Would You Read It Wednesday #128 – Sammy Dougie Foxtrot: Look, Smile, Roar (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor PLUS the March Pitch Pick

My goodness we have a busy day today!

Good thing I gave you Monday off to rest up 🙂

First up, we have Straight From The Editor for Kristine, the February Pitch Winner.  You will recall her pitch:

Working Title: THE STEM GIRLS TAKE OFF
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 5-8)
The Pitch: Sophia wants to win the school science fair, but when her project won’t cooperate, she uses perseverance and teamwork to bring home the goal, proving that every girl can be a STEM girl.

Here are editor Erin Molta’s comments:

This is a great premise and goodness knows, we definitely need more books about girls succeeding in science, technology, engineering and math. However, in order for this to catch an editor’s eye, you need to put a little more spark into it. It’s very generic right now. What is her science project? How was it not cooperating? Was she snubbed because she was a girl and had something to prove? It seems to infer that, but the focus in your pitch is on perseverance and teamwork, whereas it should be more specific. Think of the one thing that she did to get everyone to help her OR why her project was failing and base your pitch around that. And if there’s humor—see if you can get that in, too.

As always, I find Erin’s comments so helpful and insightful!

Now, after all that education, we should probably have a snack 🙂  Something Chocolate anyone?  I’m in a cupcake mood. And this one is kind of cheerful and spring-like as well as luscious and chocolate, don’t you think? 🙂

Scrumptious! 🙂

Now that we’re all fortified, let’s take a look at the awesome pitches from March and see which lucky writer is going to get her pitch reviewed by Erin.

#1 Karen – Puddles And Rainbows (PB ages 4-6)
Growing up is hard, but learning to rain might just prove harder. Either way, this Little Cloud needs plenty of patience and determination. A colorful discovery makes it all worthwhile.

#2 Ann – Sk8r Boy (PB ages 5-8)
Peter wants to be an ice skater but can’t because he’s homeless, and he doesn’t have the money for a pair of skates. But when there’s a poetry contest at school with a small cash prize, he may be able to make his smooth words glide and spin so that he can buy the skates and win his classmates’ respect.

#3 Beth – Martin’s Perfect Web (PB ages 5-7)
In a quest to build a perfect web, a fussy spider confronts his biggest fears through an unlikely friendship with an inquisitive dragon.  Laurent the dragon takes Martin on a wild ride on his tail.  No one is more surprised at the ending than this stubborn intractable spider who finally learns how to relax, and enjoy the simple process of creating.

Please vote for the pitch you feel most deserves a read by editor Erin Molta in the poll below by Sunday April 13 at 5PM EDT.

Many thanks!!!

Today’s pitch comes to us from Morgan who says. “I am an aspiring children’s book writer, a licensed school psychologist, and a mother of two boys (ages 1 1/2 and 3), with another on the way. Reading and writing emotional literacy is my passion. I also enjoy writing social stories and making reward charts for fun!” 

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Sammy Dougie Foxtrot: Look, Smile, Roar
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Boogie along with Sammy Dougie Foxtrot and his trusted lion, PJ, on their courageous playground adventure. When PJ gets stuck in a sycamore tree, Sammy is scared: “The kind of scared when brakes on a truck screech, it’s dirt dumps, and it is as stiff as stabilizer legs.”Sammy discovers the true meaning of courage: that one can feel scared and brave at the same time. Even though the children at the playground look different, Sammy looks, smiles, and roars, bravely asking for their help. Find out if Sammy and the playground crew can work together to rescue PJ. “Look, Smile, Roar” enhances 4 to 8 year olds emotional literacy through the use of their imaginations. While entertaining, Sammy and PJ also emphasize tolerance and acceptance to promote early intervention. Oh, and I forgot to mention, they love to have fun! 

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 Morgan 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 July 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!

Morgan is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the upcoming Illustrators Contest!  I really am!  Of course, we might not have any entries, but if we DO, think how awesome they will be!  I can’t wait to see what our talented friends come up with to bring the March Madness Contest Winners’ stories to life!  I have to learn how to do those convenient “tweet this” thingies – then I could helpfully put one here and make it so easy for all you guys to spread the word. I’ll add it to my to-do list. . . which is exceedingly long. . . so don’t hold your breath for convenient tweet thingies 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone! 🙂

70 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #128 – Sammy Dougie Foxtrot: Look, Smile, Roar (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor PLUS the March Pitch Pick

  1. Kim Pfennigwerth says:

    I am playing catch up. Sorry for the late in the day post but mmm so glad a cupcake was waiting! 🙂 I am in the same camp as others. The story interests me but the pitch is confusing. I don't understand the boogieing, the roaring, or the trucks and stabilizer legs. It would be easier for a young audience to grasp a simpler theme. What is Sammie's fear? Is it stuttering? shyness? Is he a new kid and doesn't know anyone else? But I do love that he is willing to overcome whatever his fear is to get help for PJ. Keep going with this.

  2. Pamela Courtney says:

    Voted! That cupcake is yummy. It seems you've gotten some great advice. It's obvious you're very good with words. Love your writing. Wish I could read the entire story. So I guess that makes it a yes I would read it. As lovely as your words are, I agree with everyone, too many. I can't wait to see how you tighten this up and intrigue us with an edited version.

  3. Morgan says:

    Can we please leave with Pamela's comment? : ) Thank you, that really means a lot to me.I appreciate everyone's professionalism in regards to all the feedback. As you know, it is difficult to have others critique your work. Also, Susanna, kudos to you for gathering such a great group of people to participate in critiquing the pitches.

  4. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Just loved the STEM girl pitch from Kristine…I'm happy Erin came through with great advice….as always. 🙂 The cupcake is luscious, thank you Susanna…and I voted, although they all sound like they will be excellent stories.
    Morgan…you have a wonderful book here…and, as the others have mentioned, you only need to tighten the pitch. Penny and Kristen and others had specific pitch fixes that will give you great direction with that. Best of luck with the story…it sounds like you have a lot of expertise in this field…maybe you will do a series to help young children cope with the many challenges they encounter in their early years.

  5. Teresa Robeson says:

    You know, Morgan, sometimes, oddly enough, it's harder to distill my short PB stories into a couple of lines than it is to distill the 50K, or more, word novels. The psych reports sound very interesting too…though not in the same way children's stories are. LOL!

  6. Michelle Hackel says:

    I was intrigued by “even though the children in the playground look different” and wanted more specifics about that. I think the pitch would work better if it were about half as long. And be sure to change “it's dirt dumps” to “its dirt dumps” before sending to an editor!

  7. Brandie Reedy says:

    Sorry, I'm a late. Mom duties called. I too agree that the pitch would work better if it was shortened. There's a few different themes going on that make the pitch seem a little confusing. I think that it would sound a lot better if the author chose just one of those themes and spruced it up. As a children's librarian I could see myself giving this a look. Nice job! 🙂

  8. Tina DC Hayes says:

    I think it sounds like a good story but the pitch should be tightened up a bit, I think, to make it really clear exactly what the story is about. The words 'Boogie' and 'Foxtrot' from the first sentence made think dancing would be involved, though the rest doesn't sound like it is. The same with the line about dump trucks. In the line that says '…8(-)year(-)olds(') emotional literacy through the use of their imaginations', maybe you could show how their imaginations are used?

    Good luck and best wishes.

  9. Morgan says:

    Love the analogy. After reading your pitch, I think would really like to read that story… oh, wait… that's my story : ). Thanks for the suggestions.

  10. Lauri Meyers says:

    Erin's comments are very helpful. Sometimes we try so hard to make the agent want to read more that we end up being too secretive. Great advice!

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