Would You Read It Wednesday #251 – Follow In My Footsteps (PB)

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor, would you be mine? Could you be mine?

Oh!  Sorry!

Didn’t mean to terrify you first thing in the morning with my singing! 🙂

But Mr. Rogers’s song leapt to mind because I DO have new neighbors!  They just moved in a couple of houses down the road!

Would you like to meet them?

“Looooooook!” (she cooed in her best isn’t-that-just-the-cutest-darned-thing-you-ever-saw voice)


IMG_2668  Version 2

Two little 12-week-old sister puppies from a local shelter!  Are they so cute?  Really, everyone should have puppies available for those moments when you need a bit of cheering.  There’s nothing like those soft, cuddly, wriggling little bundles of ecstatic, warm-hearted, tail-wagging, face-licking joy.  They make any day better 🙂  Please feel free to say “Awwww!” and indulge your puppy lust by looking at these cuties as much as you want 🙂

And now, to make up for shocking you awake with my ear-splitting rendition of Mr. Rogers’s Neighborhood, let’s have Something Chocolate, shall we?  I think we’ll go simple, classic, deliciousness this morning with Fudgy Cocoa Brownies! (After all, cocoa is a breakfast item!)

Best Fudgy Cocoa Brownies


Recipe HERE at CafeDelites

These delicious dark chocolate breakfast morsels go perfectly with your breakfast beverage of choice – coffee, cappuccino, iced coffee, mochaccino, coffee, latte, coffee, milk, or coffee!

(Did I overdo stressing the breakfast appropriateness? 🙂 )

Mmmmmm!  Heavenly!

I think we can agree that all’s right with the world after puppies and fudgy brownie goodness! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Gabrielle who says, “Fledgling writer. Current member of 12 X 12, SCBWI and Maryland Writers Association.
Get a lot of my ideas from day to day life with my delightful 12 year old lacrosse and soccer player (and cello) who is helping me survive middle school!”

Find her on the web at:

“blog in progress”: https://gabrielle1956@wordpress.com
on facebook as Gabrielle Copeland Schoeffield


Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Follow In My Footsteps

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

The Pitch: When his dad is injured on a winter hike, Zach must find help. Without a cell phone or map, he worries he won’t find the way home in time until his father’s words echo in his head, “Just follow in my footsteps.”

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 Gabrielle 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 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!

Gabrielle is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to picking up # 4 from the airport (which is probably where I am while you’re reading this!) I am always happy to have my kiddos home even if it’s only for about 5 minutes! 🙂  And I’m not saying for sure, but it’s always possible the trip will involve a stop at Dunkin’.  These trips tend to.  After all, America runs on Dunkin’ and I am very patriotic when donuts are involved 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


31 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #251 – Follow In My Footsteps (PB)

  1. lololaffan says:

    I’d definitely read on, because I love hiking and grew up spending a lot of time in the woods.
    I do wonder really get off why they they have no map or cell (or compass) if on a winter hike. Unless perhaps just short hike locally. But it distracts me a bit.
    Would it work without that phrase? Just leaving out the part about Cell phone or map, unless integral part of story (like they usually would but forgot).

    We need more hiking stories, hope Zach makes it and Dad is ok!

    • Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

      There is more to the story and I could certain beef up the pitch a little!

      Thanks for your input…your comments are thought provoking!

  2. Iza Trapani says:

    Cute puppies!
    I like the pitch. It’s to the point and “follow in my footsteps” gives a clue as to how Zach will find his way home. It also makes me imagine some perils along the way- though I am hopeful for a happy ending.

    • Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

      thanks for your positive affirmations…this is my first “pitch” that I put in front of an editor…

  3. Kathy Halsey says:

    Hmm, brownies, cute puppies, and a song, I’m good to go this Wednesday! Thanks, Susanna. I do like the title, and a father -son team cast of characters. That said, I need more context for the father’s advice, and at least one obstacle Zach struggles with. You have lots of real estate left in this pitch. Also, think about adding some punchy language to make this stand out. Or comp titles? Good luck, Gabrielle.

  4. Wendy says:

    Oh my! Those puppies! I want to bury my face in their fur. 🙂 And eat brownies. What a great start to the day!
    I would definitely read on. Perhaps a bit more specificity at the start? When Dad twists his ankle (or whatever) instead of “injured”? The word injured conjured up all sorts of bloody images that may not be pb appropriate! And as suggested above, EVERYONE carries a cell phone now, so mentioning it made me think about it even more.

    • Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

      Ah, Wendy…originally he fell out of the tree fort but I could say he twisted his ankle…or somehow or other was injured without scaring the reader.
      I have forgotten my cell phone many times but would I on a hike in the winter woods?
      I will take your comments under advisement as I revise!

  5. ptnozell says:

    AWWW! The puppies are so, so cute! Thank you Susanna, for sharing your new neighbors with us.
    Gabrielle, I would read this, as I really like the premise of a dad & lad winter hike. Like others, I’d like to learn more about Dad’s injury – has Zach caused an accident? I also wonder about inclusion of technology. Although right now most folks travel with phones, it does date the story (in a few years, we may have GPS imbedded in our brains!) & phones often don’t work in the wilds. I’d suggest focusing instead on introducing one or two character traits or examples of actions that tell us more about Zach, his Dad and their relationship.
    Good luck with further revisions!
    Off to rub my pup’s belly; think he’s a wee bit jealous of the virtual attention I’m paying your neighbors, Susanna.

    • Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

      I honestly haven’t done the research as to whether it is a more modern story or one such as (I think) Owl Moon?
      If I choose to leave it in…Having a cell phone would be smart but maybe the battery died or no signal….that would mean Zach has to go find help.
      Thanks for your input!

  6. Traci Bold says:

    Yes I would definitely read this book. You hooked me right away and kept my interest by keeping the pitch succinct. I definitely feel the suspense of the story and I like that you clued us in as to what may help Zach help his father.

    Susanna, puppies and chocolate breakfast fare….YES!!!! Enjoy your time with #4. As a recent now empty-nester (as of last weekend) I cherish my time with mine as well.

  7. Gregory E Bray says:

    I would read this. The concept sounds like it could work for an even longer story like a chapter book. And I would read this with a brownie in hand and a cute little puppy by my side. Good luck!

    • Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

      Thanks, Gregory for your feedback…
      I am on the fence between picture book and chapter book… Chapter book could make Zach a little older but this story is based on something my 2 year old grandson did so in my minds eye it could be either!

  8. Lynne Marie says:

    Gabrielle — I think it sounds like a solid premise for a story and definitely is intriguing, but I had to read twice because I thought it sounds more like an adventure/suspense middle grade, than a picture book. I wasn’t sure that the illustrations would be key in telling the story in the way many picture books are constructed today. But of course, not all. So then my next question was about re-readability. I am not sure it will fall into that category (although I can’t tell for sure without having read it), but perhaps that’s because it just sounds older that 2-8 to me. Who knows — maybe give a thought to writing a magazine story for 8-12 or a middle grade 🙂

  9. Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

    Lynne Marie, you have great points…and maybe my “voice” will end up in middle grade…
    time to test the waters!
    Thanks for your feedback!


  10. Judy Sobanski says:

    Awww!! The puppies are adorable! –
    Gabrielle – I would definitely read your story. I have to agree with Lynne Marie. The voice seems a little bit older than the PB reader but I think you can adjust the pitch so it’s a little more age appropriate. I did wonder about the cell phone? If Dad simply forgot it or it ran out of power…that might take care of the issue. I think you have a great premise and the “footsteps” give a hint as to the resolution. Good luck!

    • Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

      I appreciate your comments and will keep that in mind upon revision!

      Thanks so much!

  11. Heather Kinser says:

    Hi! I think the pitch sounds fine. My issue is that it really sounds more like a chapter book or middle grade topic.

    • Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

      Thanks, Heather for your input….a lot of what is coming out of me seems to lean to chapter book so maybe I need to follow that path!

  12. Gabi Snyder says:

    Hi Gabrielle — I would read it! I like this intriguing concept and love the “follow in my footsteps” line (though wouldn’t he say “our footsteps” since both sets would lead back?). I agree with others who say the voice sounds more like a chapter book or MG. Also, my cell phone never seems to work in the woods, so I agree you can get around the issue that way. Good luck!

  13. Maria Marshall (@MariaMarshall_) says:

    Gabrielle – I am definitely hooked, I would read this book. Nice job. But I too agree that I had to glance back to see if it was MG or PB. How old is Zach?
    I too would like a bit more specificity in the injury. (I assume it is something that prevents his movement.)
    Your fist sentence is awesome. Can you add an example of what Zach does or a problem he encounters? (I am assuming that “follow my footsteps” & “winter hike” means that Zach follows his dad’s footsteps in the snow. – Nice touch with the title & solution! 🙂 ) Good Luck!

    • Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

      Thanks for your comments, Maria….
      The hike is one Zach and his dad have taken a thousand times before. This time it will be different because Dad has been (slightly) injured. Zach needs to man up so to speak. It is based on real life events where the boy was only 2! I know it can work!

  14. Gale Varraso says:

    I think it could go either way…if it was a picture book then it would easy to do without a cell phone or map, as they probably just went into the woods behind their house. If you went for a chapter book then a cell phone would probably be involved. (Kids don’t even know what a map is anymore!) Whatever you decide to do, it’s a definite read…and I love the “follow in my footsteps” !

    • Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

      Thanks, Gale…
      It is a sweet story that to me (I’m partial) would work as a pb if Zach is 7 or 8. and of course as we all know….we get out and about and oh no! Cell phone died! So that angle isn’t a worry for me…but it WILL be for Zach! and most likely he will talk to himself the whole journey!

  15. kathrynrammell says:

    Great pitch! I love that there is strong tension in such a concise pitch. I get the impression that kids will learn some survival skills and I think that is great. The cell phone/map issue didn’t bother me; in fact, it added tension since I assume that maybe the cell phone died or they longer have reception. Like others, I also had to check if it was MG or PB, but that isn’t a big issue for me since PBs can still cover serious topics. Great job and good luck!

  16. Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

    Well, another in the MG column! Thanks for your input, Kathyrin!
    You just may see it down the road as part of a mg manuscript!


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