Would You Read It Wednesday #83 – Giant At The Gym (PB) AND The March Pitch Pick

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Let’s start with the really important stuff, shall we?

Cake!  It’s what’s for breakfast 🙂

Because I decided (based on the fact that someone we all know and love is having a birthday within the next few days :)) that we should celebrate by having chocolate birthday cake for our Something Chocolate this morning.  So let’s just throw caution to the wind, forget pretending that chocolate cake is good for you, and just go hog wild! 🙂

Help yourself to multiple slices and feel free to have a cup of coffee or a glass of milk to go with 🙂

Now that we have attended to our blood sugar levels, which I know were dangerously low before I came along with the cake, we can focus on the March Pitch Pick which, due to the In Just Spring Contest has only 3 contenders.  Here are the revised pitches ready for you to choose which one you think is best and deserves a read by editor Erin Molta:

#1 Linda
Twitch (MG)
After his father disappears, Twitch Taylor is forced to live with his uncle, reviving an old-time Cherokee custom where uncles teach nephews the ways of men. Twitch soon learns how important the traditional ways are: an ancient curse is attacking his family, something only he can control; should he fail, the curse will return to life with no one able to stop it. Can Twitch learn fast enough to become a Cherokee warrior? Can a kid save the world?

#2 Denise
Phewie Hughie (Picture Book ages 4-8)
Hughie loves his toots. The louder the better, but because Hughie thought everyone should love his toots, he had a hard time understanding why no one appreciated his wonderful ability until two children come to an important dinner and Hughie’s dad reminds to remember his manners.  Mayhem happens after Hughie realizes he just can’t hold it in.   Will Hughie find a way to control his engine’s noise and find friends along the way?

#3 Erik
The Adventures Of Tomato And Pea (Chapter Book ages 7 and up)
In a plan gone wrong, the evil villain Wintergreen tangles with super crime-stopper Tomato and his sidekick Pea in a runaway rocket ship that crashes on a strange planet called EAR-TH. Now these perennial enemies must learn to work together to survive the dangers on this strange world and find a way home to planet Oarg.

Please vote for your favorite in the poll below by 11:59 PM EDT on Saturday April 13.

Today’s pitch comes to us from Elaine, who is a Mom of two, wife of one, mom to three furry kids and second grade school teacher. 🙂

Working Title: Giant At The Gym
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-7)
The Pitch: When a burly Giant enters the gym for a workout, he discovers that the weights are just too light. Too fix this problem he grabs unsuspecting gym goers, who are animals, to help him. The story gets funnier as the pile grows, finally ending with an unexpected surprise.

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 Elaine 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 June so you have time to polish for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Elaine is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to what may be the last college revisit for #4 (or we may have one more… you never know :)) and to more CAKE! 🙂

Have a wonderful day, everyone! 🙂

94 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #83 – Giant At The Gym (PB) AND The March Pitch Pick

  1. Angela Brown says:

    Voted!

    And I'd have to say that I would read today's pitched story, mostly to see the ensuing pictures of this giant piling animals for weights 🙂

  2. This Kid Reviews Bks says:

    I would read it! The story is a very funny idea. Does the story take place in a fairytale land? I don't like how the third sentence tells you the story gets funnier. I think it should be more like “As the wobbly pile of exercising animals grows, mayhem breaks out and it all crashes in an unexpected ending.” Okay that's not the best either, but I hope you get what I mean.

  3. Andrea Mack says:

    For me it's a maybe. I like the idea of the humor, but I wanted to know if there was more to the story, maybe about respecting others. Something subtle but a little deeper.

  4. Teresa Robeson says:

    Yes, I certainly would read this book! Giants are always a good humor element, I think, and little kids (and me…LOL!) love the cumulative aspects of stories. I agree with Erik's (This Kid Reviews Books) assessment of the third sentence – never tell when you can show, even in a pitch! 🙂

    Voted and I can't wait to see who wins this pitch contest!

  5. Catherine Johnson says:

    Hey, it's your birthday this month isn't it? Tell me when 🙂
    That was hard to choose btw.
    I like the pitch, has someone mentioned too/to yet? I'm finding it interesting how many people are asking rhetorical questions at the end, I thought that was a no, no. I want to put one in my query so i was wondering if it's okay. The end seems a little vague, I would hint more about what happens. I love the storyline, how original!

  6. Pam says:

    Happy early birthday!

    For me it's also a maybe, for the main reason that I'm not sure how the story gets funnier. As already suggested, give us a hint and then I think it would be a yes for me. I also suggest a couple tweaks to the second sentence. Something like, “To fix this problem, he grabs unsuspecting animal gym-goers to help him.” Good luck with your story. It does sound funny. 🙂

  7. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks for your helpful comments for Elaine, Catherine. We do always seem to go back and forth over the question/no question aspect of pitches and queries… And yes, it is my birthday on Sunday… I will be VERY OLD 🙂

  8. Deborah Holt Williams says:

    I think this story would be fun for an artist to illustrate! I like the unusual setting of a gym, too.

  9. Wendy Lawrence says:

    I would definitely read this, and I love the pitch. It feels polished and ready. The line “who are animals” stopped the action for a minute for me, though. I wonder if you need it? In fact, I wonder if you need even decide this at all, or if it can be an illustrator decision? (But maybe it's part of the story.) Either way, I love it. Nice idea!

  10. Beth Arnstein says:

    I like the concept of the story, but I still would only maybe read it (sorry, Elaine!). I know how difficult pitches are, but the advice I'd give is that if the story is funny, choose some details to include in the pitch to make it funny, too. A good place to do that might be in place of the adjectives that may or may not match the language of the story (burly, unsuspecting, unexpected). Good luck!

  11. Yvonne Cynthia Mes says:

    YES Elaine! I love the Giant! I do agree with the observation that the phrase 'who are animals' read a little forced.
    And maybe you could change the 'funnier' sentence to something like: 'A the pile grows, the fun mounts up, ending with an unexpected surprise.'

    Happy Birthday and thanks for the coffee and cake Susanna!

  12. Julie Rowan-Zoch says:

    I would read it because that pile has made mme curious, but I do wonder about the setting – why the gym? Maybe it's the 'who are animals' line that is throwing me. I would expect them in a jungle (jungle gym!!!) or a zoo. Yeah, it is the setting – I need to know more.

  13. Genevieve says:

    Yes, I would read it. It sounds hilarious. I like the beginning of the pitch better than the ending. Some of the suggestions already in the comments will help. But YES. Super cute idea.

  14. pennyklostermann says:

    Happy Chocolaty-a-little-early birthday! Yum!

    I would say “yes” because I was hooked at the word “giant”. You've received suggestions for tightening your pitch. Erik's wording is really good. I agree with him that you can't say “the story gets funnier” because that's telling and not showing. Also, I think you can cut “who are animals” and include it another way.You capitalized Giant, but didn't use it as a proper name because you said “a” giant. So either delete the “a” or give Mr. Giant a name 🙂

    Another thing would be to add in as much gym wordplay as possible. This is just a quick jotting down of a revision, but I hope it will give you an idea of what I mean:

    Name, a burly giant, tramps into the gym for workout. When he discovers that the weights are just too light, he power lifts gym-goers for beastly bulk. As the squawking, growling, howling pile grows, Name sees that he’s going to have to do something quick or he’s going to look like a dumbbell.

  15. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I'm a maybe, but I think it's an easy path to get me to yes. The use of “the story gets funnier” throws me off. I wouldn't tell this info, but show it as Erik suggests. Sounds like there's growing tension in the story with the piling of animals, but I'm confused about the conflict here. I like Pam's suggestions too. Why animals in the gym? Good luck with this.

  16. Carrie Finison says:

    Happy birthday, Susanna! Your cake looks delish. Mmmmm…

    I'm a maybe for this story based on the pitch, but could be converted to a 'yes' because it does sound funny. The problem for me is that this sounds like a funny episode or scene from a story, and not a whole story. I'm not sure what the giant's problem is — it needs to be something beyond simply not having the right workout equipment. WHY is he working out? Does he want to impress someone? Or win a contest? Something needs to be at stake for him emotionally, and whatever that is needs to be clear in the pitch.

    The ending also needs to have more of a hint about how the giant's problem gets solved — but without knowing what the real problem is, it's hard to make a good suggestion.

    Good luck with this, Elaine! It sounds like a funny story.

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