Would You Read It Wednesday #66 – Dim Sum Dog (PB)

Happy Day Before Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Given that even I am busy cleaning and cooking (I know – the mind reels at the concept because you all know how I feel about those “c” words :)), loving having my kids home, and preparing for more family on the morrow, I’m sure you are all very busy too, so we will keep today’s post very brief!

Although we normally indulge in Something Chocolate right about now, our lovely Stacy has prepared these delightful and festive Turkey Cookies (as in looks-like- a-turkey, not made-out-of-turkey because that would probably not taste very good :)) which seem very appropriate for Thanksgiving.  So grab a few…

photo copyright Stacy Jensen 2012 used by permission

… and something to wash them down with (cider sounds good, doesn’t it?), and let’s jump right into today’s Would You Read It!

Today’s pitch comes to us from Larissa, a writer in Hawaii, mother of two kids, college minister, and blogger at The Larissa Monologues (speaking of good recipes, which we weren’t exactly, but definitely go check it out! :))

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Dim Sum Dog
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: A man and his wife are about to close their beloved yet deserted dim sum stand. But when they discover a clever, dim sum-loving dog at their doorstep, maybe the stand can be saved after all.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Larissa improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)
Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in January, so you have time to polish 🙂 for a chance for it to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Larissa is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  And I am looking forward to having so much of my family together over the next few days!  Remember, anyone who is too busy for Perfect Picture Books this week, don’t worry!  We’ll see you on the 30th 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!  I hope you all enjoy some lovely time with your families and have as much to be thankful for as I do 🙂

45 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #66 – Dim Sum Dog (PB)

  1. Tina Cho says:

    A Dim Sum Dog sounds like a very fun idea! We enjoyed a dim sum restaurant in CA. Maybe you could delete the words “beloved yet deserted” and give us a hint how the dog could help save the stand.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Susanna! I can't believe you're still doing this blog over the holiday! Cute cookies, I agree. My kids & I just made homemade cinnamon rolls to bake in the morning.

  2. Angela Brown says:

    Tina Cho hit right on the point that was churning in my mind regarding giving a hint of how this dim-sum loving dog could save the stand…otherwise, I'd have to with Maybe – mostly leaning toward yes because of the dog.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Susanna. May those two words – cooking and cleaning – be not too bad to you and that your time with family and friends is a raucous good time 🙂

  3. Carol Gordon Ekster says:

    I would definitely need more details to say yes, and of course it matters how the story is written! Perhaps if you add a little girl or boy to the family who have a dim sum stand, it would be more appealing to children. Good luck with this story.

  4. Patricia Nozell says:

    A dog who saves the day? Say no more. I would definitely read it! I do wonder, though, whether a child plays a role somewhere in the story & whether the adjective “clever” is somewhat of a spoiler here – could you show the cleverness rather than just use the term, Larissa?

    Cooking & cleaning, Susannah? Think you (and probably the rest of us, too) could use a few more “c” words in there: catch up with family; catnap; and, not to forget, chocolate.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Stina Lindenblatt says:

    I wouldn't keep reading. There's not enough information to entice me. Why is the dog so important? Give us a hint. Is he magical?

    Love the turkey cookies. Have a great Thanksgiving, Susanna. 🙂

  6. Lori Degman says:

    I love your title, Larissa!! You definitely have a unique topic here but I agree with the others – you'll need more to entice the reader. I'd start by flipping the first sentence to set up the problem right away: With business dwindling, ____ and ____, fear they will have to close their Dim Sum stand. But, with the help of a special dog, they may save the stand after all. Something like that. Typically, I'd avoid making the main characters adults, but I guess you can think of the dog as the child who is solving the problem. If not, maybe the stand owner's son or daughter can work with the dog to save the stand. This story does intrigue me – dogs and Dim Sum – what's not to like?

    Susanna, I am thankful for your blog and how much you help your fellow writers!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  7. Lori Degman says:

    Erik, Dim Sum is Chinese food served in small quantities – sort of like Chinese Tapas. It can be served in a street cart or in restaurants. When it's in a restaurant, the servers come by your table with carts full of different foods and you pick the things you want. It's pretty cool – and delicious!

  8. Alisha Gabriel says:

    Yes, I would keep reading. When you revise the pitch, maybe clarify the dog's role without giving too much away. I agree with a previous comment about revising “beloved yet deserted” as well. Are there any children in the story?

  9. nrhatch says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Susanna.
    Love the cookies.
    Gobble. Gobble.

    The pitch needs at least a few more enticing details. As written, I would not keep reading. Perhaps change “a man and his wife” to their actual names. And give a bit more history. For example:

    After 17 years serving delicious dim sum to happy customers, traffic to Wong Lee's stand dries up. As Wong Lee and his wife prepare to close their beloved stand, a clever dim sum-loving dog arrives . . .

  10. larissamarks says:

    Thanks for the suggestions, Tina. I agree, a few more hints could improve the pitch! I lived in LA for over ten years, where dim sum restaurants were everywhere.

  11. larissamarks says:

    Thanks for the suggestion, Carol! I have already been thinking of adding a child character to the story. Hopefully it will make a more compelling picture book.

  12. larissamarks says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Stina. You're right about needing more information in the pitch…as I now read it over, it sounds too vague!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  13. larissamarks says:

    Yup, Lori is absolutely correct. Dim Sum is usually served in various carts, that are rolled by servers at a fast pace. So you need to be quick about letting them know if you want something. I grew up in Hawaii, then lived in Los Angeles – both places had many dim sum restaurants. I highly suggest trying it out if you're into culinary adventures 🙂

    I have some dim sum recipes on my blog, listed as “char siu bao” and “siu mai” if you're interested.

    For more reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dim_sum

  14. larissamarks says:

    Hi Lori! Thanks so much for your helpful feedback. I'm looking forward to revising the pitch and manuscript after all the great comments. Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

  15. Christie wild says:

    No. For two reasons. Adult protagonists don't usually make the best picture books. And I have no idea what dim sum means, so it doesn't draw me in. The dog part is good though. However I do wonder how a dog saves a stand.

  16. larissamarks says:

    Thanks for the suggestions, Alisha! Yes, I'll be adding a child character into the story. I agree with you and others – that would make it a lot more compelling!

  17. larissamarks says:

    Thanks for your ideas, Nancy! You're right about it needing more details to draw readers in.

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  18. larissamarks says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Christie! I agree that the story could be improved with a child character.

    Dim Sum is a style of Chinese food served in small, individual portions. Usually the various dim sum are served on carts in a restaurant, for customers to pick and choose what they want while seated at their table. It's a fun culinary experience that I highly recommend!

  19. pennyklostermann says:

    I'm a Maybe. As mentioned, add details. To help kids relate, possibly a boy could fear that the stand would close that has been in his family for generations. (I don't know if that makes sense because I don't know if dim sum stands would've been around for generations). Maybe he spends Saturdays helping out at the stand??

    Another Stacy sensation!!! Those cookies are so cute :•)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Susanna! I met you (via blog) at this time last year for your Thanksgiving Contest. I haven't missed a blog post since.
    And Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!

  20. Julie Rowan-Zoch says:

    Yes, I would pick this up. What kid would not go for a book where a dog/protagonist saves the day? Nancy's suggestion is great, but I'd tweak the second sentence …As the owner's prepare to close, a clever dim sum-loving dog arrives…. Maybe: to teach the Wong's new trick!

  21. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Stacy…the Thanksgiving treats are awesome! You are very creative.:)

    Susanna, have a beautiful Thanksgiving!

    Larissa…I would definitely read the book…I want to find out how the dog will help renew their failing business. I love Nancy's pitch fix…perhaps the child that you are adding to the story owns the dog and has trained him to…? I've had dim sum many times…yum! Have you thought of adding a simple child-friendly recipe for it at the end of the book?
    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. 🙂

  22. larissamarks says:

    Vivian, yes! I was definitely hoping to include a recipe at the end of the book. Thank you so much for your suggestions. Have a great Thanksgiving!!

  23. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I love the suggestions so far. I need a little more detail before I'm a yes. Does the dog entertain customers? Have a special skill to round up customers? Good luck.

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