Launch of an Imprint & Launch of a Book – Good News for Kidlitland

Hello everyone! Today’s post is filled with GOOD NEWS!

First of all, a dear friend of our kidlit community, the incredible Callie Metler-Smith of Clear Fork Publishing, is announcing the launch of a new imprint and a limited-time ABOVE THE SLUSH opportunity for readers of this blog.



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

For me, the greatest joy in the world is to be with those I love doing what I love.

So you can imagine how joyful I was this past week, spending time in New Hampshire with my daughter and her family…and visiting Toll House Preschool in Merrimack, NH where I read a picture book story and did a simple craft with my grandson’s class of three and four-year olds.

The children were seated on the floor in their story circle and as soon as Jeremy caught sight of me, he jumped up and cried, “You came to my school…you really came!”  The teacher welcomed me and ushered me to her story chair.  “What’s your name?” asked one of the children.  “I’m Miss Vivian” I answered, smiling down at their eager faces.  “I traveled here on an airplane so that I could read you a special story.”

The children sat, listening attentively, as I read Yes I Can by Sam McBratney.  They loved hearing about the three animal friends who are having fun in the autumn leaves.  When the three friends begin to argue and make fun of each other, Little Roo’s mother comes over and encourages each one to show what they do best.  Little Roo jumps VERY high, Country Mouse catches his tail and Quacker Duck floats on a puddle.  The friends compliment each other…they are learning to give respect and value their own and others qualities and strengths.

When the story was over, we talked about the different talents that each animal had and we all got up and jumped like Little Roo, turned round and round chasing our “tails” like Country Mouse and pretended we were swimming in a puddle like Quaker Duck.  This activity helped the children get a little exercise after sitting so quietly for the story.  It’s important to provide a good balance of activities for young children…if we try to keep them sitting too long, they will get restless.

The next activity for this preschool class was “centers” where the children can choose painting, clay, etc.  This was the perfect time for some of the children to work on the simple leaf family craft project I had planned.  Using leaves of different sizes and shapes, each child picked a few leaves to trace on the page.  Each shape became a member of their family as they added hair and features and colored them in.

As the children worked on their project, they told me about their families and their pets.  I’m always amazed at how verbal young children are…especially when they are relaxed and at ease…which seems to happen all the time when children are engaged in arts and crafts activities.  Parents can use this time as they participate with their children to listen and learn what is on their children’s minds. 


I’m sure the next time I return to New Hampshire, I’ll have the opportunity to visit with the children at Toll House Preschool again.  The teacher told me she had never seen them sit so attentively for a story before.  Although I believe in the policy of “No Rules…Just Read”, I also know that there are certain things we can do when we read a picture book to young children that will help make the experience more enjoyable and rewarding for both parent and child. 

1.    Find a comfortable place to read…child on your lap in a comfy chair or sitting side-by-side on the couch.

2.    Make sure your child can see the pictures as you read the story.

3.    Allow your child to point out things on each page and talk about them.

4.    When the story is finished, encourage your child to retell the story as you turn the pages again.

These are some of the tips I give in my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  In addition to lots of story suggestions, you’ll find a matching craft and also a cooking activity for each recommended picture book.


PLEASE DON’T BE INTIMIDATED BY THE SIZE OF THE BOOK!  Don’t think of it as a BIG BOOK…IT’S A BOOK WITH BIG IDEAS!  Every parent and teacher who uses it says it makes planning and doing activities QUICK AND EASY!

“Kirkfield lays out a brilliant and simple program with activities that will inspire parents and teachers.”  – Diana Loomans, best-selling author of The Lovables in the Kingdom of Self-Esteem and many other books

It’s available in the original print version with lots of lined spaces on every other page for recording your child’s memorable moments.

It’s also available on Amazon’s Kindle for those of you who don’t like a bunch of books taking up space in your home.

The gift-giving holidays are quickly approaching…there’s an online special on my website that can’t be beat…it would make the perfect present for any parent, grandparent, daycare provider, nanny, babysitter, nursery or preschool or kindergarten teacher.

To see the latest review of Show Me How by Lea, a homeschooling mom, please click here.

Follow-Me-Fridays: Where’s Miss Vivian?

Group of children in a primary school in Paris

Image via Wikipedia

St. Patrick’s Day was yesterday…and the luck of the Irish was definitely with me. 

I had the most wonderful day!

Early morning found me at Taylor School again, visiting with the kindergarten children in back-to-back story presentations.

We read Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready For Bed?

When I walked into the first kindergarten room, I did a double-take!  The children were dressed in pajamas!  At first, I thought that the teacher had requested this because the picture book story is about a little pig who is getting ready for bed…and putting on his pajamas is one of his tasks.

It turns out that Thursday was Pancakes and Pajamas Day…and all of the kindergarten children were dressed in their favorite PJ’s.  Some even had robes and slippers…I was definitely jealous…they looked so comfy.

So it was really the perfect setting to read a story about getting ready for bed…and the children did not disappoint…they were eager to discuss the story and knew right away how silly Cornelius was when he fed the gold fish his chocolate chip cookies. 🙂

After reading and discussing the story, the children were ready to move to their tables to construct a No Tick-Tock Clock with movable hands.  I was impressed with their ability to write all of the numbers of the construction paper clock face and I know they will enjoy taking the clocks home and using them to help them get to bed “on-time”.

The second presentation differed a little because we ran out of time and were not able to do the craft project.  The teacher found a wonderful alternative…she handed out small resin-board clocks to groups of three students each…and then drew a digital clock on the board.  Each child had an opportunity to read the digital time and then use the  numeral clock with movable hands to show the correct time.

Telling time is an important skill for young children to learn…and especially today, with digital clocks in most places, parents and teachers need to make sure that children know how to tell time “the old-fashioned” way.

Leaving Taylor School, I headed over to Columbia School, where I had an appointment to be interviewed by two students who had a job shadow assignment.  As each of them aspires to be an author, they wanted to talk to someone who had published a book so that they could find out what was involved.  I had brought the rough drafts of my SHOW ME HOW! book and also the original mock-up of one of the picture books I’ve written.  That mock-up was written over 30 years ago…so it was interesting for them to see it and then to see the finished product with illustrations by my talented daughter-in-law.

The 4th-graders had LOTS of questions…when did I know I wanted to be a writer…and what inspired me to write?  What do I do in a normal day and do I use paper and pen or the computer?  How did I contact a publisher?  Does the author hire the illustrator or does the publisher handle that. 

My advice to them was to follow their dream and never give up.  It takes a lot of patience and hard work and perseverance to succeed at ANYTHING…and writing is no different.  I encouraged them to have confidence in themselves and in what they hope to accomplish.

SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING is all about instilling a sense of competence and confidence in your young children.  Children with a positive self-image are more likely to take on new tasks and accept new challenges.  Isn’t that what we want for our children?

Please visit my website to take advantage of the 50% OFF SALE PRICE on each copy.  You can also enter to win a FREE Crafty Easter Basket which will be awarded on April 10th.  All you have to do is fill out the contact form.