SHOW ME HOW! by Vivian Kirkfield

By Vivian Kirkfield
209 pages – ages 2+
Published by MoneyPenny Press, Ltd.; First edition (July 18, 2011)

A little while ago Ms. Kirkfield was giving away 20 copies of her books to her reader’s local library, and I won one! I donated the copy to the Upper Perkiomen Library in Red Hill PA (my local library before we moved) and they were super happy to have it! Ms. Kirkfield also offered to send me a second copy to review as long as I donated the book after I am done reviewing it. I am going to donate the book to the school (Red Hill Christian School) my little sister went to because they helped her a whole lot and they have a small parent library where they have books about being a better parent and helping kids.  

When I first started to read “Show Me How!” I was expecting to read a book about crafting and helping your kids feel good about themselves. Well, I did find that but I also found a lot more! The book recommends 100 already published picture books and has a cool craft and cooking activity to go with the book! The book is divided into 6 chapters. Each chapter has a different topic like “I Love You and You Love Me” (chapter 3) and “I Am Really Mad Right Now” (chapter 4). Then there are a bunch of picture book suggestions in each chapter and a description of each book, a note for parents about what the book teaches, a craft that relates to the story and a cooking idea that also goes with the story. There is also a place where parents can write their own notes about each story/activity.

For an example, Josie and I did the things for “Norman The Doorman” book by Don Freeman. It is in chapter 2 of “Show Me How!”- “I’m Special.”

First Josie and I read “Norman the Doorman.”  It is about a little mouse who loves art and gives tours of the art museum to other mice while trying not to get caught by the guard. Norman made a sculpture out of the wire from a mouse trap and entered it in a contest at the museum. We both really liked the book!

Next Josie and I did the craft in the “Show Me How!” book. The craft was to make your own sculpture out of wire (we used pipe-cleaners). You use a piece of foam as a base. Josie made a girl on a swing and I made an alien in a flying saucer.

It was lunch time after we got done our craft, so we did the cooking idea from “Show Me How” for lunch – “Child-Friendly Macaroni and Cheese”! It was easy for us to make by ourselves and it was delicious!

I really LOVED this book and the activities in it! I thought the format was unique and very cool. Even though the book is meant for kids younger than me, I really enjoyed doing the things in the book. I think all parents and kids will really enjoy this book. I also think that books that help kid’s self-esteem and bring parents and their children closer together are very important!

I’d like to give “Show Me How” (and all its activities) ten bookworms, but my scale only goes to five! –

To learn more about “Show Me How!” please visit the book’s website HERE. Ms. Kirkfield also has a great blog you can visit HERE.

Categories: Age 1-5

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62 replies

  1. This looks like a really interesting book. I like how you and Josie tested it out and found it to be totally fun and doable. Perhaps this is another book my grandson and his mum would enjoy for the activities in it … something different for those rainy days. It also seems it encourages trips to the library (or local bookstore) for the recommended books.
    Well done review, Erik.

    • Thank you Ms. Davidson! It is interesting! I hope your grandson and his mom like Show Me How!

    • Didn’t Erik do a magnificient review? I know that including the photos will help parents, grandparents and teachers visualize better how the activities relate to the recommended book…and they will see how much fun kids have doing it all! I am very grateful to Erik…and hope you are able to get a copy. 🙂

  2. Oh my goodness, Erik…Show Me How has been reviewed by dozens of bloggers…but I have to say that your review is definitely ONE OF THE BEST! I LOVED that you and your sister “road-tested” the contents and it makes me so very happy that you both enjoyed the book you selected,and the activitiesyou did. Your wire (pipe cleaner) sculptures are totally cool and the picture of your mac and cheese casserole is making me hungry. 🙂

    Thank you so much for a fantastic review! I’m glad you are donating the other book to your sister’s school…you are welcome to keep it though if you wish, so that you and your sister can do some of the other activities. 🙂
    I hope your summer is going well!

  3. Another great review Erik! Thanks so much for actually doing the activities and giving wonderful reviews. That is what makes this one of the best blogs around for children’s books. Keep up the good work and best of luck to you, Ms. Kirkfield:)

  4. What a great review of this fabulous book Erik! i think it’s neat to hear about it from a kid’s perspective since the book was really written for parents – great that you found it interesting and fun too! I love that you actually did the craft and cooking activity to test them out. Pipe cleaners were a great idea – I love how your sculptures turned out – so colorful!

    • Thank you for the the compliments Ms. Hill! It IS interesting and fun! I am glad you like our sculptures!

    • I know, Susanna…it is so cool that Erik did the activities with his sister. The photos really add so much to the review. I know now that when I do the next book in the series, I will get some kids to do the craft and cooking activity and photograph them and include the photos on each page. And it really points out to me that my “recommended” ages of 2-5 are not a wide enough span…8 and 10+ would enjoy the crafts and cooking…and be able to read the picture book to their younger sibling and help them with the craft and cooking.

  5. I’ve put it on hold from my library too. Thanks, looks great

  6. I’m glad I stopped by your site today. Great review! I’m definitely going to check out this book and use it with my preschoolers 🙂

  7. Erik, great review. I found Vivian’s book displayed prominently in our library a few months ago and checked it out. It is wonderful! But, I really loved that you and Josie made the macaroni and cheese — yum, comfort food. I don’t make it well by scratch, so maybe I’ll have check out her book again.

  8. So glad to see you feature Vivian’s book, Erik! Plus, you’ve now convinced me to get it for my kids. 🙂

  9. Macaroni and cheese! My favorite! Love seeing photos of your sister! 🙂 You look great as per usual. 🙂

  10. This book is great, Erik. I’m so glad you reviewed it so I know about it now. I love interactive books that give you simple, handy ideas. Really like the macaroni. I even tweeted your review, and I’m glad I did because I now I can follow you on twitter, too. Thanks for a super book, Vivian, and the review, Erik.

  11. Sounds like this book hits home on so many levels and I love the activities part. Wonderful to interact and involve little ones in doing things. Gives a sense of empowerment and accomplishment, improving on that “I can do anything” can-do spirit 🙂

  12. Wow! this is awesome review! Loved that you tried out the recipe and craft, brilliant! Now I have to see if this is in our library and if I can get a copy. Love anything with interesting recipes. Also it will be great for me to use when my little nephew comes from Australia to stay with me for his holiday next month. Thankyou Erik and thankyou for an inspiring book Vivian.

  13. Oh Erik!
    You did a bang up job on the review of Vivian’s book. And you took it one step further by actually making some terrific looking projects.
    Vivian is very lucky to have you as one of her reviewers.
    Keep up your great posts.

  14. Wonderful review, Erik! Lunch looks delicious.

  15. Great Review of this book Erik. You always do such a good job. I had actually stopped by to let you know that my wife’s book, which you reviewed back in June, is going to be having a free promotion from July 29 through August 2nd, in case any of your friends or followers wanted to grab a free copy. But, when I saw the photos in this review I had to leave a comment.

    In the second photo of the cooking project, if I’m not mistaken, your Mac & Cheese is being served in a Polish Pottery casserole dish. When my wife and I were living in Germany (where she was researching and writing the first draft of her story), we actually drove a few times to the town of Boleslawiec in Poland, where the factories that produce this pottery are located. We toured the factories and purchased quite a bit of their pottery and we still use it almost every day. The Polish Pottery from Boleslawiec is very well known and somewhat treasured by collectors. (We aren’t collectors ourselves. We just really think it’s pretty and enjoy using it.) It’s made from a special white clay that is only found in the area around that town, and the designs used are derived from the original ones created by local farmers who made the original works many years ago. To this day, the pottery is still all produced and painted by hand. If you ever find yourself in that area of the world, you should make a trip to Boleslawiec and check it out.

    Anyway, when I saw your photo, it really brought back memories and brought a smile to my face. Thanks for that!

    Now I need to go make some Mac & Cheese, which I find myself strangely craving for some reason. 🙂

    • Oh wow. Just after leaving my comment above, I scrolled down a bit further in your blog and saw your review for Mary Poppins in the Kitchen. I had to laugh at myself when I saw a rather remarkable display of Polish Pottery on your table in the pictures. Here I am telling you about Polish Potter, and now I think maybe you already know all about it. Ha ha. That’s what I get for commenting too quickly!

      Now, back to that Mac & Cheese!

      • HAHAHA! I didn’t know all that about Polish Pottery! We are currently living at my grandparents’ house because our new house is being built, so it is my grandmother’s pottery, which I only knew was pretty, came from Poland, and was pottery. 😉 My grandmom is Polish and she collects (and uses) Polish Pottery. Thanks for telling us about the pottery and the free book! 🙂

    • Hi Sam,
      They say that presentation is almost as important as the taste…Erik did a fantastic presentation job…and putting the mac and cheese in a Polish Pottery casserole dish was sheer genius!

  16. Wow! What a review Erik. You make it hard to keep up with you. With reviews like that you’re going to have all the followers!

    You certainly are flying, just like the alien you made. Look at the comments. Nice job!

    I like that Josie was part of this review.


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