Would You Read It Wednesday #200 – The Dino Store (PB) PLUS The Dec/Jan Pitch Pick!

Happy (one day late!) Groundhog Day, Everyone!

I hope you were all thrilled at Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of an early spring!

Up here on Blueberry Hill, Phyllis was feeling a little more cautious.  She said, “How can we have spring if we haven’t had winter yet?” and “Who the heck does El Nino think he is?” and “By the way, what’s with El Nino?!  How about El Nina?! I could teach that guy a thing or two!” and “If anyone has any strawberries I would like some please!”

Phyllis and I had a delightful visit with Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades at Beekman Elementary School yesterday (even without strawberries… they had really good cookies!… thank you, Mrs. Osso 🙂 )  Local gossip speculates that there may be photographs in existence somewhere… but as I don’t have them yet (and will likely decide they’re not fit to be seen even when I do 🙂 ) you’ll have to wait for those… maybe a Very. Long. Time! 🙂   And now, even as you read this, Phyllis and I are off visiting another school today!  We’re like a whirlwind.  Or maybe a girlwind 🙂  The first week of February is always busy and tons of fun around here!

So busy, in fact, that I really think Something Chocolate is called for immediately to sustain us!  Especially because our busy day today includes the December/January Pitch Pick!

Since today is the birthday of someone I love more than you can imagine (yes, Phyllis, but someone else too :)), I think we should have cake!

choc cake

Doesn’t that look divine?  All we need is a nice hot cup of coffee to go with it and balance out the sweet!  (And Julie R-Z – please note the raspberries – I put them on there so you wouldn’t have to eat cake for breakfast because I know how you feel about that 🙂 )

Okay!  Are you ready to Pitch Pick?

#1 Diane – The Dreadfully Unhappy Cat (PB ages 4-8)

(for those of you who read it in December, this was formerly Peyton The Cat And The Princess Who Loves Everything Pink)

Mortimer, a dreadfully unhappy cat, needs to get his new owner, Pauline’s attention. Mortimer feels there are to many kisses and does not like the new name Pauline gave him, Prissy-the-Cat-Princess. How can he get her attention? Several cat-devious ideas pop into his head. But Pauline fails to notice Mortimer’s signs and instead blames them all on Tommy, her brother. Mortimer’s last cat-fantastic idea is to seek the help of Pauline’s brother—as he seems to understand Mortimer’s dilemma. Once Pauline discovers Mortimer’s wishes, a compromise is reached between daily kisses, his name, and being a guard for Tommy’s castle.


#2 Gabi – Eustacia, Unicorn Of Science (PB ages 4-8)

(for those of you who read the original, this was formerly titled Unicorn With A Stache)

Meet Eustacia.  Like her fellow unicorns, she toots rainbows.  Unlike her fellow unicorns, she studies science, solves formulas, and invents gizmos.  The other unicorns scoff and say, “Magic is the unicorn way.”  But when their rainbows disappear, Eustacia discovers that both science and magic have a place in the unicorn world.

#3  Cynthia – Nicky And The Inchworm (PB ages 4-8)

Nicky loves to splash in the puddles, but when he finds a shiny wet inchworm dangling over a puddle he knows he has to act fast. Amazed by this tiny little creature, Nicky forgets about splashing in puddles and sets out to find a safe home for his tiny new friend.


#4  Carleen – Annabelle Changes Her Name (PB ages 4-8)

Annabelle’s name is too long, too hard, too different.  But when she decides to change it, she runs into all sorts of problems.  And then she meets a new girl whose name is long and hard and different, too.   And now Annabelle isn’t so sure anymore about changing her name.

#5  Ashley – The Race Against Sleep (PB ages 4-8)

Bill is the fastest runner this side of the Mississippi, but can he outrun Sleep? THE RACE AGAINST SLEEP introduces readers to a boastful boy, Bill, whose bragging rights are on the line when he accepts Sleep’s challenge to a footrace with no finish line. Bill fights to stay up and moving as Sleep uses the typically charming, Southern landscape against him.

Funny – we got a couple title changes this month!  And they’re all PBs for ages 4-8!

Please vote in the poll below for the pitch you like best that you feel most deserves a read and comments from editor Erin Molta.  Please cast your vote by Sunday February 7 at 5 PM Eastern.  Results will be posted weeks from now after the Valentiny Contest is over 🙂

Today’s pitch comes to us from Lynne Marie who says, “My name is Lynne Marie, and picture books (and dinosaurs) are a long-time passion of mine. I am a reader, reviewer, a writer, and world traveller. My first book, Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten was published by Scholastic in 2011, with one to follow. Please visit me at “My Word Playground” — who knows who or what might pop in there, maybe even a dinosaur or two!

You can learn more about her at www.literallylynnemarie.com,  follow her writing and inspiration blog at http://literallylynnemarie.blogspot.com and follow her on twitter @Literally_Lynne

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Dino Store

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch: When a child wishes for a real dinosaur, a magical door leads him to The Dino Store. But will he choose a walnut-brained Stegosaurus, a bully scaring T-Rex or an Apatosaurus whose neck he can slide down? With Show ‘N Tell tomorrow he needs to choose fast. But what if the wrong choice leads to BIGGER problems?


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 Lynne Marie 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 Would You Read It in the dropdown menu beneath For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in March 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!

Lynne Marie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to visiting another school full of happy, excited Kindergartners, 1st and 2nd graders with my furry little marmot friend!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!!! 🙂


42 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #200 – The Dino Store (PB) PLUS The Dec/Jan Pitch Pick!

  1. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    I love the pitch! Since the story is so whimsical, I think I’d leave out that the door to the Dino Store is magical. We’ve already bought into a a kid shopping for a dinosaur, so we’re OK with a store in which to do it. I’m intrigued by the BIGGER problem at the end of the pitch. Maybe too intrigued. I’d love a better hint of what happens when he chooses. Is it really a problem? Or is that fear unfounded? This is an adorable concept and a gold mine for an illustrator. Good luck with it.

  2. ptnozell says:

    Lynne Marie, what a fun idea for a story that definitely will appeal to children & will give rise to such great illustration possibilities. On the wording, I’d be drawn in more quickly if the child were named, rather than “a child”. I’m also not clear as to what the original problem is (I’m presuming there is a problem to begin with, as you end with hints at a BIGGER problem). On the story itself, I immediately thought of Tara Lazar’s Monstore. How does The Dino Store differ from that recent book? Can you show that differentiation in the pitch?

    I look forward to seeing your revisions at the end of the month & reading the story, too!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Thanks so much for voting, Mike! And I agree – it’s wonderful to see how much the feedback from all the helpful folks who chime in helps writers to improve their pitches – and that the writers are willing to take the constructive criticism and work with it to improve, even though it can be hard to let go of what you thought was pretty darn good to start with!

  3. kathalsey says:

    I voted, and Happy Belated B-day, Phyllis. I like the concept and also immediately thought of the MONSTORE by Tara Lazar. I’d love to see the MC be a girl and maybe give her a dinosaur-sounding type name. Also, I feel there are too many questions in the pitch and not enough info. Love the dinos you choose as choices. Kids will enjoy bringing a dino to show & tell.

  4. Erik Dutton (@DuttonErik) says:

    This pitch sounds like a lot of fun! I only see one thing that could be improved – you give us reasons why the T-Rex and the Apatosaurus would be good choices, but just a description tag for the Stegosaurus. What benefit would that choice bring? Otherwise, very solid and engaging. Good luck!

  5. Lisa Riddiough says:

    Hi Lynn Marie, Oh my gosh, I love the title! It says so much and is very clever. Somehow, I feel that the pitch doesn’t provide enough tension. Maybe you could hint at what the bigger problem will be if he picks the wrong dinasour. I also had this notion that the child gets stuck in the store with the dinosaurs overnight like Night at the Museum. Overall, yes, I would read this one. Best of luck. And congrats on your other published picture books!!!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      You are always welcome to as many comment boxes as you like, Lisa! 🙂 Phyllis and I both thank you for thinking of us. We did have a lovely week and wonderful school visits (two days in a row with awesome desserts! 🙂 )

  6. Gabi Snyder says:

    Lynne Marie, I would definitely read this story! So much fun! Like Patricia, I think it’d be good if you could further differentiate this story from the Monstore and clarify the original problem. Is it just that he needs to choose a dinosaur in time for Show and Tell or is there something else? Does the child get stuck in the store overnight as Lisa suggests? That could be super fun! Also, I might be even more excited about this book if you made your MC a girl. I feel like there are lots of books with boys and dinosaurs, but not many with girls and dinos. Just a thought.

  7. Laurie Swindler says:

    I’d definitely want to read this book and I think it would be a hit with kids too. I’m also curious about what the BIGGER problems might be, but that might make me want to read the book even more.

  8. Rosi Hollinbeck says:

    I think this sounds really cute. And I kind of like the magical element. I think a title change might be a good idea to help differentiate it from The Monstore. Lisa makes a good point about what would happen if he picks the wrong dinosaur. That could ramp up the tension which is always good. Good luck with this.

  9. viviankirkfield says:

    Hello Susanna…and Happy Birthday to Phyllis!
    I can’t believe I missed last week’s pitches…but I did vote today.
    And I LOVE Lynne Marie’s story…oh my goodness…awesome concept…very tight pitch! I do agree with the other comments…I need to know the child’s name…and a bit about what the original problem is (does he want a dinosaur because his other friends have pets that scare him and he needs one that will scare them?). Congrats on your book deal success, Lynne Marie…this one is going to be a winner also!

  10. Lynn says:

    This is my first time to weigh in on pitches, so here goes …

    Lynne Marie, I like this story idea; however, it immediately reminded me of Tara Lazar’s Monstore, so I hope the story varies enough to not be too much like hers. I agree with a different title and a little girl as the main character to help make it more your own.
    It would also be better to not end your pitch with a question. You can find a way to say the same thing without asking, and in the process vamp up your pitch a little.
    This is going to be a fun book. 🙂

  11. Tracey M. Cox says:

    Susanna, I’m glad youn& Phyllis are off being busy bees!

    Lynn Marie, Yes, I would want to read this, but I believe you can go into a little more detail and that will finish hooking me. Is there a struggle you can state? Something to really get me to turn to the first page. It is a great starting pitch.
    I struggle with pitches.

  12. laura516 says:

    Lynne Marie, your story sounds really fun. My boys would love it (They already really enjoy Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten!). I like how your pitch gives the reader clues as to why a child might choose a t-rex or an apatosaurus. Do the same for the Stegosaurus. A walnut-sized brain doesn’t seem appealing. Why would he choose that one? Also, is this a pet book? The boy wishes for a dino and has show n tell, but I didn’t get a great feel for the story’s problem/motivation from the pitch. As with other commenters, I also immediately thought of Tara Lazar’s The Monstore. Good luck!

  13. Sue Heavenrich says:

    Lynne Marie – I love the title “Dino Store” – and I can totally see a kid with a list of traits he’s looking for and a bit of “comparison shopping”. I’m sure each dino has positive as well as negative points. I think it will be different enough from the Monstore to not worry about… and separated by years.
    Susanna – Happy (belated) groundhog day! Sounds like you & Phyllis are having lots of fun.

  14. setwiggs says:

    Lynne Marie, yes I would read this book. About the pitch I would leave the last line out. I think there is enough in the pitch to keep me interested and I want to be surprised If there are going to be bigger problems. I will check out Hedhog Goes to Kindergarten!

  15. Diane Dowdle Ramirez says:

    Lynne Marie,

    Dinosaur books are always fun. I like the magical door. This leads to curiosity of what’s behind the door. And yes I’d buy it.

    I feel the child needs a name. I have five grand kids and it is the boys who usually played with dinosaurs. That’s not to say there are girls who don’t.

    I want to know how he/she finds the magical door. Is this door within the store, his/her room? I’m wondering if you can rewrite without the names of the dinosaur. And maybe just state your MC is not satisfied with what he/she has, which leads him/her to the store. Maybe the store clerk shows him/her a door and unbeknownst to your MC, he/she discovers something magical.

    Certainly, I don’t know your story, but this is what I thought of as an example and of course, you’re the author, these are just my thoughts . . . Tina loves dinosaurs. Only if she had a live one that would be the best. But she does not. Dinosaurs don’t exist. With Show N’ Tell tomorrow she wants to wow her classmates but she’s not satisfied with what she has. A trip to the Dino Store might help. Unbeknownst to her, the clerk leads her to a magical door. Will her wish come true? Will it lead to bigger problems?

    This will be a fun book to read. I look forward to hearing more. Hope my humble thoughts help. Happy rewrites! 🙂

  16. Lynne Marie says:

    Thank you everyone for your fabulous and helpful comments, every one of them — I really appreciate your help in bringing this pitch to the next level! And Laura, thank you for your kind words about Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten. Tell your boys that I said Hello, and thanks for reading Spike’s story! XO

      • Lynne Marie says:

        They certainly are — I always enjoy when I have time to pop over here and have some fun 🙂 Thanks for all you do, Susanna Leonard HIll. Thanks to you and everyone who kindly took the time to comment the Dino Store is bigger and better than ever before!

  17. ThisKidReviewsBooks says:

    I am so late I won’t even add to this other than I think it is a nice book idea 🙂 Sorry I have been getting around way too late – we’ve been in full rehearsals for the high school’s musical. 🙂

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