Would You Read It Wednesday #84 – Hurricane Enrique (PB)

Something Chocolate?

Why yes thank you, don’t mind if I do!

There’s nothing like a little chocolate mousse in the morning among friends!  Who’s with me?

You will notice I added some healthful and nutritious raspberries, which are especially good for you on account of the phenolic phytochemicals like ellagic acid, but also they taste really good with chocolate mousse 🙂

And speaking of chocolate mousse, does anyone remember Fred Gwynne?  (No, I am not off my rocker!  I’m going somewhere with this…)  He was Herman on The Munsters, and he played the southern Judge Chamberlain Haller in one of my all-time favorite movies, My Cousin Vinny (I highly recommend this movie to anyone who hasn’t seen it – SO funny – but not for you for a few years, Erik – I think it’s rated R for language!)  ANYWAY, he also wrote several humorous picture books for children that illustrate idioms.  One of them happens to be called A Chocolate Moose For Dinner.  See?    I told you I was going somewhere with this.

That’s as far as I go, though.  Chocolate mousse reminds me of A Chocolate Moose For Dinner.  You should read it some time.  Maybe I’ll do it for Perfect Picture Books one of these days 🙂

Now, if you all could please get off the topic of chocolate mousse and on to something serious and important, I would like to announce the winner of the March Pitch Pick!

Duhn duhn-duhn duhn-duhn duhn DUHN!!! It was was ERIK!!! with his pitch for The Adventures Of Tomato And Pea!  Congratulations, Erik!  Your pitch has been sent to editor Erin Molta for her thoughts and comments 🙂  And congratulations to the other pitchers who also did an excellent job and in fact tied for the remaining votes that didn’t go to Erik!  Thank you all for bravely pitching your work.  It gives us all an opportunity to learn and improve.

Now, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Deborah who says, “I’m a mother of five and Nana of three.  I’ve taught preschool and worked as a children’s librarian, but now I work as a companion to elderly folks. My writing has appeared in several children’s magazines, but my dream is to write a picture book that my grandkids will love.”

Working Title: Hurricane Enrique
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-7)
The Pitch:  When a hurricane strikes, a young girl bravely rescues the awful dog that belongs to her dearest friend. 

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 Deborah 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 your pitch for a chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Deborah is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to taking my dogs for a run in the sunshine.  Look at them.  They’re totally ready.

The weatherman promised sunshine today, and warm temperatures, and I intend to hold him to it.  There will be no chocolate mousse, with or without raspberries, for the weatherman if he doesn’t come through!

Have a great day, everyone! 🙂

72 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #84 – Hurricane Enrique (PB)

  1. delores @ thefeatherednest says:

    Well it certainly sounds like it is going to be an exciting story. I would like the pitch to have a little more substance though. Maybe something like, “Midge wasn't fond of Rufus. He had some VERY bad habits but he was her best friends dog. With no one at home at her friends house and a hurricane bearing down Midge knew she had to rescue Rufus…but how?

  2. Iza Trapani says:

    Haha, Susanna! You are very funny today. Love the pics of your dogs!

    Congrats to Erik!

    And kudos to Deborah for her brevity! But I feel the pitch needs a little more intrigue. I am not sure she should say the young girl actually rescues the dog- but rather mention the dilemma she is faced with (as Delores suggested.) Sounds like a great story!

  3. This Kid Reviews Bks says:

    WOW! I won! Thank you everyone! 😉

    I would read the book (I like the topic), but I need a bit more detail on what happens. How is the dog awful? Why would the girl save it?


    P.S. I can't believe I won! I really can't…

  4. Sue Heavenrich says:

    Yes – I would absolutely read it. I love that the entire story can be pitched in one line. wow. I immediately sense that this story will have some ethical conundrums and growth of characters.

  5. Stanley & Katrina says:

    YAY! Congratulations to Erik. We look forward to reading your book in the future.

    For the pitch, it is intriguing but maybe a bit too brief. Including the reason the dog is so awful – or at least a hint may help. Best of luck.

    Cool Mom for Stanley & Katrina

  6. Tina Cho says:

    Congratulations, Erik!

    And, Deborah, yes I would read this book, sounds like it's based on a true story. ? I applaud you for condensing your story into a 1 sentence pitch! Some agents do prefer short! However, maybe you don't want to give away the ending.

    And, Susanna, the mousse looks yummy. I, too, had no idea what you were talking about, and I think of myself as old! 😛

  7. Denise Maclennan Bruce says:

    Congrats Erik!! 🙂

    I think I'd read it, but need more info. I was waiting to read just one more little thing about the story. seems too short to me.

    Thanks so much, Susanna. It was fun doing the pitch with you 🙂

  8. Cynthia says:

    Best of luck to you Erik. Now the pitch: I have to be honest. My first thought when I heard it was about a hurricane was yes, and it still is, but I'm stuck on the word awful for the dog. Why is the dog so awful? I think we need more information there to better understand.
    Now would I read it? yes, because I want to know why the dog is awful, I'd also like to know how he is rescued, and more importantly how the little girl deals with the hurricane. I'd like to hear more about that in the pitch as well. – 🙂 Cynthia

  9. Heather Dent says:

    Congratulations Erik!

    Deborah, I agree with Denise and Erik. I think the topic for your story is good, but I definitely want to know more. What is her relationship with this dog? What is the girl's name? Who is her friend?

  10. Teresa Robeson says:

    Woohoo, Erik!!! It was an excellent pitch. I'm going to hold my breath until you write that book…so please hurry. 😉

    I would read Deborah's book because I think the one sentence gives it an exciting start. Given that it's a really short pitch, and she could add another sentence or two, I suggest including some tantalizing details on what gets in the girl's way specifically to ramp up the suspense.

  11. Joanna Marple says:

    Woohoo, congrats to Erik! Nap-time over, doggies!

    Mine is a maybe on the pitch. The premise is great, but it needs spicing up a bit. I need more details to becomeintrigued. Why is the dog awful? Maybe add some names or more about the friendship or the problems the hurricane poses?

  12. mike allegra says:

    Would I read it? Yes. But I would like the pitch to tell me more. What are the girl's challenges in rescuing the dog? Why is the dog deemed awful? Why can't the dearest friend save her own ding-dang dog? A little more info would draw me in.

    And please, please, please tell me the name of the dog is Enrique. 'Cause that would make said working title a GREAT title.

    And Fred Gwynne, eh? Should I expect a future HACKS Seal of Approval nomination?

  13. Clarbojahn says:

    Susanna, I will be quite sick if I ate the mousse on top of the cheese cake and strawberries I had for breakfast an hour ago. Can I save it? for later?

    Congratulations,, Erik! That was a great pitch and I can't wait to read the book.

    This pitch, like everyone else thinks, is too short. The hurricane implies danger and suspense but it needs to be noted and explained in the pitch. The conflict needs to be noted. And the awfulness of the dog explained not just told. Remember your show don't tell.

  14. PamBrunskill says:

    Susanna, Love chocolate mousse! How about for breakfast and dinner? Deborah, if your going for the one sentence pitch, then yes, I think yours does the job. Lately I've been reading pitches that are closer to 3-4 sentences, so I agree with everyone else to expand it. How does the girl rescue those dogs?

  15. coleen patrick says:

    Yes to the pitch because it's something to root for–and I agree with other's comments about adding some more. 🙂
    And I already kinda knew we had similar tastes in humor (Jim Gaffigan!) but now that you've mentioned My Cousin Vinny I know for sure. LOVE that movie. One of my fave bits is the “two yoots” line.

  16. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    How about chocolate mousse with raspberries while we watch 'My Cousin Vinny' ? 🙂
    Very funny movie, Susanna…wasn't he in Car 54 Where Are You? also?
    Congrats, Erik! I'm SOOOOO happy you won…although the other pitches sounded like awesome stories as well. 🙂
    And yes, Deborah, I would definitely read your story…but I agree with many of the others that the pitch needs to be just a tad longer. I'm not crazy about the word 'awful' to describe the dog…maybe we need to hear why he is so 'awful', especially in respect to the mc.

  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks for your very helpful comments for Deborah, Angela. And you should see the dogs now that they've had their run… flat out in the sunshine on the back porch loving every minute of this beautiful day! 🙂

  18. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I'm sorry, Tina! I didn't mean to make you feel old first thing in the morning 🙂 … although I guess it's not first think in the morning where you are 🙂 Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Deborah!

  19. Romelle Broas says:

    Congratulations, Erik! Well deserved. And Susanna- if I keep up with your blog posts, I'm going to gain a lot of weight with all your sweet treats! Yummy!

  20. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks for your very helpful comments for Deborah, Mike. Also, “Ding-Dang-Dog” sounds like a good title for a picture book – I will be expecting to hear you've sold it to some huge publishing house shortly 🙂 As for Fred Gwynne, I hadn't even thought of him for HACKS, but yes, I think he deserves a seal of approval. Plus his books have been out for ages – he didn't just climb on the celebrity publishing bandwagon like Madonna! 🙂

  21. nrhatch says:

    Go Eric!
    The wind up on the pitch needs to be a tad longer.
    Your dogs totally look ready for a run in the sun. Not.

  22. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks for your helpful comments for Deborah, Clar. And yes, you are excused from chocolate mousse until lunchtime – I agree that it might be overkill after cheesecake and strawberries (but I'm glad to see you're working some vitamin C into your breakfast :))

  23. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Two WHAT? Did you say yoots? hahaha! 🙂 One of these days I'll have to work, “So I wore this riDICulous thing, for you!” into a blog post 🙂 Oh, really, SO many funny lines. Now I want to go watch it… but I should really work 🙂 Thanks for your comments for Deborah, Coleen!

  24. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    EXCELLENT plan, Vivian! I like the way you think! Let's all agree to drop everything and meet at my house around 8 PM for chocolate mousse with raspberries while we watch My Cousin Vinny! Thanks for your comments for Deborah, too 🙂

  25. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    They are uncontrollable bundles of energy. Can't you tell? 🙂 We had a lovely outing though. Scout went swimming four times and is now on the back deck baking (but not appreciably dryer) in the sunshine, and Jemma went wading after frogs (she only goes into water up to her tiptoes :)) and is now sound asleep under the piano bench. It's good to be a dog 🙂

  26. Wendy Lawrence says:

    It's funny because we often ask for shorter pitches, but yes, I think this one could benefit from more info. I LOVE the idea of rescuing an “awful” dog instead of a beloved one…I think that is such a great example for kids and such a great telling of how tragedy can bring us all together. I'd want to know a little more about why the dogs are awful. Maybe start with that and then talk about a hurricane strikes and now she sets out to rescue them. And maybe a little more about the girl. Her name? Age-ish? If she normally hates all dogs or just this one? There may be a way to answer most of these questions without adding more than a sentence or two to the pitch. Good luck! And thanks for sharing! (And yes, I'd definitely read the book.) 🙂

  27. Genevieve says:

    Congratulations, Erik! Susanna, you may want to invest in a wagon and a few pillows so you can pull Scout and Jemma along on your run. I like the pitch, but we need some hints to explain why the dog is horrible, and maybe where the friend is.

  28. Julie Rowan-Zoch says:

    Congratulations ERIK! I like the pitch, but wouldn't mind more voice in the hook – like 'awful, stinky-breath dog that never. stops. barking.' – or something along those lines!

  29. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    POSTED FOR TRACY at http://www.tracycampbell.net/blog

    Congratulations, Erik! Woot! Woot!
    And I loved Deborah's pitch. I would read it.
    The pitch was concise and provided enough information to reel me in.
    Deborah is your title set in stone?
    What about Hurricane H……., or some other name that begins with the letter “H”. Just a suggestion.
    Susanna, I hope you were able to bribe the dogs and get them out for a walk. 🙂

  30. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks for your comments for Deborah, Tracy, and you'd be surprised how fast the girls wake up when they hear the word walk – despite their awe-inspiring talent for sleeping, they are not hard to convince 🙂

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