Would You Read It Wednesday #229 – Pochon’s Monster (PB)

Happy Wednesday, Folks!

As we are all picture book folk, immersed in the world of That-Which-Matters-To-Kids, I’m sure you all woke up this morning with only one thought on your minds:

Today is Take Your Teddy Bear To Work Day!

A lot of us, being writers, or work-at-home parents, are not going to supply much of an outing for our teddy bears.

(And I’m guessing it’s pretty unlikely that anyone besides a preschool or kindergarten teacher would actually consider leaving the house with a teddy bear :)… but I mention the whole Take Your Teddy Bear To Work idea because I think there’s a picture book in it somewhere… from the teddy bear’s POV!)

Of course, some of us (that would be me) never actually had a teddy bear.  I had a camel I was fond of.  He has no hair now.  And a Snoopy with an engineer hat and overalls.  Alas…he has no clothes or hair now…  But no actual bear.  (There’s probably a whole nother story idea in that…! 🙂 )

So on this Take Your Teddy Bear To Work Day I’m bringing my Brown Bear – not that coming to work is any big deal for her.  She does it every single day 🙂  The chair in my office that I recently had reupholstered has somehow become hers… I could probably have really skipped that reupholstering! 🙂


As you can see, she is wide awake and on the job – a tremendous aid to my writing efforts 🙂

Did/do you have a teddy bear or stand-in?  Will you take it to work?  If so, what job will you take it to?  I’m serious – there may be a future picture book in this! 🙂

Okay, so now that I’m feeling like I had an underprivileged childhood because I never had an actual teddy bear, I believe it’s time for Something Chocolate!

How do you feel about Cookie Dough Brownies?

I knew you’d be fans!  I mean, it’s a brownie AND a (sort of) cookie with oodles of chocolatey goodness… how can you go wrong?! 🙂

Now.  Onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Greg, whom you will remember from his pitch back in the summer for The Bath Of Least Resistance.  Greg (clearly a kindred spirit!) says, “If I didn’t have to work for a living I’d be writing, eating chocolate and writing about eating chocolate.  For fun I play hockey, geocache, cook, and chase around my son.”

Find him on the web at https://www.facebook.com/gregoryebray/

Here is his pitch:

Working Title: Pochon’s Monster

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-10)

The Pitch:

A sock stealing monster made of socks?” Viola couldn’t believe the story she heard at a slumber about Pochon’s Monster was true.

Viola sets out to find the monster and get her socks back. With an act of kindness, she gets the monster to relinquish what it has taken.

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 Greg improve his 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 you could get your pitch up pretty soon for some helpful feedback and have a chance to have it read by editor Erin Molta!

Greg is looking forward to your thoughts on his pitch!  I am looking forward to the upcoming 6th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest, which I’m hoping you all saw the announcement for on Monday!  Here’s the LINK in case you missed it.  And there’s already a prize update – one lucky winner will have the opportunity for a read and critique from editor Marilyn Brigham of Two Lions!  And KidLit 411 is contributing a bundle of picture books!  And more stuff is rolling in, so stay tuned!

Have a wonderful start-looking-forward-to-Halloweensie Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

33 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #229 – Pochon’s Monster (PB)

  1. Maria Marshall (@MariaMarshall_) says:

    Oh my gosh, Susanna. I can’t wait to try those brownies. Thanks so very much!!!
    Greg, I am definitely curious. What a unique twist on the sock monster angle. I think you are missing the word “party” in the first part. The intro is awesome and snagged my attention and interest immediately.
    “A sock stealing monster made of socks?” Viola couldn’t believe the story she heard at a slumber (party) about Pochon’s Monster was true.”
    Maybe some transition between the two – But her socks kept disappearing, so…..

    I do think you need to provide a little more information on her struggle to find the monster or her struggle with the monster, which she overcomes with kindness. This feels too light. You need just a bit more about what Violet encounters, struggles with, endures, etc in this second portion. Then I think you’ve nailed it.

    “Viola sets out to find the monster and get her socks back. With an act of kindness, she gets the monster to relinquish what it has taken.”
    I look forward to reading this story, I am really curious.

  2. ptnozell says:

    Hi Susanna,
    Take Your Teddy to Work Day – how wonderful! My eldest has “Ted” who has accompanied her on many world-wide adventures. I can only imagine how he could help at her office – she works for a peacekeeping organization of the US government.

    Greg, I love the idea of a Sock Monster – I always wondered where all of my kids’ socks disappeared. As Maria mentioned, I think “party” is missing in the first paragraph. That having been said, I’m not sure how being at a slumber party relates to the sock monster so some tie in there would be helpful.

    I’d also like to see a bit more, and less, in the second paragraph. The more is a clue or two of what Viola does to tame or capture the monster. The less is that we know from the pitch as written that Viola succeeds in her quest. I’d suggest changing the second paragraph along the following lines: Viola cajoles, bribes and tricks (or whatever she does) the monster as she attempts to win back her favorite socks.

    Finally, I must confess that the title threw me a bit. Who or what is Pochon? When I googled the term, I learned that it means bag in French. If you can tie the term into the pitch somehow, I think that would help.

    I look forward to reading this story & think an illustrator will have so much fun with it!

    • Gregory E Bray says:

      Thank you PTNOZELL. The original story was much longer and described Pochon. M.Pochon invented the manual dryer in the late 1800’s. The concept was his family created the monster to destroy electric dryers, which put them out of business. There is mention of this in the current story. I have an idea to either work it in more, or change the title.

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Thanks so much for your very thoughtful comments for Greg, Patricia! And I love that your daughter’s Ted has traveled the world! That sounds like a picture book!!! There was one a while back… I can’t remember the title… a bear whose name began with “F”… and he wrote letters, and the letters were tucked in little envelopes in the book… my daughter loved it, but my senior brain is failing to grasp the title…!

  3. Wendy says:

    Susanna, I didn’t have a Teddy Bear either (we could start a club).

    Greg-Your pitch is interesting. I don’t think you need to give the resolution (we’ll guess that Viola is successful). What I missed is a sense of the stakes. Does it matter if Viola doesn’t get her socks back? Good luck!

  4. Gabi Snyder says:

    Susanna, my favorite stuffed animal wasn’t a teddy bear, either. Mine was (is, actually — he lives in my son’s room now) a blue dog who isn’t very dog-like.

    Greg, I’m intrigued by your pitch. What a clever and unusual twist on the sock monster concept! Like Wendy, I want to know more about what’s at stake for Viola. I love that she succeeds with the monster by using kindness. I wonder if kindness is something that Viola struggles with during the story and, if so, if you could hint at this connection in your pitch. Good luck with this fun story!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Thanks so much for your encouraging comments for Greg, Gabi! And a blue dog??? I can’t believe it! My sister had a blue dog that wasn’t very dog like and my brother threw it out the car window in the dark when we were in North Dakota or somewhere on a family cross-country drive. She was about 3 at the time, and oh, my! You should have heard the howling! She’s never forgiven him for that 🙂

  5. viviankirkfield says:

    First off…the chocolate treat is just so good, I think I have gained 5 pounds just looking at it, Susanna.;)

    Greg…I absolutely LOVE your story…and reading through the comments, I see that it is ‘based’ on something/someone true? WOW…what a great idea to do a story about missing socks in the dryer…we’ve all been there/done that, for sure. 😉
    Not knowing where you are going with the story, it’s hard to know what you should say in the pitch…I’ve heard many editors and seasoned authors suggest that we write the pitch before the story…that helps focus in on where you want the story to go…now, if only I would follow that, I’d probably be better off. 😉
    Here’s an idea:

    When Viola’s socks go missing, she sets out to discover if Pochon’s Monster is to blame. When (what obstacles does she encounter…what does she try that doesn’t work?), Viola must find a kinder, gentler way to get the monster to relinquish what it has taken.

    I’d definiltey read this story, Greg!

  6. Keila Dawson says:

    I’ll have that dessert after a bowl of gumbo cause today is National Gumbo Day!

    I did not know this concept is based on a true story either. There’s a sock monster in every home, that’s for sure which makes your story idea universal. Agree with others, I’d like to know about the plot.

    I like Vivian’s suggestions. Here’s another angle…

    “When Viola hears a slumber party story about a sock monster she is determined to find out if he has her missing socks. But she doesn’t want to turn into a monster to get them back.”

    Good luck. Sounds like an interesting story idea.

  7. Lisa Riddiough says:

    Greg, It sounds like the makings of a fun story. I do agree with the others about beefing it up with more detail of her attempt get her socks back. What does she try? Why does it fail?

    If a sock monster’s size is determined by the number of missing socks, then there is an enormous sock monster living somewhere in my house!

    Best wishes!

  8. ingridboydston says:

    First of all, YUM! Secondly, I do teach K and so I have multiple stuffed animals including bears with me at work everyday, so that was fun and easy. Regarding Gregory’s pitch, Vivian and PTNOZEL said what I was thinking. The tie in is super interesting as is the concept. Just some higher stakes to pull me in deeper. I would read it for sure!

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