Would You Read It Wednesday #256 – Oscar’s Noggin (PB) PLUS The May Pitch Pick!!!

Howdy, Friends!

Big doings in our bustling metropolis (population about 200 plus some bears and bobcats and a lot of deer.)  My sister is coming to visit!!!

So now that I’ve updated you on what will probably be the entire year’s worth of news here in Busy Town 🙂 let’s get down to business, starting with the May Pitch Pick!

Behold the contenders:

#1 Gabrielle – Follow In My Footsteps (PB ages 4-8)

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.”

#2 Joanna – Princess Ickybelle (PB ages 4-8)

When messy and mucky Princess Ickybelle needs a bath, the fed-up Queen calls for help. Queen Granny arrives with some terrific tricks up her sleeve but Princess Ickybelle leads Granny on a wild goose chase around the castle, determined to foil Granny’s perfect plans. When the Princess finally succumbs to a scrubbing, she discovers that some Princesses aren’t meant to stay spotless for long.

#3 Erin – Colors Want To Play (PB ages 3-6)

In COLORS WANT TO PLAY, colors (and maybe you) unravel in a fun-filled journey of demanding direction from the hues themselves. One color is missing and needs some coaxing to join the others. Readers learn the ride can be just as much fun as the destination. Don’t forget comfortable shoes!

#4 Suzie – Gracie Gopher IT Specialist (PB ages 4-8)

Gracie Gopher is an Infrastructure Tunnel (IT) Specialist for Ground City. She is helping Ground City set up and build its tunnel infrastructure. When water blocks the drainage tunnel, Gracie goes down to debug the system. The problem is more difficult than anticipated, so Gracie will have to think fast and come up with a solution on the fly!

#5 Cortney – Olive Hills (PB ages 4-8)

Elle’s mind drifts through an olive grove as she tries to keep memories of her grandma alive. She surprisingly finds herself with a familiar, yet forgetful brontosaurus. The two set out to retrace their footprints in hope to relive fading memories. When they reach the giant tree where Elle’s grandma used to sit and reflect, they discover love ones will always be with you no matter where they are.

Please read and evaluate these 5 lovely pitches and vote in the poll below by Sunday June 18 at 5 PM Eastern for the one you think is best and most deserves a read and comments by editor Erin Molta!

As a reward for all that hard work, we shall now have Something Chocolate.  And okay.  I’m just not even going to pretend health food today.  This is cream cheese and sugar and chocolate!  Enjoy! 🙂

Something Chocolate: No Bake Brownie Batter Cheesecake

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Chambrae who says, “My name is Chambrae Griffith. I studied political science in college and am trying my best to use my education to effectively govern the four little dictators currently running my house hold. I have a love for reading and running, all though I don’t recommend doing them at the same time. Treadmills and page turns don’t mix well. I have always wanted to write and since my youngest has started school I figured no time is as good as the present!”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Oscar’s Noggin

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

The Pitch: Oscar has an extraordinary noggin! He can decode any dilemma, unravel any riddle and obliterate the most overwhelming obstacles – except one. Oscar must go to school and school is simply not nogginey enough for a kid with such big ideas. When his teacher tires of Oscar’s disastrous attempts to make school more stimulating and hires a substitute, Oscar’s noggin starts to spin. Has he finally found a way to finagle his freedom?

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 Chambrae 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 July, 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!

Chambrae is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to spending a week with my sister and her family!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


Oh, and P.S. – if anyone has a question for the July 3 Oh Susanna, please send it in!!!


17 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #256 – Oscar’s Noggin (PB) PLUS The May Pitch Pick!!!

  1. Lindsay H. Metcalf (@lindsayhmetcalf) says:

    I love hearing about Busy Town, Susanna, and best of luck to all the contenders for May’s pitch pick!

    Oscar’s Noggin sounds adorable. I think you can tighten your pitch quite a bit, maybe like this:

    Oscar has an extraordinary noggin! He can decode any dilemma, unravel any riddle and obliterate the most overwhelming obstacles – except one. Oscar must go to school. When his teacher hires a substitute, can he finally finagle his freedom?

  2. Lynne Marie says:

    I would definitely read it. I would revise first line as follows:

    Oscar’s extraordinary noggin can decode any dilemma, unravel any riddle and obliterate the most overwhelming obstacles – except one.

    Very compelling, love the language…and I want to know which one 🙂

    However, then when you say that School is not nogginey enough for a kid with big ideas, I am bumped out, because I feel there are so many wonderful and challenging courses for little ones these days. I know this is 4-8 but they can be in gifted classes. I am amazed how stimulating school is nowadays and am thankful for the opportunities presented to my children. So that makes me question what you are trying to say with your story.

    [[[Oscar must go to school and school is simply not nogginey enough for a kid with such big ideas.]]] Maybe Summer camp is not nogginey enough?

    In the last two lines it sounds like the teacher hiring a substitute facilitates the resolution, where I would love to see action on the part of Oscar, rather than just his head spinning.

    Anyway, a possibly good comp for this is Hold That Thought, Milton by Linda Lodding. She maintained enough action to inspire the illustrations which can be a problem with some idea books so I hope it proves helpful! Best, Lynne Marie (www.LiterallyLynneMarie.com)

    • Chambrae Griffith says:

      Hi Lynne. Thanks for the comment. I love how you tightened the first line. In my book Oscars big ideas are very big ideas that cause chaos at school. Perhaps I need to portray that a little better to avoid the problem that you felt when I stated school wasn’t noggin-y enough. I appreciate your feedback.

  3. ptnozell says:

    Susanna, so happy the population is rising to 201. Enjoy your sister’s visit!

    Good luck to all of the May pitchers – this was a tough choice. It’s clearly baseball season as you all hit it out of the ballpark.

    Chambrae, I would read this story; you’ve done a wonderful job of showing us Oscar’s character in the pitch. I agree with LynneMarie, though, that the first & second sentences can be combined. I also agree that you want to make clear that Oscar solves his own problem. Finally, I’d love a few examples of why school isn’t “nogginy” enough for Oscar – what does he want that he isn’t finding in school or perhaps how the teacher thwarts his big plans.

    Good luck with this – this sounds like a fun story.

  4. viviankirkfield says:

    Chambrae…wow…what a super pitch…I love your alliteration and element of three…I can’t wait to read this book when it is published. I think you might want to add a bit about exactly what Oscar does (disastrous attempts).
    Oscar’s extraordinary noggin can decode any dilemma, unravel any riddle and obliterate the most overwhelming obstacles – except one. School is simply not nogginey enough for a kid with such big ideas. He (a couple of the disastrous attempts to make school more stimulating), but when a substitute arrives, Oscar is sure he will finally finagle his freedom.
    I love the word ‘finagle’ but it has a really negative connotation…here are a few synomyns…none we’d want to give to a child protagonist perhaps: bamboozle
    Or perhaps that is who the mc is…if so, that is great. If not, perhaps change the word.
    Susanna…have fun with your sister! And thanks for the amazing morning treat. 😉

  5. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    Warmed up by voting for the pitches. Ate a bit of chocolate. Prepared to analyze pitch.

    Wow! I would definitely read this! School can be tremendously boring for whiz kids who are always more than a step ahead of their classmates, or who want to do their own thing. I agree about offering a couple of examples of Oscar’s attempts. I’m not sure that the final “finagle his freedom” follows what comes before, though. Is he trying to gain freedom (what kind of freedom? to do what he wants? to not be at school?). Maybe he just wants to make school more interesting and challenging and fun? Maybe he turns the tables on the substitute and teaches the classes himself? Don’t want to rewrite your story for you, but I’m wondering what exactly you want the outcome to be. I also agree that he’s got to solve the problem himself.

    • Chambrae Griffith says:

      Thank you! I’m glad to hear that you agree that school can be boring for those whiz kids. In the end Oscar definitely solves his own problem, it wounds like I just need to make that clear in the pitch. Perhaps the word freedom isn’t exactly what I am going for. Thanks for giving me something to think about.

  6. yangmommy says:

    Hey there! I would love to read this story! Oscar sounds like quite a character.
    However, I would tighten the pitch up. The term “noggin” is wonderful, but overused. I also wasn’t sure if the Teacher hired a substitute or Oscar hired the sub. Lastly, I’m a little unclear as to why Oscar wants his freedom from school; is Oscar bored, unhappy, confused…all of that and more? I think with a little bit more massaging on the pitch, you have a winner here. Best of luck!

  7. Penny Parker Klostermann says:

    Have fun with your sister, Susanna! Voting was hard because I would want to read each and every book pitched. But one did rise to the top for me and got my vote 🙂

    I would read your book, Chambrae! The pitch read long for me and you’ve gotten some excellent advice for trimming.

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