7 Tips for Traveling Well With Kids

7 Tips for Traveling with kids

Can it be? Summer is winding down! Mid-August means shopping for school clothes and supplies.

But there are still plenty of families who will be taking trips…whether by car, plane, train or bus.

I’m guest posting on Sarah Forrest’s ‘Easy Read System’ blog with some great travel tips for parents.

I hope you’ll stop, read and share:


At the end of September (if all goes smoothly), my husband and I will be grabbing a flight to New Hampshire to start a new adventure…sharing a house with our daughter and grandson! For the past few weeks, I’ve been going through cabinets, closets and drawers, trying to weed out what we don’t need to take with us. When the moving company estimator came, he couldn’t believe how many books we had! No surprise there, I guess.


Picture Books: A Child’s POV

Picture Books: A Child's POV

I want to apologize.

I’ve had to step back from blogging and other social media because we are moving. Although I’ve packed up houses before, this time it seems harder! Could it be that I am older?

Today I am guest posting over at Donna Martin’s On the Write Track. She has a series called, WRITERLY WISDOM, and Donna is one of the amazing connections I’ve made in this kid lit community – I hope you will stop by and read all about what makes a great picture book and the various genres of books for kids: http://donasdays.blogspot.com/2013/08/writerly-wisdom-vivian-kirkfield.html

By the way, we are in final negotiations for the house in New Hampshire…fingers crossed!

Picture Books: A Child's POV

Multicultural Picture Book Review and Activities for Kids

Today is Friday – time for a children’s book and an activity to keep the kids happy and busy!

Multicultural Picture Book Review and Cooking Activities

I found this book in a box at an open air town flea market when I was visiting my daughter and grandson in New Hampshire. I get into trouble at these places – how can you say no to a beautiful picture book for 25 cents? The seller wanted me to take the entire box of over a dozen hardcover beautifully illustrated multicultural books for two dollars. That’s right…two dollars. And did I buy all of them? No, I exercised GREAT restraint and only spent $1.00 because I knew I would have to lug those hardcover books back on the plane. After I made my frugal purchase, I walked over to the next seller. Oh no!!! She was selling children’s books also! There was  Frog and Toad, The Fire Cat and Danny and the Dinosaur – each for…you guessed it…25 cents. I couldn’t resist…I bought TWELVE…but I left those with my grandson!

Multicultural Picture Book Review and Activities

Mei-Mei Loves the Morning

Written by Margaret Holloway Tsubaklyama

Illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (1999)

Ages: 4 and up


Multigenerational activities, family bonding, urban China

Opening Lines:

“Mei-Mei loves the morning. When she wakes up, she always hears Bai-Ling rustling impatiently in his cage and Grandpa’s slippers sip-slapping on the kitchen floor. Mother and Father are still asleep, but Mei-Mei jumps out of bed.”

Synopsis:   Continue reading

Monday Writing Magic: What Makes a Great Picture Book Story?

Monday Writing Magic: What Makes a Great Picture Book Story?

What good luck! I’m continuing my new blog schedule with a Monday post about writing. Susanna Leonard Hill graciously picked today to reveal the 8 finalists in the 4th of July Secret Mystery Writing Contest. Thanks, Susanna…perfect timing!

What bad luck! It will be very difficult to decide who should be the winner…each story is fantastic! You can help….go and read the entries…and VOTE!

What good luck! I just heard an acceptance speech for the Hornbook Award by Extra Yarn author Mac Barnett and illustrator Jon Klaussen. You can read it here and here or listen to it here. They said that a great picture book must: Continue reading

Show-Me-How Story-time with Miss Vivian Travels to New Hampshire

What an awesome time to be traveling to New England.

I’ll be flying to New Hampshire tomorrow and I can’t wait to gaze out the window of the plane, down at the magnificient fall folliage…scarlets, magentas, golds…the tree-tops will look like a bejewled crown of a Russian tsarina. 

My grandson will be celebrating his third birthday and I am looking forward to taking long walks with him down to the pond where we love to select the perfect pebbles and toss them in.  Of course, there will be plenty of opportunity to use the Show-Me-How program…I know Jeremy will be thrilled to read lots of picture books, do simple craft projects and work together in the kitchen, preparing easy healthful recipes.

I’m also excited about this trip because I will be bringing the Show-Me-How Story-time with Miss Vivian program to the Tollhouse Preschool in Merrimack, NH.  I’ll be reading Yes We Can by Sam McBratney to the three year old preschool group and doing a leaf tracing craft project with them.  I’m coming prepared with a bag full of leaves…but I’m sure there will be plenty available on the school grounds.

Why is it so important to read to young children?  Reading to young children:

  • Builds self-esteem
  • Develops pre-literacy skills
  • Stengthens the parent-child connection
  • Allows them to relate their experiences to those in the story
  • Provides wonderful opportunities for parent-child discussions

The craft and cooking activities included in my book help extend this learning experience.  What a wonderful gift to give any parent or teacher of young children!  Please visit my website for online specials.

“Looking for a book that creates childhood magic?  This is it!

 – Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD: Clinical Director and Family Therapist

“This is a timely and timeless book that every parent and teacher will love.  It encourages children in an engaging, creative and fun format.”

Sheila Glazov: Author of What Color is Your Brain? and Princess Shayna’s Invisible Visible Gift

What’s In Your Child’s Bookcase Wordy Wednesday: I LOVE YOU BECAUSE YOU’RE YOU

Children looking at picture books at school, S...

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WOW!  I just got back from visiting with my daughter and her family in New Hampshire.

As I boarded the plane in Boston, I was missing them already!

While there, I was able to read and craft and cook with my 2½ year-old grandson, Jeremy.  Oh yes, and hug and kiss him a lot.

Young children need to hear how much they are loved and valued…on a daily basis.  As parents, we sometimes get overwhelmed with our tasks and chores.  It warms my heart to observe how loving and nurturing my daughter is…even though she is always busy…she never forgets to let her child know how special he is!

While on the east coast, we visited with my niece and her children and my daughter grabbed some time to read to her son, Jeremy (on the right) and her cousin’s little boy, Jake.  No matter what stories you read to your children, what counts is the joyful and positive time you spend with them that counts.  Today’s story suggestion let’s your children know that you will love them…no matter what!


Written by Lisa Baker

Illustrated by David McPhail

Mother Fox tells her son that she loves him when he is happy as well as when he is angry.  She also loves him when he is sick in bed as well as when he is running around.  She lets him know that she loves him when he is shouting as well as when he is quiet.  Little Fox, of course, is very comforted by the fact that his mother loves him just as he is.

Young children need to know that we will love them no matter what.  This level of unconditional love and acceptance will encourage them to come to us with their problems and concerns.  It will also enable them to show love to others and develop healthy relationships with others, now and throughout their lives.

Overwhelmed by the sheer number of books available at libraries and bookstores?  Check out my website where you can purchase a copy of SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRFTING AND COOKING at 50% off the cover price.  This is a great resource for busy parents…it pinpoints 100 picture books every young child should hear and provides a story summary, gentle parenting tip, easy craft project and simple healthful cooking activity for each recommended title.  Just stop by and enter to win the Crafty Easter Basket filled with craft supplies for your preschoolers…no purchase necessary…just fill in the contact form.  You can even leave me a comment here on why you would like to win the craft supplies.

One more piece of information I’d like to share…a fellow author is having a book blog tour…these are great books for children and Positive Parental Participation will be the host on April 12.  There is an ongoing contest to win prizes…you just have to check out each stop on the 30+ day tour…here is the link for more information: http://readwithmax.com/blogbooktour.html

What’s In Your Child’s Bookcase Wordy Wednesday: YES WE CAN! and the Versatile Blogger Award :)

Illustration of Peter Rabbit with his family, ...

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It’s been a most wonderful week so far!  I want to share some good news before I review the picture book I choose for today’s post.

Of course, every coin has a flip side…and I guess we all decide which side of the coin we will focus on.  Sunday afternoon, I pulled my back out and was in quite a lot of pain.  No, that is NOT the good news. 🙂  Then, on Tuesday, I went to my doctor who did an adjustment of my back (OUCH!) and when I went to the parking lot to get in my car, I noticed I had a flat tire!  No, that is still NOT the good news. 🙂

The GOOD news is that one of my fellow bloggers, Eliz of Mirth and Motivation presented me with the Versatile Blogger Award…an honor coming from the best blogger I know out there.    She asks that I pass along the “good vibrations” to other great bloggers out there…so many of them were on her list already. 🙂  But, when I get back from my trip to the east coast, I will try to send it out to some of the people whose blogs are so very helpful to so many.  

The other GOOD news is that Jamie of Avant Garde Parenting selected me as Parent of the Week and I’ve posted that button on my sidebar.  You can click on her link to read the article.

Oh yes, and there is still more good news!  I leave on Friday for New Hampshire to spend a LONG weekend with my daughter and her family…I am really excited to see them…I know my 2 ½ year-old grandson has grown so much since I saw him in October.  I’m excited to be reading, crafting and cooking with him and I’ll definitely try to do a post while I’m there…but, if you don’t hear from me for a few days, you’ll know why.

This week, I’ve been concentrating on the theme of companionship and, in SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING, I found the perfect picture book to review, Yes We Can! by Sam McBratney.


Written by Sam McBratney

 Illustrated by Charles Fuge

Little Roo, Country Mouse and Quacker Duck start to make a giant pile of leaves, but stop to rest.  While they are resting, they start making fun of each other for what they don’t do well.  Roo’s mother suggests that each show what they CAN do best.  Little Roo jumps over a log.  Quacker Duck floats on a puddle.  Country Mouse chases and catches his own tail.  The friends agree that each one is special and has unique talents and qualities.

Little Roo’s mother found a creative way to teach her son and his friends to appreciate their own special talents without envying those of others.  Being a good friend and companion does not always come naturally.  As parents, we need to encourage our children to value their own strengths and qualities, as well as the strengths and qualities of others.  We make a start by recognizing their uniqueness and by supporting their creativity, even if it veers in a different direction from ours.

If you are looking for 99 other MUST READ picture books, please visit my website where you can purchase a copy of SHOW ME HOW!…a unique resource that pinpoints and summarizes 100 picture books every young child should hear and provides a matching craft project and cooking activity for each recommended title.  Leave a comment here about why you would like to win the Crafty Easter Basket for your preschooler or fill out the contact form on my website.  At 50% off the cover price, this MUST HAVE BOOK is now a CAN HAVE BOOK.