Show Me How! with Vivian Kirkfield and Pippa’s Passover Plate

I’m so excited to feature kidlit author and friend Vivian Kirkfield on Frog on a Blog! When my book The Peddler’s Bed came out a few years ago, Vivian was one of the first bloggers to host me on her fantastic site Picture Books Help Kids Soar. I couldn’t wait to return the favor! And now I’m overjoyed to finally have the chance!

In a series of three posts in three successive weeks, Vivian will offer craft and cooking activities that parents and children can do together after reading one of her picture books. First, she’ll share a summary of the book, followed by a Positive Parental Participation Note, then a craft, and finally, a recipe, just like she does in her book Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. (For more information about Show Me How! and to read my review, click HERE.) How cool is that! Today’s book is Pippa’s Passover Plate.

Hello, Lauri! Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog. Frog on a Blog has long been a favorite of mine and I’m honored to be here.

My journey on this path to picture book publication started decades ago. I wasn’t writing picture books then…I was reading them…first to my kindergarten students and then to my own children. But I never seriously considered writing them until my 64th birthday. You see, I had self-published a guide for parents and teachers, SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING (MoneyPenny Press, 2010). It was the book I had wanted when I was teaching and raising my children – 100 picture book suggestions and a craft project and a cooking activity for each title.

Long story short, my son took me skydiving for my 64th birthday and when my feet touched the ground, I knew that if I could jump out of a perfectly good airplane, I could do anything I wanted. And what I wanted was to become a picture book author. I began blogging to spread the word about the parenting book and met loads of people who also wanted to become picture book writers. I joined challenges. Took classes. Wrote and revised and submitted. And was lucky enough to snag an amazing agent and, over the next few years, received a bunch of book contracts.

This year, three of my picture books launched. And so, when you suggested that we follow the format SHOW ME HOW and provide a craft and cooking activity for each of my picture books, I was thrilled!!!

Pippas Passover Plate cover

SHOW ME HOW!: Pippa’s Passover Plate

SUMMARY: Pippa’s Passover Plate (Holiday House, Feb. 2019) illustrated by Jill Weber, is a joyful rhyming tale of courage, friendship, and perseverance. When Pippa Mouse can’t find her special Seder plate, she must face her natural enemies to question each even though Cats and Snakes and Owls make her Quiver, Quaver, Shiver, Shake with fear. But time is of the essence – sun sets soon, it’s getting late…and the Passover holiday will be starting. Spills and chills occur when Pippa goes to ask Golda Fish if she has seen the plate and the little mouse falls in the lake. Oh no! But life is good when friends are near and Pippa and her new friends join together in a wonderful Passover celebration.

*Positive Parental Participation Note: Encourage children to build relationships with friends by arranging playdates with schoolmates. Create finger puppets to role play with your child – sometimes a child will open up and be more honest about things they are afraid of when they can pretend they are someone else.

CRAFT ACTIVITY: Make a Seder Plate


Photo courtesy:

Materials needed: Paper plate, cupcake liners, marker or crayons, glue.

Directions: Print the names of the foods at the bottom of each cupcake liner. Glue onto plate. Decorate plate.


(Recipes courtesy of illustrator Jill Weber)

There are two secrets to light and fluffy matzo balls—letting the mixture sit for at least a half an hour. (the mixture will become spongy and thick.) and simmering the matzo balls long enough. To be sure, cut one open to make sure it is cooked through.

Makes about 18 medium sized matzo balls.

3 tablespoons of chicken fat (or canola oil)
3 large eggs
3/4 cup matzo meal
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
3 tablespoons of chicken stock

Using a fork, blend together the chicken fat and the eggs. Mix in the matzo meal and salt. Finally, add the chicken stock, mix well, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Bring 2 quarts of water, lightly salted, to a full boil. While the water is boiling, form little balls about the size of a walnut from the matzo mixture. Drop into the boiling water. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 40 minutes. The matzo balls will double in size and rise to the top. When they are done, remove with a slotted spoon and add to the soup for 10 minutes or so to absorb the flavor of the broth.



We usually serve this with shredded chicken from the stock and about 4 small matzo balls per person.

2 quarts homemade chicken stock
1 cup of sliced carrots
1 rib of celery sliced
salt to taste

Reheat the stock and simmer until the vegetables are tender. Add the matzo balls and simmer another 10 minutes. Serve. Enjoy!

And I hope everyone enjoys the book…so far, the reviews have been lovely. I think this is so much more than a book about the Passover holiday. It’s a story about courage, perseverance, and friendship…qualities that we hope all children will embrace.

Thank you so much for letting me stop by to visit, Lauri.

It’s my pleasure, Vivian! You’re welcome anytime!


Writer for children – reader forever…that’s Vivian Kirkfield in five words. She’s got a bucket list that contains many more than five words – but she’s already checked off skydiving, parasailing and banana-boat riding. When she is not looking for ways to fall from the sky or sink under the water, she can be found writing picture books that she hopes will encourage young kids to become lovers of books and reading. She is the author of Pippa’s Passover Plate (Holiday House, Feb 2019); Four Otters Toboggan: An Animal Counting Book (PomegranateKids, March 2019); Sweet Dreams, Sarah (Creston Books, May 2019); Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe (Little Bee Books, Spring 2020); From Here to There: Inventions That Changed the Way the World Moves (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fall 2020). Vivian lives in the quaint New Hampshire town of Amherst where the old stone library is her favorite hangout and her young grandson is her favorite board game partner. You can visit Vivian on her website, Picture Books Help Kids Soar, where she hosts the #50PreciousWords Writing Challenge every March. Or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin, and just about anywhere people are playing with picture books.

Everyone, be sure to stop by next week for the second post in Vivian’s Show Me How! series. She’ll be sharing a fun craft and delicious cooking activity for her book Four Otters Toboggan: An Animal Counting Book. I can’t wait!

Vivian Kirkfield’s 50 Precious Words

Have you been to children’s author Vivian Kirkfield’s blog Picture Books Help Kids Soar? If not, get yourself over there and check it out. It’s got lots to offer parents, teachers, librarians, and kids. And if you’re a writer, she’s got you covered too! Right now, she’s offering a writing contest called 50 Precious Words. The challenge is to write a complete story in no more than 50 words–definitely not an easy task. But I gave it a try anyway. So coming in at exactly 50 words, here’s my modest attempt at a 50 Precious Words story:

A Ride in the Car

My tail wags fast.
My head’s out the window.
We’re going to the park.
Or Grandma’s.
Or Hotdog Hut.
This is not the park.
Or Grandma’s.
Or Hotdog Hut.
My tail droops.
This place smells scary.
A shot!
What? Done!
Next stop, Hotdog Hut!
My tail wags fast.

If you’re a writer, and especially if you write picture books, this contest is a great opportunity to sharpen your word-cutting skills. Plus, there are prizes!

For more information about the contest, Click Here. Good luck!

P.S. There are less than two week left to enter, so hurry!

Show Me How!: Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking by Vivian Kirkfield


Title: Show Me How!: Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking

Author: Vivian Kirkfield

Publisher/Year: MoneyPenny Press, Ltd./2010

Back Cover Blurb: Do you want to provide fun-filled, educational activities for your young child? Do you wonder which story to choose to read to your child from the overwhelming number found at libraries and bookstores? Would you like to help your child develop a strong positive self-image? Here is your complete guide to planning those activities, choosing those stories and building that high self-esteem so crucial to your child’s success in life!


I’ve been wanting to read this book for quite some time now. And though it’s not the usual type of book I review here on the Frog (I usually review children’s picture books), it ties in nicely with my picture book theme because it’s all about picture books, along with crafting and cooking activities, that can be used by parents, grandparents, teachers, day care providers, and etc. to help build a child’s self-esteem. 

This is the book that has everyone saying, “I wish it was around when my kids were small.” Author Vivian Kirkfield tapped into her extensive experience teaching, caring for, and raising young children to create this fantastic resource that utilizes one hundred picture book titles, many of them classics, and matches them with simple eco-friendly crafts and kid-friendly (healthful and delicious) recipes. Spread through six chapters, these books, craft activities, and cooking projects help build a child’s self-esteem and strengthen the bond between the child and the adult by focusing on the fundamental components of child development and, most importantly, Positive Parental Participation. I’m truly impressed with this book!

Here’s what you’ll find inside:

  • A simple schedule for a balanced and harmonious day
  • 100 picture books every young child should hear/read
  • 100 child-friendly, healthful recipes and 100 age-appropriate, eco-friendly craft projects
  • True-life scenarios and crucial tips to help every parent identify and deal with six of the fundamental components of child development that contribute to building self-esteem
  • The key ingredient: Positive Parental Participation!

I don’t have any children of my own, but I highly recommend this book for anyone who teaches or cares for young children in any way, be it parent, grandparent, teacher, day care provider, or baby sitter. It’s also a great resource for children’s librarians who often present themed story times with books, crafts, and snacks. I wish this book was around when I was a child!