Would You Read It Wednesday #230 – Muggsy And His Go-Go Cart (PB)

Whoopee!  What do you know?

It’s Would You Read It Wednesday! 🙂

Today’s pitch is in the realm of a “weird but true” story.  I am a huge fan of weird but true facts – they’re so weird… but true! 🙂  So  I thought I should begin this post with a weird but true fact of my own that I’m sure will knock your socks off!  I also think it would be a great idea for a picture book, if anyone wants to take a crack at it, so I’m sharing it with you, my talented PB-writing posse! 🙂


This is completely true.  Seriously.  I am not making it up:

A sheep, a duck, and a rooster were the first passengers on a hot air balloon!

I’m pretty sure no one asked them if they wanted to get in that basket.

I’m guessing they had some serious doubts as to the wisdom of the plan.

But being the helpless guinea pigs accommodating creatures they were, they climbed bravely aboard and made history!

Possible picture book?  I think so!  Whoopee!

And speaking of whoopee, how about Something Chocolate – a Whoopie Pie Cake?!

For starters, you really can’t go wrong with a recipe that has both pie AND cake in the title!  And really, I think that gooey chocolatey marshmallowy deliciousness looks like the perfect breakfast, don’t you?  Maybe we should send some along in the balloon with the sheep, the duck, and the rooster – I’m sure a little snack to sustain them would be most welcome and help make up for the fact that they were tossed willy-nilly and without their consent into a basket attached to a giant balloon and sent skyward where no sheep or rooster had any business being… the duck is another matter 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Carolyn who says, “I am a teacher librarian in the Chicagoland area. Working with children, I have discovered that they love to hear stories about the underdog overcoming obstacles and defeating “the top dog”. They also love weird, but true stories. These observations inspired me to write these two stories.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Muggsy And His Go-Go Cart

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

The Pitch: Muggsy Pawsborne is born without his hind legs. However, he and his family have never seen this as a disability. It has always been his Musggsability, which means he can do anything other dogs can do, just differently. When Muggsy starts at a new school, he encounters the typical group of mean kids. When the mean kids make fun of Muggsy’s wheelchair during recess, he is left feeling embarrassed and lonely. A friendly classmate encourages Muggsy to participate in the school’s Olympic Day in order to show everyone that just because Muggsy has a wheelchair doesn’t mean he is disabled. Will Muggsy persevere and become the top pooch in school?

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

Carolyn is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to drafting a picture book about flying animals, aren’t you?  What could be more fun?!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


38 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #230 – Muggsy And His Go-Go Cart (PB)

  1. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    I would definitely read this. But is it really nonfiction? Or just based on a true story? Like the kids, I also love a story where the underDOG comes out on top. Fun. The pitch tells what it needs to tell to draw me in, but it can be tightened a little by leaving out the question at the end and consolidating the two “mean kid” sentences into one. Also, maybe after finding a friend, Muggsy can decide on his own that he will use the ability his family taught him and go on to crush it in the Olympics. Good luck!

  2. kathalsey says:

    I love dog stories and love your word play with “Musggsability,” too. One of my CPs also has a book about a cart dog that she is revising, so this subject is perhaps not as unusual as Muggsy is. I would highlight Muggsy’s special abilities to make him stand out from other MC dogs. Also, I am a bit confused about the NF classification, too. I am assuming this is your dog, correct? Also, pitch feels a bit long to me. Good luck to this lucky dog.

  3. ptnozell says:

    Carolyn, I love underDOG stories, too, and definitely would read Muggsy’s story. Like my two dog-loving friends, I wonder how this is non-fiction, as it seems as if the dogs are talking with each other. I also think the pitch is a bit long. Perhaps if you combine a bit at the beginning, “Born without hind legs, Muggsy Pawsbourne uses his Muggsability to do anything other dogs do, just differently;” and make Genevieve’s changes in the middle/end, it would tighten the pitch.

    Good luck to both you & Muggsy – this looks to be a heart-warming story with great kid appeal!

  4. Wendy says:

    I’m a dog lover, so I would read. I agree with Pat about tightening the pitch. Beyond that, this is fiction (if it’s a dog’s POV) so perhaps go a bit bigger than life–amp up the craziness of the truth it is based on in order to make it stand out from other cart dog stories? (we read another on this blog within the last year, and there’s at least one already on the market) Good luck!

  5. David McMullin says:

    I love a good underdog story, and this sounds like it has all the makings of one. First of all, I won’t mention that it doesn’t seem nonfiction and the pitch is a bit long, since everyone else already has 😉 The red flag for me is the word “typical.” My brain translates that word to – average, or unoriginal, or stock – and even our bad guys can’t be stereotypes. Also, I would lose the last question. A question can be effective if it is unexpected, but if it is the obvious question of the story, then it is unnecessary. Good luck to you and Muggsy.

  6. Gregory E Bray says:

    I would read this, my son would love it. My neighbor had a dog that used a wheel chair type device on its back legs to get around. It acted just like any other dog. Like others, i wonder if this is based on a true story. Also, Muggsability is great. I’ve been told not to have rhetorical questions in queries. So if you can reword it to not give too much away and say Mugsy perseveres, I think you have a winner. =) Good luck!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Thanks so much for your encouraging comments for Carolyn, Greg! (And nonfiction was my mistake – Carolyn did not intend this pitch to be labeled nonfiction – that was her other one which is coming up next month! Apologies!)

  7. Joanne Sher says:

    I agree with all that has been said so far – tighten it up, make it clear it is BASED on a true story – but not true, and show us what is special about Muggsy besides the cart. Let MUGGSY solve his problem, rather than having others suggest it. This definitely has potential!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Thanks so much for chiming in for Carolyn, Joanne – very helpful! (And nonfiction was my mistake – Carolyn did not intend this pitch to be labeled nonfiction – that was her other one which is coming up next month! Apologies!)

  8. viviankirkfield says:

    Happy Wednesday, Susanna…a sheep and a duck and a rooster in a hot air balloon…yup…there is actually a picture book about that…Hot Air…and I’m revising a manuscript for an editor (fingers crossed that I’m addressing her concerns) about how Joseph Montgolfier went from failing student to inventor of the hot air balloon (yes, the one with the animals, as well as the first manned flight).

    I’m loving the chocolate delight…and also the story from Carolyn. I agree with the others that the pitch needs trimming…and you’ve gotten some great feedback here…but I love the title and the Muggsability…what a great message for young children!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Now see, Vivian? I should have checked to see if there already was a picture book about the animals in the balloon! My excuse is that it was late and I had to get my post up 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the chocolate and the pitch, and good luck with your revision!!! 🙂

  9. Lynne Marie says:

    I agree with the others about trimming. A pitch might also weave in the tone of the MS. As is, it is a bit telly. You can definitely condense and keep the focus on Muggsy, rather than his family, as well as approach the problem closer to muggsy, from his own POV. Remember, to show, rather than tell the message. Hope that helps. I would definitely be interested in reading about this dog, but also question the non-fiction angle. I think fiction based on fact is great 😉

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Thanks for your very helpful and thoughtful suggestions for Carolyn, Lynne! And nonfiction was my mistake – Carolyn did not intend this pitch to be labeled nonfiction – that was her other one which is coming up next month! Apologies!

  10. Rene` Diane Aube says:

    Hi Susanna and Carolyn, happy Wednesday!! And oh what a way to start the day ~ Whoopie Pie Cake! YUM!! I’ll take two, please!

    Carolyn, I would definitely read this, but I have to agree about the tightening up of your pitch. I think you might be giving too much away, too. I took the liberty of playing with your wording a little and this is what I came up with:

    “Muggsy Pawsborne’s disability is NOT a disability to him and his family. When mean kids at his new school tease, his new friend encourages him to participate in Olympic Day to prove he can do anything other dogs do ~ just a little differently.”

    I hope that’s helpful, and, of course, if it doesn’t work, toss it down with some Whoopie Pie Cake and a big glass of milk…or tea…or coffee. 🙂

  11. Susan Schade says:

    HI Carolyn, I would read this story but agree with the others about the NF and trimming the pitch. I would avoid ending the pitch with a question. You could combine the last two sentences into something like, “When Muggsy meets a friendly classmate and learns of the school’s upcoming Olympic Day, she must regain the courage to participate and show the others that being in a wheelchair is just a difference, not a disability.”
    Good luck!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with Carolyn, Susan – very helpful! And nonfiction was my mistake – Carolyn did not intend this pitch to be labeled nonfiction – that was her other one which is coming up next month! Apologies!

  12. Angela Brown says:

    I’m always so happy when the comments work for me. YAY!
    That ooey, gooey, chocolatey, chewy dessert looks so devilish I can see the pounds adding on just drooling at the picture lol!

    As for today’s WYRI, I would read it, but I would wonder if this falls under the narrative non-fiction topic as it sounds like it’s based on a IRL dog and the story is being delivered in a creative fashion.

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Glad you’re enjoying the gooey chocolate, Angela 🙂 And thanks for your helpful comments for Carolyn. As for the nonfiction label, that was my fault! Carolyn did not intend this pitch to be labeled nonfiction – that was her other one which is coming up next month! Apologies!

  13. Lisa Riddiough says:

    Hi Carolyn,

    I love an underdog story! However, I agree with others that your pitch is a bit long. I also agree that you should not end with a question. Muggsability is adorable and could be used well in a catch phrase. Good luck!

    Also, Susanna, thanks for the continued chocolate recipes. I love looking at the pictures (no surprise there! lol.).

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Thanks for your helpful comments for Carolyn, Lisa! And I’m so glad you enjoy the chocolate. I am always thinking I’ll try one of the recipes, but ultimately I am lazy and prefer to look at the pictures and/or purchase already-made chocolate goodies from the bakery in the next town over…luckily not right next door or I’d be there way too often! 🙂

  14. ThisKidReviewsBooks says:

    Sounds like the beginning to a good joke -a sheep and a duck and a rooster climb into a hot air balloon… 😀
    I really like the idea of a dog being the MC in a different ability book. I think it helps all kids relate to the character. As the others said – the pitch is too long. I think information in the first two sentences could be dropped. I really like the whole story concept! I would read it!

  15. heavenlyhashformoms says:

    Hi Susanna and Carolyn-
    Susanna, I’m new to your site and loving it! What a great concept with these pitches.
    Carolyn, I LOVE your idea for this book as I know this would be a favorite of my daughter’s (who also is named Carolyn!). It’s quite evident you know kids…what they both like and need to hear about. My 4 year old daughter is so curious and drawn to wheel chairs, crutches, etc…in fact, I just bought her a doll sized wheel chair for her birthday! And sadly, there is still a need to emphasize anti -bullying in schools despite all of the efforts and zero-tolerance policies in schools. I’m a teacher and any book that brings that topic into focus and develops empathy in kids is a winner in my eyes!!! THe term “Muggsability” is gold, and I think would even make a catchy title. Not sure why, but the title is just a little too cutesy for me. I agree that the pitch itself needs to be more succinct and perhaps leave a little more mystery to how the problem is solved so that the editor wants to read your manuscript to find out (?). I would read this book, and probably even buy it because this would be the kind of book that showcases the values I want to instill in my kids…just maybe be careful with how you handle the “mean” kids….hate to give my kids fears that once they go to school they will be encountering bullying…reality, but for little people I try to keep it positive. Good luck!

  16. heavenlyhashformoms says:

    Hmmm…maybe a little too short? I’m no expert, but I think you might want to allude to the stakes (or problem) to raise the curiosity of how he solves the problem, perhaps without giving away the ending, like on a jacket flap. Ex….”Muggsy is a dog who needs a cart to get around. He calls it his MUGGSABILITY! But when he starts school, he finds out that others see It as a disability. Muggsy needs to find a way to show the world what he can do, and teach them that different isn’t bad, it’s just different!”

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