Would You Read It Wednesday #242 – Lizards Got Talent (PB)

Hello, Everybody!

Can you believe it’s March 1???

How did that happen already?!

I, for one, am tickled pink about it even if I have little to show for January and February 🙂  Because if today is March 1, that means spring is right around the corner and I am a HUGE fan of spring 🙂

I had this clever plan that I was going to start my newsletter on March 1 but, well, here we are and I haven’t figured out the whole MailChimp newsletter thing yet so… maybe by April?  I need a clone so I can do twice as much work in half the time!  Although actually, not a clone – I need the other version of myself to be WAY savvier at technology! 🙂 Among other things! 🙂

I don’t need a clone to enjoy chocolate, however, so let’s do that, shall we?  Grab your spoons and dive into this Something Chocolate – a thing of true beauty!

Chocolate Brownie And Mousse Trifle

Ah!  That’s trifle the way it should be!!!  YUMMMM!!!

Now then, if you can all bestir yourselves from the chocolate coma that scrumptious breakfast probably pulled you into, let’s have a look at today’s pitch which comes to us from Robin, whom you will remember from January with her pitch for No More Turnips!  Robin leads the children’s departments of Midwestern public libraries providing reference and literacy foundations to the smallest patrons and supporting their parents. Mid life, she was called to ordained ministry as a parish pastor. She continues to read to children as a volunteer in developing countries and writes stories to read and read again! Robin is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.

Find her on the web at:

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Lizards Got Talent

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

The Pitch: It’s Talent Show time at the Academy of Flickcraft and Lizardry! The geckos and skinks polish their acts in the rain forest, except for Chameleon whose talent is…nothing. (In a very colorful way!)

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 Robin 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 February, so you have a little time to polish your pitch before putting it up for helpful feedback and have a chance to have it read by editor Erin Molta!

Robin is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to figuring out that MailChimp newsletter thing…eventually!  And of course I am looking forward to spring which is now, technically, only 19 days away! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


32 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #242 – Lizards Got Talent (PB)

  1. hethfeth says:

    This is clever! I’d totally read it. I LOVE the Harry Potter reference. Hm…but does it contradict with the “America’s Got Talent” reference in the title? I love them both, but…is that some kind of mixed metaphor? See what others say.

    I like the writing style of your pitch very much. But there’s some kind of subject/object grammatical issue going on in this sentence: “The geckos and skinks polish their acts in the rain forest, except for Chameleon whose talent is…nothing.” Overall, something about this pitch really grabs my attention. I have the sense that you’ve got unique characters and a clever story in a fresh setting.

  2. Maria Marshall (@MariaMarshall_) says:

    Susanna, that truffle looks deadly . . . and delicious. Thanks.

    Robin, I am definitely intrigued, I want to read this. “Flickcraft & Lizardry” – WOW ingenious and really fun to say. I am assuming that Chameleon is the MC and desperately wants a talent for the show and that he/she stumbles upon the talent for camouflage.

    The way this is worded, makes it appear that a chameleon is either a gecko or a skink, which it isn’t. ~ ” The geckos and skinks polish their acts in the rain forest, except for Chameleon.”

    Maybe try something like – “While the geckos and skinks polish . . . Chameleon’s search reveals (his/her) talent is…nothing. (In a very colorful way!)” Other wise I really get a sense of the story (unless I am wrong above).

    Also, I might give an example of Chameleon’s failed attempts at finding a talent. The biggest/funniest botched attempt might enhance the humor that I feel in the current draft. Maybe adding at the end – “Causing (result of one attempt). . . . in the forest.” Just a few thoughts. This really sounds like a fun story. Good Luck with it. 🙂

  3. Nadine says:

    I would read this! Love the Harry Potter play on words. I see a subtle, simple, but effective way of explaining the adaptations that chameleons have in changing colors. Classroom teachers and librarians can definitely use this in all sorts of lessons and activities.

    My other thought is perhaps playing around with the working title to include Chameleon rather than Lizard since Chameleon is the MC. What a fun idea you have here.

  4. viviankirkfield says:

    Hello March! Hello almost Spring! Hello Susanna!
    Thank you again for an amazing Valentiny Contest…why don’t you take an extra helping of that chocolate delight…you deserve it!! And I’ll have one also, as I gear up for my #50PreciousWords Writing Challenge…can you believe it? It opens TOMORROW!

    Robin…I absolutely LOVE your story! Unique animals for a picture book! Fabulous word play! You have got a lot of awesomeness going on here. I agree with Maria, Nadine, and Hethweth (Hethweth, who are you????), a little tweak might bring the pitch up another notich…although you’ve got a super punch to it already. maybe you can add a bit of detail about what is going to happen.

    It’s Talent Show time at the Academy of Flickcraft and Lizardry! The geckos and skinks polish their acts in the rain forest. But Chameleon despairs…the others accuse him of being a copycat. But when Chameleon (what does he do), he discovers (what does he discover).

  5. Geoffrey Hyatt says:

    Hi – (first time posting on this, hopefully my comments are constructive and thoughtful – and of course I haven’t read the rules….).

    Animals are fun, and lizards (and chameleons, etc) are fun animals, and great for illustrations, and talents – great fit for this story
    The theme of finding your special talents is timely, and timeless
    Chameleon is a great pick for the protagonist (similar, but different)

    Con – these are small:
    In my experience, kids who know Harry Potter enough to get the reference are past the picture book stage, so the reference is fun for parents, but lost on kids who would be reading this
    Same for the Got Talent reference
    That being said, the Title and the Academy name are still fun, even without understanding the reference, so it is fine to have it there (for the parents)

    Making me really want to read it:
    The way I read it now (and I could be way off – I only read the little teaser), it seems very nice, in the usual way. My assumption is that Chameleon wins, “…another cute story about a shy average nobody who discovers an inner super-power and wins over the seemingly more impressive cool kids…”, because that is what happens in picture books (and most other books). That’s a great formula, but it could be more interesting (and challenging) to try something different. If your teaser ended with something like “Chameleon discovers what talent really means, and that there are different ways to win.” then I’d be really intrigued, because I wouldn’t already know the ending….I need to read that.

  6. ptnozell says:

    Happy Marching-into-Spring-time Susanna & Robin (what a perfect name to celebrate the season!). I agree with the early-bird comments, as I, too, was a bit lost with that last line. I think either of the changes suggested by Maria & Vivian would help & I’d suggest incorporating whichever of these best describes Chameleon’s problem and the resolution.

    I look forward to reading your revised pitch!

  7. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    I would definitely read this. Lizards. Why not? The pitch needs a little more. I’m thinking Chameleon is the main character, but I’m not sure of his issue. No talent? Color-changing talent? Some other amazing talent that he doesn’t see? Pull the reader in more with about the problem. Good luck!

  8. Gabi Snyder says:

    Hi Robin — I would definitely read this! Like others, I’m tickled by “Flickcraft and Lizardry.”
    I wanted a sense of how Chameleon feels about not having a talent. I think the last line (In a very colorful way!) hints that Chameleon does have a talent he/she will discover, but I’d like a sense of the emotional heart of the story. I hope that helps!

  9. Rene` Diane Aube says:

    YAY for Spring, Brownie and Chocolate Trifle, and Robin’s pitch! Looking forward to your newsletters, too, Susanna!

    I would definitely read this. I agree with what Vivian and Maria said, they are always so insightful. I did find the very first four words kind of awkward, but that could just be me today. Looking forward to finding this on the bookstore shelves!! 🙂

  10. Lynne Marie says:

    OK well, I am a Gecko Girl myself so YES!!! I thought the pitch was entirely captivating, but could be improved with the WHEN It’s Talent Show time at the (((ADD Rainforest))) Academy of Flickcraft and Lizardry(((ADD , t))) he geckos and skinks polish their acts [[[DELETE in the rain forest]]], [[[ except for]]] (((ADD but))) Chameleon (((HAS TROUBLE FINDING A TALENT.))) [[[whose talent is…nothing. (In a very colorful way!)]]] I tried to write to preserve most of it, but you can even rewrite the whole pitch in the conventional pitch form (WHEN….THEN….BUT) and see if it becomes tighter and punchier. Hope this helps!

  11. Traci Bold says:

    Happy March Susanna! I’m with you on wanting spring. We have had a good dose of it here already but March Madness will change that. You made me happy when I saw your chocolate dessert. 🙂 Thank you, thank you.

    Robin, I love animals and stories about them so naturally I want to read your story. Regarding your title, it is catchy but I do not like the word ‘GOT’ . I think a stronger verb would make for a catchier title. Also, the title infers the story is about all of the lizards and the pitch tells a slightly different story. So I find a conflict here. As for the pitch, I like it but the end of the pitch falls a little flat for me. You offer a bit of an oxymoron with, ‘Chameleon whose talent is…nothing. (In a very colorful way!)’ and that threw me off. How about, ‘Chameleon whose talent is too colorful.’ which the illustrations will show him blending in but also showing his true talent though I am not sure how you approaching this in the story so I would love to find out!

    • Robin Currie says:

      At the time I thought of this ( several tens of edits ago) America’s got talent was big so it fit. Now the HP reference is still good but I think it is time for a new title. Thanks.

  12. Judy Sobanski says:

    Oh Susanna, that yummy chocolatey goodness is nothing to be trifled with! 😉
    Robin – I would definitely read your clever story! I love the play on words you use. I agree with a previous comment that re-working the second sentence would help differentiate the geckos, skinks, and Chameleon. Working the (in a colorful way) into the sentence so it’s meaning is a little clearer might be better, too. Perhaps something like: While geckos and skinks practice their act, no-talent Chameleon discovers a way to bring a little “color” to the competition. Just a suggestion. Best of luck!

    • Robin Currie says:

      Appear in the same page with that great dessert is making me think of a lizard eating contest. But I’ll work on the talent show first. I don’t want it tip Chameleon’s hand (claw) too soon….but maybe a color in the title…..

  13. ingridboydston says:

    Maybe I am an easy audience? I loved this and would it based just on what you have written. The pitch gave me a hint of what is to come and made me want more. I know to keep my eye on chameleon (if I can!). Plus,geckos and skinks are just fun words! I enjoy talent shows and the rain forest. The visual opportunities are vast. Have fun with this! I hope to read it one day! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  14. Keila Dawson says:

    How tempting Susanna…must resist…gave up staying up too late so as not to disturb my hubby for the next 40 days and chocolate. Ugh.

    Love your play on words Robin. Yes, I would read it! And a fun title too. A bit confused though, who is the main character, Lizard or Chameleon? Are the geckos and the skinks lizards? If so the title would be Lizards Got Talent? Since I wasn’t sure…

    “It’s Talent Show time at the Academy of Flickcraft and Lizardry! When geckos and skinks polish their acts, Chameleon finds out, in his own colorful way, he’s the only one in the rain forest without talent. Then he learns who does, lizard’s got talent!”

    “It’s Talent Show time at the Academy of Flickcraft and Lizardry! When Chameleon sees the geckos and skinks polish their acts, Chameleon finds out in his own colorful way, he’s the only one in the rain forest without talent. But those lizards got talent!”

  15. authoraileenstewart says:

    I might read this and I agree with comments above. The wording seems a bit off and leaves us wondering about the whole chameleon, gecko, skink relationship.

  16. Jill Richards Proctor says:

    Yes, I would read it. It sounds like a lot of reptilian fun! I love all the possibilities for beautiful illustrations! The second sentence does feel like it needs a little more information. And you’ve been offered some great suggestions, above. Not knowing what Chameleon knew and when he knew it, I will offer the following:

    It’s Talent Show time at the Academy of Flickcraft and Lizardry! While the geckos and skinks polish their acts, deep in the rain forest, Chameleon discovers he doesn’t need to practice his talent. It comes naturally. And colorfully.

    Thanks for sharing!

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