Would You Read It Wednesday #148 – Me Hungry (PB)

Well, things are pretty quiet up here on Blueberry Hill.

The hummingbirds have left for Mexico. (Smart cookies.)

The hornets have left because something (not me!) bashed in their (really ugly) house.

(Truthfully, I feel sorry for them.  They worked so hard on that (evil-looking!) house.  I don’t know where they went, but they’re gone.  At least I think they are… I haven’t actually gotten close enough to tell for sure.  I’m not THAT much of a glutton for punishment 🙂  But I digress…)

The blueberries have left because the bears ate them.

The deer are quietly turning that soft brown color that makes them one with the woods in winter.

And this morning, when I was out for my morning jaunt, a whole flock of birds (swallows? really I’m making that up – the only birds I’m sure of are chickadees, cardinals, and blue jays 🙂 – but they COULD have been swallows because that sounds nice) ANYway, the whole flock rose from a tree and took off above my head in a rush of wings – so beautiful in the stillness!

So, with all that quietness, it’s a good thing we’re about to liven things up with the 4th Annual Halloweensie Contest!!!

If you missed the announcement, go HERE and read all about it!

And the prizes are rolling in – there are going to be lots of good ones! – so pop those thinking caps on!

Now then!  Down to today’s business!

First, I’m happy to announce that the winner of the September Pitch Pick is HOPE!!! with her pitch for Cleo And Pinkie!  Congratulations, Hope! Your pitch is on it’s way to editor Erin Molta for her thoughts.  And congratulations to ALL  our brave pitchers – you all did a fantastic job and it was terrible to have to pick only one of your wonderful pitches when all your stories sound great!

Phew!  Let’s take a break after all that excitement and indulge in Something Chocolate!  (Like we need an excuse :))

Today’s Something Chocolate is chocolate deliciousness AND a story prompt, because really, don’t those raspberries look like little critters huddled under a toadstool sheltering from a chocolate rain?  Maybe even chocolate thunder?  (which sounds like it should be a whole ‘nother dessert! :))  Or maybe they’re hiding under a rock behind a chocolate waterfall!  Or maybe they want to splash in chocolate puddles and they’re daring someone to go first!  Whatever, I think they have a story to tell 🙂

You can think about it while you lick the plate 🙂

Today’s pitch comes to us from Gail who says, “Recently, I participated in the Making Picture Book Magic workshop and in the Telling Children Stories in Today’s Market intensive. I’m a member of SCWBI, and hold both a degree in Fine Arts from Wilfrid Laurier University and a diploma in Journalism from Cambrian College. You’re welcome to visit http://gailtalbot.com anytime to learn more.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Me Hungry
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Ted’s delicious dreams are interrupted when a noise creeps from his closet. He peeks from under his blanket and discovers a teeny-tiny zombie! When Ted tries to feed his new famished friend, things don’t go smoothly — meat kabooms, a plate is pinched, and a restaurant is invaded! But, Ted’s quick thinking help the pair through. Zombie’s tummy is finally filled, and Ted becomes a chef, just like he always wanted.  “Me Hungry!” is a fast-paced, 500-word, boy-oriented picture book. A little “Master Chef” meets “Goosebumps,” the story features Ted, a boy who learns that facing his fears is the first step in making his dreams come true.

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 Gail 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 November 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!

Gail is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to continuing to gather up prizes for y’all, and to how much fun we’re going to have writing and reading entries for the Halloweensie Contest!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

76 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #148 – Me Hungry (PB)

  1. Barbara DiMarco says:

    You had me at teeny-tiny zombie. I also like that the theme is stated at the end…a boy who learns that facing his fears… The middle of the pitch may be a little wordy, probably could be shortened. Sounds like a fun read for that age! 🙂

  2. Nancy Tandon says:

    Gail – how fun! Your clever pitch gave me a smile this a.m. My first read through, I did not make the connection between “delicious dreams” and dreams of being a chef. Also, the first two sentences seem a bit wordy. Something like “Ted's delicious dreams of becoming a chef are detoured when he meets a teeny-tiny zombie…” might fix that. I love your descriptive words, but in the interest of tightening the pitch, you may want to pare them down.
    The last two sentences zing! In fact, they could potentially be your whole pitch. (But you'd have to add in “teeny tiny zombie” somewhere because that's such a fun hook.) Best of luck!

  3. Cathy C. Hall says:

    Great job tying in your first and last lines of the pitch–I love when I see that and it shows an understanding of circling back and makes me think your PB will do the same. Also love your comps and for those reasons, I'd read this. Plus zombies. 🙂

  4. Wendy says:

    Cute pitch! I agree that it could be condensed. And I wondered about the line at the end about the MC facing his fears. I hadn't felt the element of fear in the description. Good luck. 🙂

  5. Teresa Robeson says:

    I could bare type this with that gooey chocolatey goodness sticking to my fingers! 😉

    Congratulations to Hope!

    What a fun idea to pair food and zombies, two very popular topics right now! I agree with the others about paring it down and suggest condensing it. For example, that I liked Nancy's critique a lot and second her thoughts. I was a little confused by the first part where the noise came from the closet and then he peers under his blanket (which, to me, brings to mind the blankets on his bed and not in his closet).

    Good luck with this project, Gail! You've got a cute story going. 🙂

  6. Pam Brunskill says:

    Thanks, Susanna, for providing me with a healthy snack today (you know, because of the raspberries)! Gail, I love your title! The pitch is great if a little long. A couple of suggestions. For the sentence about the trouble that ensues, use consistent ways of sharing. For example, meat kabooms, a pinched plate, and an invaded restaurant! In the next sentence, I'm not sure what Ted's quick thinking helps the pair through…you're missing the end to the sentence or you need to change a word somewhere. The last sentence completely threw me–I didn't get the sense that Ted was afraid of the teeny-tiny zombie at all–I thought they were fast friends. So, I wonder if you need to focus on the emotional plot/theme a little more to make this zing. Otherwise, it's evident that there are some pretty fabulous components to this book, and I would be interested in reading it. Good luck!

  7. Kathy Halsey says:

    I WOULD read this PB and it sound like fun. I, like the rest, want you to condense it & take out the lyrical language – save it for the book. I thought they were friends, also, just that the zombie was mischievous. I'd play up the fun and the messes they make. It may be just me, but I'm not sure you need to specify it's “boy-oriented.” Feel you just reduce your audience by that line.

  8. Genevieve says:

    I would read this for sure. I agree with everyone who said to condense, especially the middle. My first thought was that boy-oriented has to go. I also feel like Ted doesn't sound afraid as much as he needs to struggle to be creative enough to please Gordon Ramsey – I mean the mini-zombie! Good luck with it.

  9. Brandie Reedy says:

    You had me at zombies! I would def condense the pitch down because it's too wordy. I really like meat kabooms. I would take out boy-oriented (don't want to limit yourself to only one audience). And I would completely take out the last line because after reading the pitch I don't feel the boy has any fears. Good luck! 🙂

  10. JillSF1959 says:

    I'll eat the raspberries and chocolate sauce but leave the cake, thank you! Unless it's gluten free. 😀

    re: the pitch

    Love the title! Love the teeny-tiny zombie idea, but I stopped at the thought of a sound “creeping.” I was wondering if I would have stopped if the word was “leak” or some such other movement. BUT, once I see that the sound is a moving thing, the tiny zombie, the creeping part makes sense. And then I have this other weird “Zombie rules” concern about mixing zombies, creatures that eat raw human flesh, and a restaurant theme. Hmmmm. It might be so over the top that it works, so I might read it just to see what the author has on the page. That said, I wonder if the order of things is reversed in the pitch. Should they invade the restaurant first, then pinch a plate, and then blow up the meat? I'm also wondering if the book is about helping a strange, new friend with their needs or whether it's about Ted always wanting and then succeeding in becoming a chef? There might be too many things going on here for a picture book. I would also suggest that the pitch be condensed as others have mentioned. I also agree with cutting the part about being “boy-oriented.” And I also agree with Pam and Wendy about the fear coming out of the blue. We weren't really set up for a story about facing one's fears in the beginning. I think I'm rambling. Sorry. 😀

  11. Linda Boyden says:

    I missed last week–don't ask! Congrats to Hope! And yes I'd read Gail's Me Hungry. It sounds like fun and a real kid pleaser. Def ditch the boy-oriented bit. Best of luck with this adorable concept!

  12. kathyberman says:

    Yes I'll read it. But first I'll eat the chocolate. I love zombies, so I know this is a fun story that kids will like. I agree with the others that while it is a good pitch I think it can be condensed. I like the first sentence, but you might consider–“when a noise creeps from his closet and jumps on his bed.” This gives you a chance to show his fear. I would delete the sentence about peeking under the covers. Just get right into it and let the zombie complain about his hunger. Ted feeds him____,etc. Good luck with your pitch Gail.

  13. Julie Rowan-Zoch says:

    Lucky autumn bliss on Blueberry Hill! I'd definitely read Gail's story, but would tighten the pitch. A suggestion: Ted meets the chef's challenge, just like he always wanted, when he tries to feed his new famished friend, a teeny-tiny zombie! (Chaos ensues when) A plate is pinched, meat kabooms, and a restaurant is invaded! But Ted's quick thinking helps fill the Zombie's tummy. In this “Master Chef” meets “Goosebumps” story, Ted learns that facing fears is the first step in making dreams come true.

  14. Stacy Couch says:

    So jealous, Susanna. I want bears.

    Gail, your teeny-weeny zombie got me. Instantly. I'd suggest you focus on one main conflict: Ted wants to be a chef, faces his fears, feeds a zombie. Then I'd say what Ted does to try to resolve it.
    When Ted finds a teeny-tiny zombie creeping under his blanket, Ted has to feed him–or else. But nothing will satisfy his zombie: meat kabooms, a plate is pinched, and a restaurant is invaded! Until Ted does something specific, and his little zombie is hungry no more.

  15. :Donna Marie says:

    OK, Susanna, I was waiting to hear, “ANYway, the whole flock rose from a tree and took off above my head in a rush of wings – AND ONE POOPED ON MY HEAD!” lol
    And, although this pitch sounds really good, I'm just not a “zombies in PBs” fan : / There are certainly people who are though, and I'm sure loved this pitch! 😀

  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Hahahahaha, Donna! 🙂 I HAVE been pooped on by birds before! But luckily not this time… although someone told me it's good luck – probably just to make you feel better about having bird poop on you 🙂 Thanks for your thoughts on Gail's pitch!

  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I do like seeing the bears around… but only if I'm near the house or a car or something. They're pretty big, and even though I don't think they'd have a reason to come after me, I'd never want to chance it 🙂 Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Gail!

  18. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    The cake is not gluten-free, Jilanne – sorry! I'll have to “make” a gluten-free one one of these days! And thank you so much for your very insightful and helpful thoughts for Gail – better a little ramble-y than no helpful comment 🙂

  19. Gail says:

    What wonderful suggestions! Thank you so much, everyone, for your feedback. I'll be working on tightening the teeny-tiny zombie pitch over a nice hot cup of coffee in the morning :).

  20. Hope Lim says:

    Hi, Susanna, and everyone! Thank you so much for supporting my pitch! ^^ Looking forward to the next step!
    For Gail's pitch, I would definitely read it. Gail, I agree with some of the comments that suggest you should shorten your pitch. You already had a lot of great feedback. Good luck with your story!
    Thanks, everyone!!

  21. Keila Dawson says:

    Fun pitch! Kids would love it. Agree with everyone about using fewer words. Aspiring kid chef Ted's delicious dreams are interrupted by a teeny-tiney zombie with a big appetite. When Ted tries to feed his new famished friend, things don't go smoothly — meat kabooms, a plate is pinched, and a restaurant is invaded! But, “Me Hungry!” is a fast-paced, 500-word, boy-oriented picture book. A little “Master Chef” meets “Goosebumps,” the story features Ted, a boy who learns that facing his fears is the first step in making his dreams come true.

  22. McM says:

    Yeah Hope!!
    Susanna, I can't pass up that dessert! Or maybe raspberry guards protecting a heavenly pool of chocolate? Hmm,more chocolate…
    I would read Gail's book. I am curious how one satisfies a Zombie's appetite. I agree with the previous comments about tightening your pitch. You've gotten some wonderful advice already – so best of luck with the story!

  23. Gail says:

    Stacy – you nailed the plot right on which helps me know the pitch is heading in the right direction. Thank you so much!

  24. Gail says:

    Thanks Kathy. I'll will definitely be shortening the pitch; I think you're right — I will remove the “when a noise creeps…” 🙂

  25. Gail says:

    Thanks Rosi – I love these stories too. They resonate with me because I had a fear when I was little (vampires) and learned that I had to face that fear if I wanted to ever sleep again. Ted does the same, only his reward is that he finds a friend and his dreams come true. My reward was only sleep lol!

  26. Gail says:

    Thanks Linda! I put boy-oriented in because I've read that it is a “hook.” But, I think it has to come out; I don't want to limit readers. By the way, what happened last week? I hope it was fabulous lol!

  27. Gail says:

    Hi Jill. Thank you so much for your feedback. The fear is in the intro; Ted faces is head-on and makes a hungry friend. No worries about the zombie-isms in the story, they are very child-friendly. I had spoken to Susanna about this because one of my goals was to have fun with a popular monster, maintain suspense, but in a way that would not be scary to little readers. Fingers crossed that it worked!

  28. Gail says:

    Hi Brandie – the pitch will be condensed, the boy-oriented will be removed and I'll re-work the fear angle. Phew! Thanks so much, you were spot on 🙂

  29. Gail says:

    You're a genius! Gordon Ramsey should write the jacket! Kidding :). Thanks Genevieve, I will definitely prune the pitch and remove the boy-oriented.

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