Would You Read It Wednesday #214 – Avocado Desperado (PB) PLUS The April Pitch Winner!

Greetings, Friends!

Golly it’s been a busy week so far!

First off, the hotly contested April Pitch Pick was won by Sam with her pitch for The School Supplies Intensive Care Unit!

Congratulations, Sam!  Your pitch has been sent to editor Erin Molta for her comments and I’m sure you’ll hear from her shortly!

And congratulations to all our other brave and talented pitchers.  You all did an awesome job, and I hope that even though you didn’t win the pitch pick you feel that your pitches have benefited from the experience!

Next, there was the gosling parade.

Yes, there was!  Look!


I’ve been watching these little guys, driving by them on my way to and from the barn every morning since they hatched.  There are five of them.  They used to hang out at the edge of the pond, sunning themselves and keeping to a small safe area.  Now that they’re gawky adolescents, their parents have decided to take them a little further afield – away from the very edge of the pond and up the stream bed to a place where (apparently) there are good things for geese to eat.  I’m not sure I approve of their choice of route (even so carefully shepherded by mom and dad) – I worry about geese vs. motor vehicles – but their family outing sure makes a fine sight! 🙂

As if the pitch pick and gosling parade weren’t excitement enough, we have discovered the location of the Largest Desserts On Earth.  I know!  I couldn’t believe it either!  To think it was so close all this time!  I have pictures to prove the sheer enormity, and they will be your  Something Chocolate for today.  Check them out!

Exhibit A: Brownie Sandwich Sundae


This is the Brownie Sandwich Sundae – 2 large (warm!) brownies, 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and whipped cream – and if you can’t tell from this photo, it’s bigger than your head! 🙂


Exhibit B: Oreo Cake



This one is Oreo Cake – it’s about 10 inches high – I kid you not!  We realized belatedly we should have put something in the photo for scale!

We were caught unawares by the size of these desserts and found ourselves unable to finish (I know – we are STILL hanging our heads in shame).  But now we have learned.  Next time we go out to this establishment, we won’t order dinner… we’ll skip straight to the good part 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Shaelyn.  By day, Shaelyn Berg writes and edits educational content for a nonprofit organization. By night, she writes picture books while simultaneously snuggling her dog, Dixie (who basically rules her life). Shae enjoys running half marathons, eating Chunky Monkey ice cream, and reading any kidlit she gets her hands on. You can follow her picture book blog at www.shaelynberg.wordpress.com.


Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Avocado Desperado

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

The Pitch: Avocado Desperado rolls solo, even when a woman scoops him and his hermanos into the kitchen. It’s guacamole time and he flees, desperado style. But when he pushes a sister toward the blade of the sharp cuchillo for nearly spoiling his escape plan, his pit feels heavy. Can Avocado Desperado save her from becoming a fiesta snack?

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 Shaelyn 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 June, 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!

Shaelyn is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to going hiking with a friend today… although it’s supposed to be 86 degrees… out of nowhere…so we may end up as puddles and have to be resurrected with vast quantities of iced tea 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

23 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #214 – Avocado Desperado (PB) PLUS The April Pitch Winner!

  1. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    Love the title and the lesson learned. YES, I would read this! I think if you want “scoops” in the first sentence she’d have to scoop the desperado into a bag or basket and then carry him (and his siblings) to the kitchen. I LOVE how his pit feels heavy. We all know that feeling of regret…. You may also be able to clarify his formerly solo change of plans when he decides to rescue one (or more?) of his hermanos. Good luck with this, Shaelyn.

  2. ptnozell says:

    I love the title and name of your MC, Shaelyn, and the remorse shown in his pit. I confess, though, that I’m struggling with the image of pushing a sibling towards a sharp blade & can’t get thoughts of the French Revolution out of my mind. While I know that the result would be the same, I’m wondering if you can focus on the guacamole bowl rather than the blade – pushing the sibling towards a diving board rather than to Madame la Guillotine. Good luck with this story – food-focused stories are very popular.

    Susanna, may you conquer those desserts the next time.

  3. Jen Bagan says:

    This sounds very cute and I’d definitely read it. I do agree that “pushing a sister toward the blade” is a bit macabre for a picture book. I’d look for a way to soften that. I also agree that “scoops” sounds awkward in that sentence. Perhaps something like – “Avocado Desperado rolls solo. When he and his hermanos are about to become guacamole, he tries to flee desperado style.” Just a suggestion – very cute premise. Good luck!

  4. Susan Schade says:

    Yes, Yes! I love the title and would read this. The first sentence didn’t seem quite right but I love the “rolls solo” part. (It was the next part of the sentence that didn’t fit for me. I was having a hard time with him being “solo” but then is captured with his friends.) How about “rolls solo until it’s guacamole time and _______.”
    I also think you should end the pitch with a strong statement, not a question. Something more like, “Avocado Desperado will have to ______, to save his sister from a fiesta fate.”
    Good luck! Great idea.

  5. Maria Marshall (@MariaMarshall_) says:

    Shaelyn, What a great premise. I would read it. Really creative. I love the title and the MC.
    One alternative to “scoops” might be to say that a woman “corals” – him and his hermanos into the kitchen. A little different from just carries. And perhaps brings the image of attempting to juggle a bunch of wiggly, oval, avocados. I also agree with Susan’s suggestion for the ending, it offers one example of something Avocado does to attempt his escape. I think you need to give the reader just a little more.
    Will you need a disclaimer that “no avocados were injured in making this story”?. Good Luck with this story.

  6. hethfeth says:

    Shaelyn, I’m excited to see your pitch here and so much reader enthusiasm for it. I think you have some excellent comments, so far. I agree with toning down on the knife reference, and with not ending your pitch in a question. I’ll just add that the tone of the pitch sounds more “barrio” than “old west”. Avocado Desperado is sounding (to me) a bit like a current-day gang member. I’d advise you lean it toward “old west,” with a vaquero spin. That’s safer territory for your picture-book setting. Your idea and voice are great! An agent will want to read this.

    • shaelynberg says:

      Thank you for your comments! I’m absolutely going for “old west” over “barrio,” so I appreciate your thoughts. I’ve been so close to this and didn’t see that coming through, but now I do. Thank you again!

  7. kathalsey says:

    Great story and fun pitch. I would read it for sure. Agree w/other comments on the knife and scoops, but you have that covered. Bet you’ve already done your homework, but LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST by Josh Funk is a great food comp book. Also, you may want to include a guacamole recipe in the back matter. Agree, you have a very distinctive voice. BRAVO.

    • shaelynberg says:

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment! Love the idea for a guacamole recipe–I could see some fun illustrations accompanying with avocados saying “Don’t do it!” 🙂

  8. Melissa Rutigliano says:

    Oh boy, do I like this one 🙂 As an advocate for avocado, I’m feeling the funs of this pitch. The ending was a bit shaky for me; not sure how the story text will be executed so that it is not too scary or violent. I think things can be played with a bit and perhaps better said, but you’re onto something spicy here 🙂

    • shaelynberg says:

      Thank you, Melissa! Your comments fall in line with others above, which paves the way for my edits. Thanks for taking the time to read and give feedback 🙂

  9. ingridboydston says:

    I agree with everyone else! Love the title and the concept. You’ve gotten some great suggestions on how to change the “scary” part. Is your book in rhyme? Josh Funk’s is and based on how much fun it is, perhaps the world is ready for more rhyming food escape shenanigans! Have fun with this!

  10. jsamaltmann (@Jsamaltmann) says:

    Thanks Susanna! I’m so excited!!

    Shaelyn, I would definitely read (and not only because I adore avocado)! I agree with the others that the first sentence could be reworded. You could do something like this: It’s guacamole time, but Avocado Desperado is not interested in staying for the fiesta. After his elaborate escape plan is foiled…That being said, I love the rolling solo line…

    I am CRAVING guacamole 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s