Would You Read It Wednesday #208 – The Grumps (PB) PLUS The February And March Pitch Picks!

I hope you ate your Wheaties this morning, lovelies!  We’ve got a full agenda today!

First, we must consult our horoscopes.

Mine says, “Treat yourself to Something Chocolate!”

(Okay.  I admit it didn’t say exactly that… But it did say “You have a wonderful opportunity for refreshment” which is practically the same thing!  Given the comments that followed it was clearly referring to refreshment and renewal in your personal life, but that’s a little too serious for me… So since horoscopes are open to interpretation I choose to interpret refreshment as chocolate 🙂 )

And since we’re going to have Something Chocolate in about one minute, I think we can all agree it’s surprisingly accurate! 🙂

Now that we know it’s going to be a delightfully chocolate-filled day, on to the Pitch Picks!

(I hope you are all sufficiently caffeinated to follow the complexities of Pitch Pick division below.  If not, you may be excused to get a cup of coffee but please come right back!  Loitering in the hall is against school rules and will likely earn you a one-way ticket to the principal’s office 🙂 )

The February and March pitches got a little sideways due to the Valentiny Contest in February followed by a month with 5 Wednesdays, so in the interest of evening things out we shall have the February Pitch Pick with the two February pitches plus the first March pitch, and then the March Pitch Pick which has the other 4 March pitches.


The February Pitch Pick:

#1 Lynne Marie – The Dino Store (PB ages 4-8)

Open this book and be transported to – THE DINO-STORE, where dinosaurs are not only NOT extinct, but you can choose from an assortment of plant eaters, meat eaters, big dinosaurs and small dinosaurs – some discovered and some yet to be discovered! You can slide down the back of an Apatosaurus, wow your friends with a Stegosaurus at Show ‘N Tell or scare a bully away with Tyrannosaurus – which dinosaur will you choose?

#2 Tracey – Mary Alice (PB ages 12 and under)

Mary Alice is a little tugboat who wishes she could have passengers on board. One fateful morning, as smoke tumbled out of the two tallest towers, a call came over the radio. Mary Alice turned to to help rescue the people who were stranded on Lower Manhattan.
Mary Alice will bridge the gap with the children born after 9/11. This story will also show readers that no matter how small you are, you can achieve mighty things. After all, everyone has a little hero inside of them.  
On 9/11,  the largest sea evacuation in world history happened. Hearing the United States Coastguard call, many mariners converged onto Lower Manhattan to rescue almost a half a million people. Mary Alice, a blue-collared tugboat, was one of the vessels used. 
 ***I have permission from the Donjon company to use their boat’s name and they have verified the facts of the story.


#3 Stacia  – Mia and the Marathon (PB/ER)

Mia loves running and so does Mama. While Mama is getting ready for her longest race ever, Mia discovers new, exciting ways she can get ready too.  Mia can’t wait to cheer on Mama but oh no! On Race Day, Mia and Daddy can’t find Mama in the big crowd of runners! Don’t worry: Mia is prepared and knows exactly what to do.  It’s time for Mia to cheer her favorite, loudest, cheeriest, cheer ever.

Please cast your vote in the poll below for your favorite February Pitch by Sunday April 17 at 5 PM EDT.

The March Pitch Pick:

#1 Christie – Kitty Clawdette The Broadway Pet (PB ages 4-8)

Kitty Clawdette aches to be a star on Broadway, but she’s an unknown talent with no experience — because she’s a homeless cat. With the help of her lucky star, the theater janitor, she gets her big break and learns there is something more important than fame.

#2 Tracy – TroublE with a Capital” E”!  (PB/ER)

Trouble, sometimes it finds you and even follows you home. That’s exactly what happens one extraordinary day when Jack, the perfect pooch, sniffs out the perfect friend. Together the unlikely duo find companionship, love, and yes, trouble! Stirring up trouble isn’t perfect, but it sure is a lot more fun. Sometimes, “T-r-o-u-b-l-E,” can be spelled with a capital E.

#3 Heather – The Hero Of Foggy Basin (PB ages 3-6)

A happy-go-lucky stray dog, who doesn’t want a home, wanders into a town that’s always blanketed by fog—and can’t find the way out. Dog brightens the lives of the gloomy townsfolk and tries to fetch them the sun. Just when it seems this task can’t be done, he meets a trio of children who help him find his way again.


#4 Patricia – Bird And The Baker (PB ages 4-8)

A rainbow-winged, golden-tufted songbird forages each day for grain. When a popular bakery opens nearby, Bird cannot find enough to feed her family. She trades her songs and rainbow wings for more grain, but Bird must use her brain when the baker demands her golden crown, too.

Please cast your vote for your favorite March Pitch in the poll below by Sunday April 17 at 5 PM EDT.

Thank you all for reading and voting!  The pitchers and I are all so grateful!  Shall we have a little refreshment now- i.e. Something Chocolate? (See?  My horoscope was totally right! 🙂 )

Since we have a birthday in our family today, I think we should have cake! 🙂

Super Decadent Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Fudge Frosting!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Ingrid who says, “Hi! I’m Ingrid Boydston, as a mom/kindergarten teacher &theater director I realized I am a full time story teller. So I’ve been writing my stories down, learning the benefits of editing and critique partners for the past 3 years. Now I’m excited to present this pitch to you.  You find me tweeting as IngridBoydston@ingridboydston and on FaceBook as Ingrid Boydston.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Grumps

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-6)

The Pitch:  Sometimes you wake-up feeling so grumpy you just want to stay that way! Good thing a good friend knows the only way to help is to be grumpy too. Kind of…

Spend the day with the Grumps and you just might discover a smile hiding under that frown.

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 Ingrid 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 under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in May, so you could get your pitch up for some helpful feedback pretty soon, and have a chance to have it read by editor Erin Molta!

Ingrid is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to sharing my “newsletter” with you VERY SOON!  I say “newsletter” because it’s not really a newsletter per se… but it will (hopefully) be something fun and useful for you! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

38 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #208 – The Grumps (PB) PLUS The February And March Pitch Picks!

  1. hethfeth says:

    Hi. I’m kind of iffy on this pitch. It’s thin on details and leaves me with too many questions. Or maybe I should say, not enough questions. I’d love to be guided into the story more. I am wondering who the Grumps might be, but don’t feel pulled into the story yet. Also, I wonder why the pitch is written in second-person. Does the story have a main character that you could introduce us to? See what others say, but I think you could easily add another two sentences–and some details that will shed more light.

  2. kathalsey says:

    I like the universal concept of being grumpy, but the pitch is vague. Who are the Grumps? Also want to know what the conflict is. You have real estate left in this short pitch to give us tantalizing details. What do the Grumps want and what is in their way? Good luck!

  3. Lynne Marie says:

    I think that the author has focused in on a universal problem, which is good, except for that I feel like I have read this book before…at least a few times. (the Three Grumpies, Pom Pom Panda Gets the Grumps both come to mind, but I think there were more). So I think the issue is that this pitch, while sweet, does not show me how THIS book is new or different from what I have read before. Also, I am not sure WHO the main character is as the pitch actually refers to “you.” So I think honing in on and highlighting main character / problem / attempts as well as what’s different will improve the pitch. Hope this helps!

  4. ptnozell says:

    Thank you, Susanna, for the super energy-packed, double-chocolate treat today – with so many amazing pitches to read, we need it for sure!

    Ingrid, I like the idea of happiness lying under the grumpiness & feeling grumpy together, but like others have written already, I’d like to know more (we are a greedy bunch, aren’t we!): who is this grumpy person? Is she/he always grumpy, or have particular happenings conspired against her & caused the grumpiness? Does her friend try to cheer her up & then give in?

    More details will help draw us in and help distinguish this story from the ones Lynne Marie mentioned. I look forward to reading your revised pitch & finding out more about the Grumps!

  5. ingridboydston says:

    More details will be added, for sure! I was afraid my other attempts at pitches were too wordy so I shot from the hip and went sparse. Obviously, more info is needed. Thanks for adding your insights. I look forward to getting back to work on this one! 🙂

  6. Gabi Snyder says:

    It was challenging to choose favorites out of those revised February and March pitches. So many great pitches!

    I would definitely read The Grumps. I like how “Spend the day with the Grumps” invites the reader into the story. This sounds like a super fun concept. Like others, I’d like just a detail or two (not too much — I’m a fan of short pitches) that shows how this grumpy story is different.

    Best of luck with this!

    • ingridboydston says:

      Thanks Gabi! Yes, I agree it was tough to choose! As for the Grumps, I’m glad you found it inviting. Still trying to keep it short, I will be adding the details in my next version. Thanks for your encouragement and input! 🙂

  7. Susan Schade says:

    The idea is enough to peak my interest but your pitch could be stronger. Give some details to introduce a character that the reader will connect with and want to know more about. (I think “the Grumps” is too general and sounds like many characters.) Discovering a smile under a frown is not that exciting but a different hook sentence to end on would work well for you. (Is this an adventure to find the missing smile? Is there a reason that the MC is grumpy?) Make your pitch reader WANT to know how this MC is going to get his/her smile back.
    Good luck!

    • ingridboydston says:

      Thank you Susan. I will absolutely be working on this pitch. The story itself has had so much attention, I feel I pitched it too quickly and simply (partially intentionally, but nevertheless). And yet the pitch suggestions have me thinking I need to revise the story even more as well. So your advice is doubly welcome. I appreciate your clear suggestions.

  8. Lisa Riddiough says:

    Susanna, the picture of the chocolate cake is so good, it looks like I could just grab a fork and eat it right off my laptop screen. Yum!

    Ingrid, I agree with the previous comments that the pitch is too vague. I want to know who the Grumps are. Is it a whole family? Is the friend someone from outside the family? Why are they grumpy and why do they want to stay that way? But I will say that grumpy is compelling and fun! So I would probably read it just because of the grumpy factor!! Best wishes.

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      I know, Lisa! I think it’s lucky you can’t actually do that, given the number of yummy-looking treats on Pinterest 🙂 Who knows, though. It could be the wave of the future 🙂 Thanks so much for chiming in on Ingrid’s pitch!

  9. viviankirkfield says:

    Definitely enjoyed the calorie-free treat, Susanna…I am determined to lose 5 pounds by April 21st…so virtual dessert is the only kind I am having. 😉

    I voted for the pitch picks…and I hope that all of the writers will pursue their stories…although I think the pitches still needed some fine tuning, each of the story ideas was awesome and would make incredible picture books!

    And yes, I would read Ingrid’s story…although I agree with all of the other comments…and Ingrid, you are probably getting tired of hearing this, but your pitch would greatly improve with the addition of some more info. Here’s a thought:

    Spending a week with the Grumps has (name of friend), down in the dumps. When he begins to mimic them by (what grumpy things does he do does he do that – name 2 or 3), the Grumps (what do they do to lift his spirits – name 2 or 3) and soon discover that it is more fun to smile than to frown.

    • ingridboydston says:

      Ooh! Those are fun suggestion Vivian! Since I have been following you on other sites, its doubly exciting hearing them from you! I am actually energized by the common theme. Its always a bummer to realize “I’m not done yet” but as soon as I see where to go, I can get excited again. It may take a while, but I’m not done with The Grumps yet! Many thanks!

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I’m glad I could supply a virtual, calorie-free treat for you whilst you are doing such a great job maintaining your will power, Vivian! I know you’ll conquer those 5 pounds! And thanks for voting and for your helpful comments and re-wording on Ingrid’s pitch!

  11. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    I would definitely read this. Getting out of a funk is something we all need to do or help someone do now and then. I’m not sure about the title. It makes it sound like there’s a family of Grumps or a group of Grumps. If there’s only one Grump, maybe the title should be The Grump. Good luck with it.

  12. jsamaltmann (@Jsamaltmann) says:

    Hi Ingrid! The title caught my eye, and I would definitely read it! I do agree with the other readers, I want more information about the plot and characters. I immediately thought of The Dullards by Sarah Pennypacker. She has a short, concise pitch/synopsis that might help give you ideas 🙂

    “Their home is boring. Their food is plain. Their lives are monotonous. And Mr. and Mrs. Dullard like it that way. But their children—Blanda, Borely, and Little Dud—have other ideas.”

    Good luck!

  13. Noel Csermak says:

    Hi Ingrid, I’m in total agreement with JSamaltmann. I would definitely read this as I have a soft spot for “grumps”. Gentle guidance on accepting negative feelings and then working through them is a great experience to share with children through what seems to be a very appealing story. Good luck with all the feedback.
    And wow! The pitches were great for February and March. Tough to choose, but I did.

    • ingridboydston says:

      Thanks Noel, I think giving “gentle guidance” is one of the defining qualities I strive to achieve so that actually means a great deal to me. I will be ruminating on all the feedback and hopefully coming up with something stellar with, well, I’m aiming for a month. For now, this has all been a great experience. Thanks for your input!

  14. jeanjames926 says:

    I cast my vote, so many great pitches. I like the whole concept of The Grumps, let’s face it, who doesn’t wake up grumpy sometimes, but I, like the others, need just a bit more info in the pitch to get a feel for exactly what Ingrid is trying to tell us. Good luck!

    • ingridboydston says:

      Thanks JeanJames, I agree with your agreement of the others suggestions and will be getting to work on that. What an amazing community of folks, willing to give their time and thoughts to a complete stranger. Glad you like the concept and I appreciate your feedback!

  15. Keila Dawson says:

    You hsd me at decadent chocolate…yum. I love books about grumps. Because the is a really universal theme. Like the others, I need to know more. Your pitch should distinguish your story from others about grumps.

  16. mlflannigan says:

    I read Your ms earlier today and loved your story. Your pitch – as mentioned, needs to be stronger as you have a great story but an okay pitch. Your story truly is great, more details can make your pitch great too. Best of luck!!!

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