Would You Read It Wednesday #69 – Oyster And Pearl (PB) And Something Special :)

Would You Read It is here.  I promise 🙂  And anyone who wants to can skip the special first part of this post and scroll right down to the pitch, which is pretty close to the bottom.  But for those of you who are up for a little insanity fun… 🙂

Once upon a time, I had a hairbrained scheme to send Phyllis on a World Tour.  During the tour, it came up somewhere along the line that the treasure hunt in April Fool, Phyllis! was based on the birthday hunts my dad used to make for us when we were kids, which I now do with my kids.  A dear friend of mine, who welcomed Phyllis into her Saskatchewan home during the tour, remarked that a birthday hunt sounded like fun, and she’d really like to give it a try sometime.

Beth Stilborn is a pillar of our writing community.  She writes a wonderful blog about writing and the arts, with a special love of theatre.  She, along with Emma Walton Hamilton, established The Children’s Book Hub Face Book page.  She is incredibly supportive to all of us in the writing community, and she is always up for a hairbrained scheme 🙂  And she’s a nice person 🙂 and kind to groundhogs 🙂

So, Beth, Happy Birthday from me, and Phyllis, and a whole bunch of your blogging family.  Here is your birthday hunt 🙂  It’s not quite the way my dad did it, but hopefully it will work and be fun.  And of course, anyone else who likes solving puzzles is welcome to play along!  It’s not too hard because it is a bit long (12 clues because your birthday is 12/12 :)) but should you have any difficulty, there are hints 🙂  Many hints can be found right here on my blog too, in the side bars or recent posts.

Solve each clue in order.  When you have cracked the code and figured out what the clue says, do what it tells you.  When you get there, you will find a word in colorful bold-face font.  Write it down!  Then come back here for the next clue.  Eventually all the words will make a message and lead you to your present 🙂  If you need a hint, click the HINT button 🙂


ashowy omet whowt swithe ipositivet aparentall oparticipationg

egor etherel









Go there!



1-18-20-9-19-20,  23-18-9-20-5-18,  23-9-6-5,  1-14-4

8-15-13-5-19-3-8-15-15-12-9-14-7  13-15-13  12-9-22-9-14-7

9-14  20-8-5  23-15-15-4-19  15-6  13-1-9-14-5  –  19-20-15-16

9-14  6-15-18  1  22-9-19-9-20!



A3 C4 C2 A5     B3 A1 E3 A5     D3 C4 C2 A5     B1 D5 C3     A1 D4

D4 B3 A5     B3 A1 A2 B4 D4 D5 A1 C1     D2 B3 E4 C2 A5 D2 ‘ D3



…-   ..   …   ..   –

–   ….   .

–   .-   .-..   .   -.   –   .   -..

.-   .-.   –   ..   …   –

.–   ….   —

-.-.   .-.   .   .-   –   .   -..

–   ….   .

.–.   .   .-.   ..-.   .   -.-.   .

.–.   ..   -.-.   .   ..-   .-.   .

-…   —   —   -.-

.-..   —   –.   —



golf oscar foxtrot india november delta alpha papa lima alpha charlie echo whiskey hotel echo romeo echo charlie hotel india lima delta romeo echo november’ sierra bravo oscar oscar kilo sierra hotel echo alpha lima



Cubomube crubeubatube cuburubiuboubus wubith Kubirstuben!


#10 (apologies, I ran out of secret codes and time so I’m reusing one! but no hint since you’ve already done it :))






(I told you – no HINT :))


g s jl rwn zch wh wrts llstrts nd rds chldrn’s bks

HINT #11


HINT #12

PHEW!  I hope Beth (and at least a few others) made it this far before next week 🙂 and I hope everything worked as it was supposed to and there weren’t too many glitches and/or mistakes.  Any complaints about execution may be directed to the management, who will probably refer you to the resident Seer Of Seers, Prognosticator Of Prognosticators, Weather Prophet Extraordinaire 🙂  (because she’s cute and furry and hard to stay annoyed at :))

(Side note: this hunt will only work properly (assuming it ever does :)) on 12/12/12.  After that, when you follow the clue directions, you will have to scroll back to the bloggers’ 12/12/12 post.)

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming 🙂  Would You Read It!

The winner of the first ever tied pitch pick is:  LARISSA!!!

That was quite a hard-won win – congratulations!  Your pitch is on its way to editor Erin Molta for a read and comments!  And congratulations to everyone who wrote wonderful pitches and then made them even better.  You are all winners as far as I’m concerned 🙂

Now then, the runner up of the first ever tied pitch pick, has a new pitch!

Kim is “Mama” to a wonderful 8-year-old with multiple nicknames, wife of a genius, and has switched careers numerous times in her short (ha!) life. She has been passionate about picture books since her first encounter with Dr. Seuss, though it has taken her decades (don’t ask) to realize that writing them is something that she can probably do for the rest of her life.  She writes a wonderful blog over at Kid Lit Dish and is a regular participant in PPBF.  She would love it if you’d like to follow her on Twitter or like her on Face Book!

Here is her new pitch:

Working Title: Oyster And Pearl
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Pearl is a tiny grain of sand that lives in the bottom of the ocean.  She feels insignificant in her world and both envious AND enamored of the star in the sky that she can see above her at night.  As she sets her sights on joining the star, she encounters many challenges… until finally, one night, she meets Oyster, who helps her become a star of her own.

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 Kim 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!

Kim is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  And I am looking forward to seeing whether Beth can solve her birthday hunt and whether anyone else takes a crack at it!  If you solve it, let me know 🙂

Have a terrific day, everyone!  And happy birthday dear Beth, happy birthday to you 🙂

101 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #69 – Oyster And Pearl (PB) And Something Special :)

  1. Kim says:

    Thank you, Pamela! Yes, my first draft, although prose, was aiming for “poetic” because it just felt like that… kind of like one of my favorite PBs — Kitten's First Full Moon. Simple yet poetic. Great thoughts!

  2. Beth Stilborn says:

    Thank you, Julie, for participating in Susanna's wonderful scheme! I loved the treasure hunt, the way people worked their word into their blogs, and the whole experience!

  3. Beth Stilborn says:

    Thanks, Pat! And if you use the hints so you get the idea of what the code is, it really helps! 😉 And thanks again, so much, for your lovely post for my birthday.

  4. Beth Stilborn says:

    Mum and I learned the international aviation code along with Dad when he was doing ground school before taking flying lessons (he got his pilot's license at age 62). Finally my knowledge of alpha bravo could be put to good use!

  5. Beth Stilborn says:

    Thank you so much, Patricia! I have been overwhelmed by all the love that has been sent my way today! And the treasure hunt was amazing!

  6. Beth Stilborn says:

    Excellent job writing the clues, Susanna! And thinking it all up, and organizing it all, and making it all work. You ROCK! Thank you!

  7. Beth Stilborn says:

    Thanks so much, Joanna! Isn't Susanna's clue-coding ability awesome? I had so much fun, and it meant so much to me that you'd all do something like this for me!

  8. Beth Stilborn says:

    Thanks for the birthday wishes, Linda! And the hints about the codes used were what got me through many of the clues! It was great fun!

  9. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Aw shucks! I'm just glad if you had fun 🙂

    Beth Stilborn (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Excellent job writing the clues, Susanna! And thinking it all up, and organizing it all, and making it all work. You ROCK! Thank you!

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  10. Carrie Finison says:

    Yes, I would read it. It sounds like a good story! I'd be a little concerned about how a grain of sand could be illustrated and believable as a character. Could Pearl be a small pebble or something? Just a thought. That probably doesn't work with the reality of how pearls get made.

    I think the pitch could be tightened a bit.
    For example, in the first sentence, you don't need to tell us she's tiny — that's pretty much understood with a grain of sand. I'd also say “who” (rather than “that”) lives in the ocean (no need to say she's at the bottom — it doesn't really matter and it's also implied since where else would sand be?)

    See if you can shorten the other two sentences, too, and maybe tweak the ending to give it a little more mystery. For example the last sentence could read something like: Her quest proves difficult until she meets Oyster, who helps her find her own way to shine. (no need to tell us she meets Oyster at night — it's not that important)

  11. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I tried earlier, but failed to comment. So, here I am. I agree with the comments about tightening it up a bit. What a wonderful Birthday treat. Happy Birthday Beth! You are a super friend Susanna!

  12. Angela Brown says:

    Would I read it? Yes I would! I could just imagine that tiny grain of sand wanting to become so much more, to stand out from the gabillion fafillion grains and be more…oh the beautiful PB that could unfold from this.

  13. Hannah Holt says:

    You are the queen of codes, Susanna. You'd better watch out; I'll bet the CIA will be pounding at your door soon. Happy Birthday Beth! And the pitch is a yes from me. It hits the right emotional notes without feeling too heavy handed. I don't think you need to capitalize AND. Also I would omit “one night.” But really it looks great. Nice work.

  14. Tina Cho says:

    I did 3 code puzzles, and I'll have to finish the rest some other time. But this is awesome and fun. I'll have to remember all these neat codes for my “educational writing.” Again, happy birthday to Beth. What a surprise to have this hunt!

    Regarding Kim's pitch..Yes, I'd read the book. I like the friendship of a grain of sand and an oyster. I think the pitch should be shortened; it's a little wordy. For example, in the 1st line, we already know a grain of sand “lives” on the bottom of the ocean, so that could be deleted.

  15. larissamarks says:

    I won?! Aaaah, I'm so excited!!! Mostly, I am thrilled to have Erin's critique on the pitch. Thanks to everyone who voted!

    Kim, I would definitely read Oyster and Pearl. I am compelled by the protagonist being a grain of sand, which feels like a unique idea. And I think there's something poignant about the feelings of envy and admiration.

  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks for your comments for Kim, Hannah! And you know, it just so happens that the CIA is right down the road from me! Of course, that one is technically the Culinary Institute of America, but that's just splitting hairs 🙂

  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I'm glad you enjoyed it, Erik!

    This Kid Reviews Bks wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Hmmm I thought yours was too… now I have to mark my calendar. 😉 Thanks again Ms. Hill for doing the hunt!

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  18. Kim says:

    Thanks, Larissa! And congratulations! Speaking of ENVIOUS, as your runner-up, I am green with envy! (Just kidding. Well, sort of. Not really.) 😉

  19. Beth Stilborn says:

    Thanks, Tina — I think it would be awesome to write a whole book about codes. I think kids would have a great time with it (there's likely books out there, but there's room for one more?)

  20. pennyklostermann says:

    How fun! I apologize completely, Beth, for being a day late to wish you a Happy Birthday! I did think of you on your actual birthday, but didn't make it over here!!! I imagine it was awesome with this wonderful, fun birthday hunt!
    Great Susanna!
    And the pitch hooked me right off!!! I would be a definite yes!

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