Would You Read It Wednesday #123 – Silly Tilly (PB)

WWWHHHIIIRRRRRR!

Do you hear it?

The wheels are turning!

And you know what that means.

I’m probably – almost definitely – well maybe – hatching a plan!

I’m on the fence.

I haven’t quite decided.

I shall mull for another day or so and if I decide to go ahead with it, I’ll tell you on Friday ๐Ÿ™‚

But don’t ask me anything because I won’t say another word.

Here. ย Put something in your mouth. ย That’ll stop those questions ๐Ÿ™‚

Since it’s technically breakfast time, I thought we should go traditional today and have (Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter) Banana (Bread) for our Something Chocolate. ย See how that’s mostly banana, which is, in fact, a breakfast food? ย That’s how it works around here ๐Ÿ™‚

From OMG Chocolate Desserts

Today’s pitch comes to us from Steve whom we met in November with his pitch for Rashad Saves The World, (WYRI #111) and who says, “I spent 20 years as a teacher of small children in London. Reading aloud was my favourite part of teaching. This means that I absolutely know what a PB, Lower MG should sound like. The challenge is to make my own writing sound right!”

Here is his pitch:

Working Title: Silly Tilly
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch:ย Tilly dreams of having a baby and her dream comes true when a hatching egg presents her with a fluffy bundle of โ€ฆ crocodile! Everything is bliss until Charlie starts to grow. AND grow. When her friends start disappearing, Tilly worries that sheโ€™s next on the menu. But when Charlie invites her down to his cave, sheโ€™s in for a big surprise โ€ฆ party!

So what do you think? ย Would You Read It? ย 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. ย If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Steve improve his pitch. ย Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome. ย (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful. ย 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! ย For rules and where to submit, click on this linkย Would You Read Itย or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above. ย There are openings in April so you’ve got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Steve is looking forward to your thoughts on his pitch! ย I am looking forward to making my decision and telling you or not telling you ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a wonderful, writing-filled Wednesday everyone!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

83 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #123 – Silly Tilly (PB)

  1. Kim Pfennigwerth says:

    The breakfast bread looks yummy and will taste wonderful with my cup of tea. Thank you Susanna! And yes I would read this but I would like to have a bit more sense about Tilly. Is this an animal that lays their own eggs or a different animal? Is she a bird? A squirrel? A rabbit? A snake? I love the friends disappearing all leading to a surprise party. Overall though, we know fun is going to happen.

  2. Linda Boyden says:

    The breakfast bread looks like what I need! Very nicely done, Susanna. Silly Tilly sounds like a fun and lively read so it's a definite YES for me. I'm envisioning that Tilly is a hen. Regardless sounds like a kid-pleaser.

  3. Teresa Robeson says:

    Guess what? I'm having chocolate chip banana bread for breakfast already!

    I love the pitch today and so it's a definite Yes! It's well written and funny. The only thing I suggest is to tell us what Tilly is in the opening sentence (Tilly, a toucan, dreams of…). Otherwise, when I read the first sentence, I thought “Tilly, a 5 year old kid, wants a baby?? What?!” LOL! It's terrific otherwise. Great job, Steve!

    (oh and I just scrolled down and saw that Kim mentioned the same issue!)

    I'll bet we can bribe the secret out of you with chocolate, Susanna!

  4. Kirsti Call says:

    I would love to read this story. But I also wondered about Tilly…is she an adult, an animal? The story seems clever and delightful.

  5. Clarbojahn says:

    I definitely would read it but was confused about who's friends were disappearing. Tilly's or Charlie's? Could you make that a little more clear?

    Thanks so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Angela Brown says:

    That bread looks so yummy. Mmmmm… *burp* excuse me, please *blush lol!*
    Now on the the WYRI. The pitch is actually very cute and entices me to read it, so great on the writer for that. The only thing that would give me pause is understanding how old Tilly is. This would help in better understanding her speculations about her disappearing friends.

  7. pennyklostermann says:

    That yummy bread only kept me quite for a minute! What are you hatching??? I really don't expect you to answer that until Friday but I had to ask just because I like to be nosy.
    The book sounds fun and I would read it. I would ask you, Steve, if you're aware that Eileen Spinelli has book titled Silly Tilly? It came out in 2012 and is about a goose. When I come up with a title I usually do a Google search just to check. You can't always avoid a repeat but since hers is so recent you may want to rethink your title.
    I actually liked that you didn't tell us exactly who/what Tilly is. The only thing I would change is I would delete the word “party”. It gives too much away in my opinion and I think having just the word “surprise” leaves me wondering and would make me want to read the book. As it stands now, I know the story without reading it. I know why the friends are disappearing. I would rather be left in the dark.

  8. Joanne Sher says:

    I'd give this one an almost yes. I agree that not knowing what Tilly is (or her approximate age) was a bit distracting. I also wasn't crazy about the exclamation points – but that could just be personal preference. I would also leave off the “party” at the very end. Feel like it maybe gives too much away. Sounds like a fun story, though!

  9. Martha Hubbard says:

    Hi Steve! Cute pitch, but I have the same comment as the others – who and what is Tilly and why is she dreaming of having a baby? It's probably clear in the text of the story, but it is a little confusing in your pitch. The middle part of your pitch is enticing and it does make me want to read your story. I'm on the fence about whether or not you should mention “party” at the end. I think it might be enough to say that Tilly is in for a big surprise and then leave it at that. Anyway, good job – I hope I get to read this! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Susanna – I am on a diet, so I do enjoy your virtual goodies. Mmmmm… ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Beverly Snedecor says:

    I do agree with the why does a kid want a baby issue, but I loved the pitch and would love to read it. Excellent! Too bad about the title but I'm sure you can come up with another cute name for your character. Is she a toucan or a bird? You could find a girl's name from wherever toucans are from, or something like that. Good luck!

  11. Tina Cho says:

    I love the title and the excitement in your pitch, but I have no idea who Tilly is. A hen? Croc? child? After knowing that fact, the rest of the pitch will make sense. Yes, I'd read it.
    I just made banana muffins a couple of hours ago, but hmmm, maybe I should add chocolate chips! Looks delicious, Susanna!

  12. Heather Dent says:

    Steve, you definitely have my attention with this pitch. I agree with the comments below. We need to know who and what Tilly is. Other than that I love this pitch! I can see the illustrations in my head right now!

    Susanna, it's been a while since I've visited you blog. I just want to say that I really appreciate that you've continued to comment on my blog even though I haven't been as good at keeping up with yours. You are a wonderful person.

  13. Wendy Greenley says:

    Another great breakfast dessert and pitch! Perhaps you shouldn't give away the ending? And I wondered why Charlie has a “cave” if he's living with Tilly as her pet. Is Tilly a creature that also lives in a cave? Good luck with this. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Cathy C. Hall says:

    Hmm…I wonder if this might be a little too scary, thinking about a crocodile eating up your friends? Even though the title indicates Tilly's being silly, I'm not so sure a kid would agree! ๐Ÿ™‚ (And I'd leave off “party.” You want to entice, not give it away.)

  15. Catherine says:

    I think the pitch is fabulous and I'm on the fence about it being too scary. I have an arm sticking out of an alligator's mouth in my next book so I might pitch it 7+
    Sometimes the words can be scary but the illustrator might be able to put enough humor in to make it okay. Can't wait for your surprise Susanna!

  16. disqus_xkUvROpuwp says:

    I would definitely read it, but I would leave off the word “party” at the end of the pitch, it gives away too much! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Susanna, once again, I am dying for something chocolatey!

  17. Sue Heavenrich says:

    I would read it – but want to know what/who Tilly is…. and wondering if having a baby is too far removed from kid's world. Maybe she's an only chick and wants a sibling and decides to hatch an egg? I love the whole croc part… and the ending. And I like knowing that it's a party. How wonderfully creative.

  18. Charlotte Sheer says:

    Though I love the twist in the story of a frightened Tilly expecting to be eaten when she's actually about to be surprised in a GOOD way, the idea of one's child (“Charlie the croc) potentially planning to eat Mom might be kind of scary for little readers. Also, I'm wondering what makes Tilly so “silly”…

  19. Steve Moran says:

    Good morning everyone, and thank you as usual for your kind and helpful comments. I'm very grateful. Tilly … is a small forest animal. I'm working hard on training myself to trust-the-illustrator and leaving maximum scope, so I have! In my mind Tilly is just a cute, probably furry, little girl animal that dreams of having a baby as all little girls do but because forest rules are different, she gets one! But if readers decide she's a bird, that's fine with me.

  20. Steve Moran says:

    The 'scariness' isn't perhaps as scary as I've made it sound in the pitch but I have definitely built Charlie up to be a serial friend-muncher, in order to make the twist at the end more unexpected.

  21. Steve Moran says:

    I'm intrigued that y'all have advised that I should cut the party out of the pitch. I never actually wanted to put it in because I love making my pitches sound mysterious (I loooove rhetorical questions) but … every single bit of advice I read about pitches says that you should put everything in, that agents/editors want to know what happens (and that they haaaate rhetorical questions). I'd welcome any further comments on this.

  22. Steve Moran says:

    The reason that Tilly is 'Silly' is because firstly she has an antagonist that calls her that throughout the story (and who is subject to a twist-on-the-twist, lol) and secondly because she didn't trust Charlie and really thought he was munching her friends – it's a Never-judge-a-book-by-it's-cover story. I didn't realise there was already a Silly Tilly out there and have made a mental note to Google titles hereafter … will have to think that one through.

  23. Julie Rowan-Zoch says:

    Yummy looking cake!

    I would read this! You could let an agen/editor know what Tilly is in the opening query paragraph, or try and work it into the pitch paragraph. Just a few more things to think about:

    The opening is a GREAT hook, but you could shorten it a tad:
    “Tilly's dream of having a baby comes true when a hatching egg presents her with a fluffy bundle of โ€ฆ crocodile!”
    I like the next bit, but you could add suspense by playing with the phrasing:
    “Everything is bliss until Charlie starts to grow. AND grow. And her friends begin to disappear! Yikes!”
    I'd also suggest not giving away the ending:
    “But when he lures her down to his cave, sheโ€™s in for a big surprise!”

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