Would You Read It Wednesday #108 – Proberta Gerber And The Terrible Mess (PB) PLUS The September Pitch Pick


It’s Would You Read It Wednesday!

Let’s get this party started, shall we?

I motion that we begin with Something Chocolate!

Scout (who must still be known as Skunk Dog but is getting better) seconds the motion, and Jemma thirds it, so the motion carries!

Help yourselves to chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese icing!  (That way we get vegetable – from the cocoa BEAN – and dairy and protein from the cream CHEESE.  I am nothing if not concerned for your health and well-being, so I try to make sure we cover as many food groups as possible :))

Now then, I’ve got the September Pitch Pick ready to go and it’s only October 9th!  (Yes, it’s really me, and no, I am not feverish, nor is my mind being controlled by aliens… although that’s what I would say if my mind were being controlled by aliens, so I guess you never know… :))

So without further ado, let’s have a look-see at our new and improved pitches and vote for the one we think deserves a read by editor Erin Molta!

Here are our contenders:

#1 Kirsti
Upside Down In Frown Town – PB ages 3-8
Where Sam lives, smiling is frowned upon. But, no matter what he tries, he can’t wipe the smile off his face. Even a frowning contest doesn’t make a frowner out of Sam. When he can’t change himself, he decides to change the town instead.

#2 Kathy
The Garden Disaster – PB ages 4-7

Jasmine’s daily chore is to collect pollen and nectar, but she never seems to collect enough. Her Mom said it’s because she plays too much, but Jasmine knows the real reason.  Today was different though. Today a new hairy beast showed up!  Jasmine must think up a great idea to outsmart this new bee chasing beast and then she will finally be able to fill her bucket to the tippy-top.
The Garden Disaster is a 480 Word PB for early readers ages 4-7.

#3 Wendi
The Superhero Rejects – MG
Morphus is ashamed that his superpower is turning into lame objects like paper clips, rubber bands and light bulbs. At ZITS (The Zapdor Institute for the Training of Superheroes), he and the other Superhero Rejects are relegated to practice their pathetic skills in the old gym in the basement. When the nefarious Scorpius attacks the school and puts everyone upstairs into a hypnotic trance, Morphus and his band of rejects might be the only ones that can save them!

#4 Donna
The Lightbulb And The Lab Coat – PB ages 8-12
Thomas Edison befriends an orphaned robin, who provides him with companionship and inspiration as he faces a tight deadline to deliver the first incandescent light bulb. As tests are feverously conducted to find the right bulb filament, the industrious robin shows him that the answer was right under his nose all the time!

Please cast your vote below for the pitch you feel most deserves a read by Erin by Sunday October 13 at 11:59 PM EDT.  Thank you all so much!

Today’s pitch comes to us from Linda, who has visited us a couple times before (WYRI #79 – Twitch (MG) and WYRI #72 – The Good For Plenty Bibs (PB) and WYRI # 60 – Alpha Bitty (PB) – did I miss any Linda? :)).  Linda is a former gifted and talented teacher and the author of a number of books including the multi-award winning picture book, The Blue Roses.  Please take a moment to visit her website at www.lindaboyden.com.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Proberta Gerber And The Terrible Mess
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Once upon a time Proberta Gerber once had a purple and pink bedroom; now all she has is a terrible mess. Dad wonders why? Big brother Arbuckle helps: “Clean one thing at a time. Start with your bed.” Proberta can’t find it. She blames the mess on the Dust Bunnies who live in her closet, but Mom says, “Stay there until it is cleaned, young lady.” Sniffling, Proberta makes a special wish for help. And who appears? The REAL Dust Bunnies who help, but not in the way she thinks. 

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 Linda 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 a little time to polish up your pitches and send them for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Linda is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I just got the final proofs for the Crock of Charms Anthology project I participated in (along with a few devoted readers from this blog :)) and I am looking forward to seeing it in print!  I will share full details when they are available, hopefully by early December 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

Ready, set, WRITE! (or read, or teach, or go play on the swings, or whatever happens to be on your agenda today :))

52 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #108 – Proberta Gerber And The Terrible Mess (PB) PLUS The September Pitch Pick

  1. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    YAY! Chocolate to start my day! 😀 I fourth the motion! 😉
    I voted for… one of those nice ladies that entered. 🙂
    I think that the pitch is good, and YES I would read the book! Dust Bunnies! *hee hee* I don't think you need the “who help” in the last sentence.

  2. Angela Brown says:

    Now that was too cute. Yes, I would read it. Stacey already mentioned the extra “once” and that's all I could notice as well. For some reason, the real Dust Bunnies put me in the mind of Cat in the Hat and his infamous Thing One and Thing Two. Not sure if the Dust Bunnies in her story operate on that hilarious wavelength. But if they do, what a messier mess lol!

  3. Teresa Robeson says:

    Hooray for 1) cupcakes, 2) your being early with the pitch picks…LOL! And 3) Scout smelling better!

    Yes, I would read Linda's book and golly, Stacey has mentioned everything I want to say! Thank you, Stacey! Great minds and all that. 😉 I'd cut down on the mentions of family members, or at least not mention so many names because it gets confusing. The ending is great though!

  4. pathaap says:

    I would definitely read this. It pulled me in right away with Dust Bunnies! I think an illustrator would have great fun with this too! I agree with Angela about taking out the extra “once” in the first sentence.

  5. iza trapani says:

    Oh thank you for that nourishing breakfast!

    The story sounds delightful! I think it's too long. And this part doesn't move the pitch forward: “Dad wonders why? Big brother Arbuckle helps: “Clean one thing at a time. Start with your bed.” Proberta can’t find it.” I would take this part out and get right to the dust bunnies.

  6. Joanne Roberts says:

    I love Proberta and the dust bunnies, what fun! Good advice so far. To streamline, maybe go from “mess” to “She blames . . .closet.”
    Then right to your great hook, “When Proberta makes a wish for help, the REAL Dust Bunnies . . .”
    I hope to see this in print. “Can't wait!

  7. Cathy C. Hall says:

    Yep, I'd read it! Love the premise but not so keen on the name, Proberta. (That's a mouthful for little ones to get a hook on, though I realize it's a read-aloud and it would likely be adults reading.)

  8. Catherine Johnson says:

    After special wish for help I would put alerting the real dust bunnies. That has intrigue and a clue but takes out your rhetorical question. Love this story!

  9. Wendy Lawrence says:

    I think I'm a maybe on Proberta. I love the idea and I love the dust bunnies, but I'm not sure where it's going. Also, for me, the “purple and pink” was a turn off. I'm sure not everyone will agree, but does the girls' main cleaning goal need to be to find the pink? I wonder if there couldn't be something even more exciting hiding under all her stuff? Like a missing pet? 🙂 Or even just her bed she needs to sleep on? I think I'd like to know a little more about the character–why is her room so messy? is she just spolied and doesn't clean up? Or is she off chasing butterflies? Or are the nefarious dust bunnies actually sabotaging her? Putting some more of these in the pitch would win me over. I like the start! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    YUM! I am enjoying that delicious looking cupcake as I write.:)
    Great pitches for the pitch pick – I voted.:)
    And I would definitely read Linda's story…I agree with everything Mike suggested. Cluttermania begins in childhood – and what kid likes to clean their room…this is a book every child (and many adults) will relate to. 🙂

  11. sue heavenrich says:

    m-m-m! (licking frosting off my nose)… what a tough choice this month – I wanted to vote for two!
    About Linda's pitch: I probably wouldn't read it because it is cluttered. Clean up the “onces”, figure out a way to get me into the story without feeling claustrophobic about the cluttery room, and then pitch it again. I agree with others about the name – sounds too much like probiotics…

  12. Genevieve says:

    The pitch can definitely be tightened, but I would definitely read it. I love a room cleaning story. I also love the name Arbuckle! Hilarious.

  13. Donna L Sadd says:

    Glad to hear Scout's smelling better, Susanna. Pick up a large can of tomato juice for the next time, and douse the dog in it to neutralize the skunk stink.

    Sure, I would read it! We had a discussion of how fun a story about dust bunnies could be on one of the Facebook groups recently. :0)

    Suggestions: …[remove once upon a time]…purple and pink bedroom, if you could see it under the all the mess. [Take out dad
    and brother] Mom's not falling for Proberta's excuse that the Dust Bunnies did it, and tells her to stay in her room until it's clean. Proberta makes a teary wish, and the REAL Dust Bunnies show up to help, but not in the way she thinks.

  14. Linda Boyden says:

    Thanks everyone for all the great ideas/suggestions for my little Proberta. So appreciate the advice Not far from where I live on the I-5 freeway is a sign for two tiny towns, Proberta and Gerber. Even farther south is Arbuckle. Obviously I spend too much time on I-5, but it's given me some special names! Next up will be Zamora.

  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Mike, you haven't met my dogs! 🙂 (No, I don't feed them chocolate, but it's really that unadulterated Bakers dark chocolate that causes the real trouble – a bite of cake would probably not hurt a big dog… so my vet tells me when I call in a panic because someone's gotten into something :)) Thanks for your thoughts for Linda!


  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Glad you're enjoying the cupcake, Vivian! Thanks for voting and for your thoughts for LInda. Something about your comment just made me think of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and that story about the boy who wouldn't clean his room and his mother had to send stew up on the tines of a rake to his window? I love Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle 🙂

  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks for your advice, Donna, for Linda and for skunk troubles 🙂 My first dog's vet way back when said the best treatment for skunk was the most expensive vanilla extract you could buy… I think he was pulling my leg 🙂

  18. Julie Rowan-Zoch says:

    I could definitely go for just such a cupcake!

    The only reason I might not want to pick this one up is because I was traumatized as a child – room cleaning = endless torture! BUT the pitch could be tightened to jumpstart the excitement:

    “Clean one thing at a time.” Proberta's brother suggests. “Start with your bed.” But Proberta can’t find it in the terrible mess that was once her bedroom. She blames the Dust Bunnies, but Mom isn't buying it. Proberta hopes for magic but finds you should be careful what you wish for!

    Good luck, Linda

  19. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Julie, you may have as many cupcakes as you like! 🙂 Thanks for your comments for Linda – very helpful! – and I'm sorry to hear of your childhood trauma! The idea of cleaning traumatizes me too 🙂

  20. Laura Marcella says:

    All of the pitches are great. I was torn between #1 and #3!

    I like the dust bunnies pitch, too. It sounds cute! It's a concept kids can certainly relate to, since cleaning your room isn't a fun chore (Well, I didn't mind it, but I'm what they call a Neat Freak, LoL!) for most kids.

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  21. Stacy Couch says:

    Glad you de-skunked Scout! Sounds like he was a bit too curious about the wrong thing.

    Magic Dust Bunnies? Love it. I too would tighten the pitch, with maybe one line about Proberta and her absurdly dirty room. Then I'd go straight to the Dust Bunnies–with maybe a hint about what chaos they create.

  22. Joanna Marple says:


    I am a maybe on this one. I would remove the once upon a time, the pink/purple, and any quotes. I'd try and get it down to 2 or 3 sentences. But I love the idea of real bunnies coming in to help.

  23. pennyklostermann says:

    I hope by your next post that Scout is totally skunk-scent-less!

    Yum! Cupcakes with plenty of icing! Lick! Chew!
    Burp! Oh! Pardon me!

    I voted. I had a couple of favorites but I hope all four become books because I would read them all!

    As far as the pitch…”tighten” seems to be the most popular suggestion in the comments and I have to agree. The dust bunnies have me curious, though, and it sounds like a cute story. So, even though I'm a “no” to the pitch as it is, I'm a “yes” to the story! You know what they say, “Curiosity killed the dust bunny.” …or something like that.

  24. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Ha! Me, too! And I can still hear my mom asking me and my sister why we couldn't just as easily hang up our clothes instead of draping them over the desk chair. 🙂 🙂 The pile got so high, the chair would tip over from the weight!

  25. Rosi says:

    I am a definite YES. What really hooked me was the last line: The REAL Dust Bunnies who help, but not in the way she thinks

  26. Kathy says:

    I also agree with some of the other comment suggestions.
    I think it would be good to maybe start with…:Proberta's Mom tells her to stay in her room and do not come out until it's clean. Then maybe Proberta makes a special wish for help, but it's not the kind of help she was hoping for.
    Something like that 🙂
    Just my two cents 🙂
    But I think I would read it.

  27. Lauri Meyers says:

    Oh dear, I missed the deadline. If it comes down to a tie, add one more to Donna's lightbulb story. She has kicked that pitch up a couple notches – well done!

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