beautiful son.
  9. Susan @Kindergarten&PreschoolforParentsandTeachers      I’m loving the Google+ HangoutsonAir that I am doing with you, Susan!  Your blog is an amazing resource for parents and teachers…your books are must-have’s for anyone with young children…and you are a wonderful mother.  I always know there will be a post brimming over with great ideas when I visit your blog.

Please go and visit these special bloggersl…your time will not be wasted!  I hope these nine amazing people will want to pass along the Positive Parental Participation Blog Award to other bloggers who are encouraging children to be lovers of books and reading and believe that children need to play in order to learn and parents need to participate positively with their children.

Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?

Hugo Oehmichen Im Kindergarten

Image via Wikipedia

They say you can’t go back.

What do you think?

I remember walking into P.S. 199 as a student teacher.  I had attended this elementary school as a ten-year old sixth grader…now I was 20 years old and a senior in college, pursuing my early childhood education degree.  How small the double wooden entrance doors looked now!  How tiny the seats in the classroom seemed!

It didn’t seem to be the same school that I had stored away in my memory banks.

Since January, I’ve been presenting the SHOW-ME-HOW Story-time Reading and Crafting Program to District 11 kindergartens and Pre-K’s.  It is really great to be back in the classroom, interacting with students and teachers and parents.

But today’s kindergartens don’t seem to be the same as those stored away in my memory banks.

Why do I say that?

  • When I was teaching kindergarten (back in the 60’s and 70’s), the children learned through play and there was very little “formal” instruction.  In today’s kindergartens, I see a lot of “formal” teaching of reading and writing…not just the ABC’s.
  • When I was teaching, kindergarten was a preparation for first grade.  In today’s kindergartens, there seems to be an expectation that the children will be reading and writing by the time they enter first grade.
  • When I was teaching kindergarten, we understood that children mature in their own unique ways…while it is true that some 4½ year olds are quite capable of learning to read and write (I had several who came to kindergarten already reading and writing and speaking several languages), it is also true that many children have not yet developed the fine motor skills necessary for holding the pencil and mapping out the letters.  With reading, we have the same situation…some children have the eye-brain coordination, but some need just a little more time to physically mature.
  • In my opinion, the only advantage to “pushing” these little ones to read and write is that, if there are problems such as visual impairment or learning disorders, they may be discovered at this earlier age and intervention can be arranged.  However, the down side is that we are already labeling these young children…and often these labels stick, even if it was just a maturity issue that was the cause.
  • Almost every kindergarten teacher I have visited with has mentioned the lack of time to READ picture books to the children.  Arts and crafts are also an area that is pushed to the back burner.  Now, all of you know how passionate I am about reading to young children…and how much I believe in the importance of encouraging children to express themselves in arts and crafts activities.  I realize that the curriculum and standards are mandated by the state…teachers don’t really have control over those things and are held accountable for the levels of learning their students achieve.
  • The almost frantic pace I observed in some of the kindergartens was even stressful for me…imagine how it must be for five-year olds!  They change activities (and rooms) as if someone is surfing channels on the TV with a remote control.  Perhaps they are used to it…having been exposed to the constant mini-bytes that are prevalent even on the educational TV channels.  Again, I undertand that most of kindergarten teachers would probably prefer to go back to a “kinder, gentler” type of classroom.  Don’t get me wrong…I do believe in routines and schedules for young children…I think they thrive when they know what the plan is…I just wish it was a less hectic plan.  I know it used to be in the kindergartens stored in my memory banks.

What do you think?  Do you have a child in kindergarten?  Are you a kindergarten teacher?  Do you agree that the kindergarten of today is the new first grade?  And, do you think this is a postive or negative change?


TODAY, APRIL 9th, is the LAST day you can purchase SHOW ME HOW! at 50% off the cover price on my website: http://www.positiveparentalparticipation.com.  Parents, grandparents, teachers and daycare providers of preschoolers…please don’t delay…this unique resource is a shortcut to providing educational fun-filled self-esteem building acitivities for your children.  MOTHER’S DAY is just around the corner…what a wonderful gift this would make, even for an expectant mom!  And this is also the last day to enter to win the collection of craft supplies for your preschooler…purchase a book or fill out the contact form on my website or leave a comment on my blog about why you would like to win the prize. 

TOMORROW: Sunday, April 10th…I will be at the Covered Treasures Bookstore in Monument, CO from 2-3:30pm, talking about reading, crafting and cooking with young children and signing copies of my book.  For more details, please go to www.coveredtreasures.com or call 719-481-2665.  The Book Fair (from 12:30-4pm) is for the benefit of the Tri-Lakes Community Preschool Tuition Assistance Program.  If you are local to Monument, Colorado Springs or Denver, please head on over to say hello and do your part to support early childhood education!

Tuesday, April 12th…I will be hosting Max the Dog as he continues his 36 day book blog tour.  For more details about the on-going contest and to see where he has been and where he is going, please visit: http://readwithmax.com/blogbooktour.html