Would You Read It Wednesday #228 – When Sheep Fall Asleep (PB)

Well, my friends, what a week THIS has been so far!

For starters, although it maybe wasn’t much in the grand scheme of things, we did finally get a little much-needed rain.  This may not sound like a big deal, but after what has to have been the driest summer on record for a long, long time, the parched ground and drooping trees were clearly grateful!  And there’s something very pleasant about a cool, gray day with the gentle sound of rain pattering on the roof while you work diligently at sudoku puzzles  sporcle quizes  catching up on the Game of Thrones episodes you never got to watch your writing!

Then on Monday, my own little thrill of excitement when I discovered my new books up on Amazon and GoodReads!  There’s something about seeing them there that makes it all feel more real! 🙂  And although I knew that WHEN YOUR LION NEEDS A BATH and WHEN YOUR ELEPHANT HAS THE SNIFFLES would be out on July 11, 2017, I did NOT know the publication date for THE ROAD THAT TRUCKS BUILT until I saw it up on Amazon – June 6, 2017 – so that was especially fun! 🙂

Coming soon… to a library/bookstore/classroom near you…! 🙂

And now, hopefully a little thrill of excitement for you when I hint that I have writing contest news coming soon… because in case you’ve been too busy to look at the calendar, that Halloweensie time of year is approaching…!  I’m working on prizes, but if anyone has anything to offer or great contacts who might have anything to offer, please feel free to let me know.  With 3 big contests coming up, I can use all the awesome prizes I can get for you guys!!!  Keep it tuned to this station… there will be news SOON! 🙂  And start thinking about those Halloweensie stories….!

Now.  We have all been awake for at least 5 minutes, many of us as many as 7 or even 12 minutes!, so that means it’s time for Something Chocolate.  After all, we can hardly be expected to soldier through a morning of hard writing/parenting/teaching/librarianing without a little pick-me-up!  Hmm… what would be good?  I’m thinking Something Cupcake.  Because cupcakes are yummy, portable, and small enough to eat two…or three… without feeling guilty 🙂


Recipe HERE at HandleTheHeat best-chocolate-cupcakes-02

YUM!  Chocolate/chocolate – simple, classic, elegant, delicious!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Michele who says, “I’m an executive editor at the children’s publishing arm of an entertainment company. As an author, I have published leveled readers, books of word games, a board book set, and children’s apps for iOS and Android–but this is my first attempt at a picture book, and it’s nerve-wracking being on the other side of the desk! I’m a member of SCBWI and Children’s Media Association, and you can find me Tweeting about books, children’s entertainment, and whatever else pops into my mind at @michelewells.”

Find her on the web at @michelewells

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: When Sheep Fall Asleep

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

The Pitch: All Sam wants to do is stay up late. His parents agree to a deal: If he gets into bed and counts sheep all the way up to ten, then he can stay up all night. But the sheep aren’t cooperating, and once the monkeys, elephants, chickens, and even hyenas start crowding in, it’s all Sam can do to keep his room from turning into a zoo!

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 Michele 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 November, so…not so far off at this point!  You could your chance soon to get your pitch up for helpful feedback and have a chance to have it read by editor Erin Molta!

Michele is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to telling all my relatives that my new books are available for preorder (in the hopes that they will honor their familial obligation to support me 🙂 ) and checking Amazon obsessively to see if cover art for the TRUCK book goes up because I can’t wait to see it! 🙂  I am the soul of patience, aren’t I?  Perfectly cut out for a career in the (ahem) fast-paced industry of children’s publishing 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


35 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #228 – When Sheep Fall Asleep (PB)

  1. Shelley Kinder (@KinderWrites) says:

    I would read this…sounds super cute! I think the pitch is to the point and tells me what I need to know without saying too much. Susanna, congrats on your books! Love the covers 🙂 Looking forward to Halloweensie this year. Last year’s contest was the first writing contest I ever entered, and I just had so much fun with it! Thank you for doing these…seriously. Your contests squeezed stories out of me that never would have been birthed otherwise…and they (along with your class) created a momentum in my writing…leading to a PB contract recently, which still feels surreal. So, THANK YOU for all you do, Susanna 🙂

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Thank you for your comments for Michele, Shelley! And for your very kind congrats! I’m glad you’re looking forward to Halloweensie – me too! And WHAAAATT??? You got a PB contract? How have I not heard about this? Details, please! And CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. ptnozell says:

    Hi Susanna, What a wonderful way to start the fall season – with new books to look forward to in 2017 (on my “want to read” list on Goodreads) & the promise of your wonderful writing contests.

    Michele, I would read your story – it seems like a great new humorous bedtime story. I was a bit confused in your pitch, though, with the appearance at the end of all of the zoo animals. I’d suggest adding a tie in between the “sheep aren’t cooperating” and “once the monkeys…” Do the sheep play a trick on Sam, and send the other animals in their places? Do the sheep not cooperate in another way that causes the other animals to appear? Adding a clue or two about the non-cooperation & how it ties in to the other animals’ appearance will help, I think.

    • Michele Wells (@michelewells) says:

      Thank you for your feedback! Originally, I had explained it in a bit more detail, but I changed it when I received feedback from a fellow editor that I was over-explaining, considering the title…

      I’ll think about a rewrite. And thanks again!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Thanks for the congrats and for adding the books to your GoodReads list, Patricia! I so appreciate it!!! And I’m glad you’re looking forward to the contests 🙂 Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments for Michele!

  3. Pam Jones-Nill says:

    I would absolutely read “When Sheep Fall Asleep.” Initially I just thought this a clever take on counting sheep, but the other animals thrown into the mix have peaked my interest for sure.

  4. Rene` Diane Aube says:

    Hi Susanna, Mmmm…yummy cupcakes for breakfast! I’d like to order a couple dozen to get me through the day. 🙂 I’ll need the energy for all the happy dancing over your new books I’ve pre-ordered! I’m sure my grandies and I will enjoy them immensely!

    Michele, I would read your story. It sounds like a lot of fun. I would like to see a little more
    of Sam’s personality in your pitch, though. Does he pester or badger his parents? Does he have a purpose other than just trying to stay awake? I also agree with Pat’s comment. How is it the other animals are connected? Are they connected to a dislike Sam might have for counting sheep where he wants to imagine other animals instead? Or is it the sheep who create the problem, as Pat said.

    I look forward to seeing this one on the shelves someday. Happy Would You Read it Wednesday!!

  5. ingridboydston says:

    Congratulations SLH! What fun, exciting news! Thanks for sharing! Adds joy to my day to hear about it. 😀Re:When Sheep Fall Asleep. The title didn’t grab me, but the premise did! I imagine lots of fun chaos. If I am correct about that, maybe a title that’s a little less sleepy would help? This is not a real suggestion but perhaps “When Counting Sheep Go Baaaaad!” 😉

  6. Gabi Snyder says:

    Congrats on your books, Susanna! And I am super excited about your upcoming writing contests, especially Halloweensie!

    Michele, I would definitely read your story. I love the notion of the uncooperative sheep. Like, Ingrid, I wasn’t totally sold on the title. You might play with a title that suggests the sheep’s misbehavior. Also, you might play around with the language of the pitch a bit. Is there language from your story you could insert into the pitch to give us a better sense of the story’s flavor?

    Good luck with this super fun story!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Thanks so much for the congrats, Gabi – it means so much to me! And I’m so glad you’re excited about the upcoming contests – I am too! I always look forward to seeing the talent and creativity of this community on display! Thanks so much for your helpful thoughts for Michele, too!

  7. hethfeth says:

    Hi Michele. I give you high pitch points in terms of how you paraphrased the plot. The pitch is solid. But I’m not sure I’m on board with the story in terms of originality. Right away a book from our shelf came to mind as being…maybe too similar (“Counting Sheep” by Julie Glass). “Counting Sheep” is an easy reader that rhymes and includes a counting element. I can tell the tone of your story is different. But what struck me as most similar is that, like your story, “Counting Sheep” has other animals coming through the room and causing havoc–bees, monkeys, kangaroos. I’d just advise you to look at comp titles and make sure your idea brings something new to the table. I have a feeling the topic of counting sheep at bedtime is well trodden, so you’ll need to approach it with a fresh perspective.

  8. Wendy says:

    YAY, Susanna!! I should comment quickly so I can get in the pre-order queue. 😉
    Hi, Michele–I’m in the camp that found the title and pitch didn’t match. I’m also not sure what the stakes are–is there a reason he wants to stay up late? You usually hear of counting sheep to go to sleep, not to stay up, so this is an interesting twist and I’d be interested to read to know his parents’ reasoning. Good luck!

  9. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    I like this idea, Michele. I would definitely read it. But do the sheep fall asleep? In the pitch, they don’t “cooperate,” but it doesn’t say they fall asleep like it says in the title. Do the other animals come in to “help?” Either way, it sounds like fun with plenty of opportunity for mayhem. And who doesn’t love mayhem?! 🙂 Good luck with it.

  10. Judy Sobanski says:

    Susanna -exciting news about your books! The covers are adorable. Can’t wait to read them!
    Hi Michele – I think your pitch is on target. I’m assuming mom and dad think Sam is so tired, he’ll never make it to 10 before he’s in la-la land. I wondered if parents would really bargain for staying up “all night?”…maybe just staying up later. I am curious as to how the sheep don’t cooperate. A little more of a clue there might help. But the “bedlam in the bedroom” sounds like a lot of fun! Haha -maybe there’s another title option? I would definitely read this!

  11. Lisa Riddiough says:

    Susanna, congratulations on your books!!! Great news!
    Michele, I like your pitch. Does it rhyme like the title implies? I do agree with the previous comment as to whether or not the parents would let the child stay up all night. But, otherwise, it sounds delightful. Yes, I would read it!! Best wishes.

  12. Robyn Campbell says:

    So happy for you, Sus. Will definitely pre-buy. Can’t wait to add them to our Susanna library. 🙂

    Cannot wait for the contests. Will there be loads of yummy chocolatey items for moi to stuff in my mouth? 🙂

    The picture book sounds interesting. Especially the rhyming part. I wish you good luck with it. Everyone has already commented on what I wanted to say. So no sense in repeating.

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Thank you, dearest Rob! You are so kind! I am honored that you even have a Susanna library 🙂 And YES! OF COURSE there will be loads of yummy chocolatey items! Remember where you are and who you’re dealing with! 🙂 Thanks for your thoughts for Michele!

  13. ThisKidReviewsBooks says:

    YAY! Great news about your books! 😀

    I really like the pitch! Everyone loves a good bedtime story and this one sounds like it has a bunch of silliness mixed in which grabs me right away. 🙂 I would definitely read it!

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