Would You Read It Wednesday #207 – The School Supplies Intensive Care Unit (PB)


I don’t know who’s in charge of the weather around here, but whoever it is may be in danger of attack from a horde of angry villagers.

It is the first week of April, and winter has arrived on Blueberry Hill.  It’s 10 degrees and we’ve got 6 inches of snow!

The robins are not amused.  They’re talking conspiracy.

And my poor little pink hyacinth was caught by surprise, all her sweet new blossoms snowed on and frozen, and now she’s sulking.

I suspect Simon Barsinister!*

I tell you, we’re sitting on a powder keg of disgruntlement!  Things could blow at any moment!

There’s only one solution:  Something Chocolate!

I think we’ll go healthy this morning with a fruit-oriented breakfast-y type of yumminess…

How does Triple Chocolate Banana Bread sound?


Recipe HERE on Liv For Cake


Recipe HERE on Liv For Cake

As you can see, it’s all about the fruit 🙂

We are so health-conscious!  Let’s pat ourselves on the back and have another slice!  After all, bananas are rich in potassium 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Sam.  Sam Altmann is a special education teacher who lives in Baltimore Maryland with her husband and two semi-cuddly chaos loving dogs. She is a sucker for soft serve ice cream, swimming in the ocean, and “quality” reality television.  Follow her on her brand new twitter account at @jsamaltmann

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The School Supplies Intensive Care Unit

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 5-8)

The Pitch:  When a marker is left uncapped, or a pencil gets cracked, there is only one place they can turn, The School Supplies Intensive Care Unit. Things typically run smoothly, but after a sudden spike in cases at The SSIC-U, it’s up to Nurse Petunia to track down the culprit, and reform the classroom’s worst offender.

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 Sam 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!  Seriously!  Send pitches PLEASE!  The calendar is sadly empty from here on out and is thus feeling as sulky as my pink hyacinth, so we really need submissions!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read It in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  I am not kidding – next week is currently open! –  so you could get your pitch up for some helpful feedback, and have a chance to have it read by editor Erin Molta!

(On a side note, as you no doubt noticed, being the alert readers that you are, I did not write the Saturday post last weekend…  you know, the one that I was going to write to catch up on the back-logged Straight From The Editors that I finally have in hand.  Instead I took my parents to tour an organic maple syrup farm.  Tough job, but someone had to do it 🙂  If you’re a betting type, I think now is a good time to start wagering… will I manage it this weekend… or not…?  Ooh!  The wondering is agonizing!  🙂 )

Sam is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to SPRING!!!!!  I MEAN IT!!!!!  Enough with this winter wonderland!!!!!  It’s April!!!!!  And this weather is forcing me to wear out my exclamation point key!!!!!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

*Should you happen not to have been watching Saturday morning cartoons in the early 70s, Simon Barsinister was the arch villain on Underdog 🙂

58 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #207 – The School Supplies Intensive Care Unit (PB)

  1. jeanjames926 says:

    Ugh SNOW, we actually had a snow day on Monday! This is not Lamb like weather. However, pictures of that banana chocolate delight is warming my insides. Now on to the pitch…you know I just have to love Nurse Petunia and her critical care skills, as well as her public health advocacy. Having worked in ICU and CCU but never SSIC-U, I’m curious to learn about her unit, and the outbreak occurring in the classroom. As long as she doesn’t go all Nurse Ratched on them, then I would definitely read this story. Good Luck Sam!

  2. ptnozell says:

    Agreed, Susanna. This Winter has stopped being a Wonderland! The only thing “wonder” about this weather is how Winter has managed to boot Spring from our midst (there’s gotta be a picture book lurking in there somewhere, or at least a steaming cup of chocolate something).

    Sam, I would read this, although I was confused by the last half of the second sentence. The first sentence referenced health & medical workers while in the second, detective/crime words dominated. I’d change the latter to make it clear that it’s a virus or infection that’s at issue, not a criminal.

    • jsamaltmann (@Jsamaltmann) says:

      Thanks @Ptnozell! It actually is kind of a crime — basically there is a kid who is misusing school supplies, and in turn, the school supplies have to go to the hospital to get “fixed”. There is one kid who is causing all the mayhem, and the nurse wants to figure out which kid it is. But, now I see that both sentences are at odds with each other, and its confusing. Thanks again!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Yes, Patricia, I definitely see some scope for a picture book in there somewhere! And I could use a steaming cup of hot chocolate right now… with marshmallows…and whipped cream…:) Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Sam!

  3. janebuttery says:

    Maybe I’d read it. You started off by naking me think it was going to be funny but the end part made me not so sure.
    We are having snowflakes in our ‘banana, belst of Ontario today( near Lake Erie)

  4. Lynne Marie says:

    I live in Florida and we have had to survive a dip in temperatures to 68 degrees this week! (True story but told in good humor so don’t kill me LOL). Anyway, I am intrigued by the interesting ICU angle and I like to read all over the board to experience new and different things so I would definitely check this out! I wasn’t sure how I felt about the Nurse’s name as it did not seem to fit with the theme, but like I said I am very open to visit the ICU!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Lynne Marie! My goodness! The horror! 68 degrees??? I hope you hadn’t put away your hat and scarf and mittens and down jacket and winter boots and shut down your woodstove! 🙂 Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Sam, even though I’m sure your frigid fingers struggled to type 🙂

  5. Jen Bagan says:

    Ugh – I know! Enough with the cold and snow already! I obsessively check the weather here in NH and, unfortunately, not many springlike days coming up.
    Hi Sam! This is a really cute idea for a story and I’d definitely read it. I agree about Nurse Petunia’s name not fitting with the overall theme. I tried to come up with some suggestions but failed (maybe Nurse Glitter Glue?) I also think the first line can be tightened … “When a marker dries up or a pencil gets cracked, they know where to go …the SSIC-U (or something like that!) Good luck with this one!

  6. Susan Schade says:

    Yes. I would read on. (I feel like I have read this story before. Was it entered in a contest?)
    I like the non-traditional characters but would like to see a different title. When it comes to titles, I try to imagine a young child asking for it. Short. Sweet. An easy to say title. I also feel like the MC nurse should have a shorter name. I would guess that she moves fast and runs around doing her job. Her name could be short and fast to match her actions.
    I also like that there seems to be a mystery to come with your story.

  7. ingridboydston says:

    As a K teacher I would probably read it as there are always one or two “culprit” types in the classroom who could benefit from hearing a story in which their “handiwork ” ,intentional or otherwise, is not actually appreciated. I know we’re not supposed to teach lessons in our books, but honestly, sometimes reading a picture book is the gentlest way to deliver a message. Good luck!

  8. chattytcp says:

    Seriouslty! I need to take Mother Nature out for a drink or maybe even a hot fudge sundae – yeah baby! I mean really, my pretty pink toes are covered in wool and boots = ugh! 😦

    Hello Sam,
    I love the idea of school supplies in need, after all, the crayons shouldn’t get all the attention. My suggestion: perhaps the name is a bit too adult – Intensive Care – instead maybe …911 in the ICU.” The kids may relate to that a bit more. I also, like the name: Nurse Patchet, especially if she is “patching things up” – hehehe. Culprit is also a great word to include but maybe there should be more than one? Best of luck!

  9. viviankirkfield says:

    First off…I had already put away the shovel and snow pants…so what was Mother Nature thinking? Now, having expended a significant number of calories, I feel quite justified in helping myself to an extra portion of the chocolatey delights pictured here, Susanna. 🙂

    Sam…I would definitely read your story! I think you’ve got a truly unique concept here..I think you’ve gotten some good suggestions in the comments above…if you could add one more ‘problem case’ to the marker left uncapped and the cracked pencil, you’ll have the magic element of three. Best of luck with your story. 🙂

  10. hethfeth says:

    Yes! I think your pitch sounds great. I read this memorable story on 12×12 and would gladly read it again based on this pitch.

  11. Maria Marshall (@MariaMarshall_) says:

    Chocolate overload Susanna!

    Sam – I would read this book. I agree with the comments you’ve gotten so far.
    Question for you – do the supplies “turn” to the SSICU or are they sent there?
    I also wonder if you need “Things typically run smoothly”?
    See what happens if you jump right in to – “But after a sudden spike…” I think the others gave you excellent ideas for the end sentence. Best of Luck!.

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Now, Maria. This is not chocolate overload. It’s all about the fruit. This is banana bread. It is healthful! So have another slice to boost your potassium 🙂 Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments for Sam!

  12. Sue Heavenrich says:

    Is there any chocolate banana bread left???
    Sam – I think the idea of sending broken school supplies to the … ICU or whatever you want to call it is funny! My hubby’s an EMT and always taking folks to the ER – so that’s what I think of as the place where things get patched. After all, that’s where kids might end up for X-rays…. so, what happens with nurse patchet (oh – I LOVE whoever came up with that – so Catch 22!)? I can see bandaids on the crayons, splints on the pencils, eraser prosthetics (for the bits chewed off), and even someone breathing life into an old binder.

  13. Sherry Howard says:

    Sam-Yes, I’d read based on the pitch. You’ve already gotten so much good feedback. I’ll add that I love Nurse Patch-it. I love when there’s a hidden joke just for the adults while something still remains child relatable. I also like the medical aspect of this, which I think hasn’t been mentioned, for kids who can relate to needing to get medical help getting patched up. How many young guys break those arms, anyway?

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