Would You Read It Wednesday #264 – Belly Button Piranhas (PB)

It’s Wednesday, my friends, and because I am genetically predisposed to be psychic (my mother’s great aunt’s second cousin once removed’s middle daughter-in-law grew up next door to a medium!), I know what the burning question in your minds is!

I know that you woke up this morning wondering to yourselves: what the heck do they do with the middle part of a bagel?

Really, it’s a mystery for the ages.

The middles of donuts become munchkins.  Everyone knows that!

But what becomes of bagel middles?

I’m glad you asked!

Because luckily, having recently traveled to the hinterlands of the untamed west (the outskirts of Los Angeles 🙂 ), I know the answer!

Bagel middles become Shmearfuls!

(I am not making this up!  Check out Einstein Bros Bagels if you don’t believe me! Or just look at the picture below – actual living proof!)


All I wonder is why it took someone so long to come up with this absolutely amazingly awesome idea!  I mean, it looks like a munchkin but it’s actually a little round bagel middle stuffed with cream cheese and warmed to the perfect temperature… I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say pure genius!!!

So, now that I’ve answered the morning’s burning question, how about Something Chocolate (to go along with our Shmearfuls 🙂 )  You know.  So we can do like the black bears and get ready for winter hibernation 🙂

Chocolate Craving Cake


Recipe HERE at i am baker (video link HERE)


Mmmm-mmmm!  Lip-smackin’ good!  I feel more prepared for winter already!  How about you? 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Kim who says, “I’m an aspiring children’s book writer lost in the corporate world, using each book as a stepping stone to escape the gray cubicle realm I’m trapped in.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title:  Belly Button Piranhas

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

The Pitch:  Olivia is a gullible eight year old girl that must come to terms with her Dad’s explanation of the origin of the holes in her favorite shirt. With the help of her friends and her dog Rowdy, they will cure the infestation of the belly button piranhas.

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 Kim 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 have a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Kim is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to cleaning my office.


That may have been a small fib.

If you know me at all, you know I consider cleaning an act of desperation, only to be attempted when the writing is Just Not Happening.

But it IS fair and true to say that I’m looking forward to when my office IS clean!!! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


16 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #264 – Belly Button Piranhas (PB)

  1. kathalsey says:

    This idea is pure gold and sounds like such a fun story… great title, too. Yes, I would read it along w/some bagel holes and a piece of chocolate. What I am missing in the pitch are some specifics in terms of plot escalation, a main character who changes, and what our MC really wants. Give us an obstacle that Olivia must overcome. You also have the potential to add some more fun language regarding piranhas, fun fish language, a pun or two to make this sing. Good luck on this.

  2. authorlaurablog says:

    I like the concept. And I’ve wondered where do the holes come from, and why only in our favorite clothes! I’m not sure if an 8 year old would bethat gullible; would the story work better with a 5 year old?

  3. Johnell DeWitt says:

    I’m eating dark chocolate pumpkin bark for some reason. Can’t figure out why I craved it while reading your site, Susanna. Belly Button Piranhas is a hilarious title. The pitch, however, is written from an adult perspective with words such as ‘gullible,” which I’m guessing might worry an agent the story is told from an adult perspective rather than a kid perspective, so I’d switch that around. Something like. When Olive’s dad told her that belly button piranhas’ were eating the holes she kept finding in her favorite shirt, she set out to cure the piranha infestation. She …. name a few things she tried, but … name the thing that got in her way. Until she realized that piranhas might not be the problem after all … or whatever cliff hanger you can leave that wraps up the story but doesn’t give it away. I hope that helps. I think I have a belly button piranha infestation in my kids clothes. Sigh. Good luck!

  4. candicemarleyconner says:

    Just finished up some turtle cheesecake I found in the fridge; Yum!

    What a fun idea! My four and six-year-old kids would definitely enjoy this, kind of reminds me a little of The Mischevians. Though I don’t know if the voice of the pitch reflects the voice of the story. Like another commentor suggested, it’s not from a child’s point of view, though I assume (and hope) the story is. And maybe by adding voice, we can understand the stakes Olivia is up against. Good luck, Kim. You have something great here!

  5. Traci Bold says:

    Chocolate craving cake? Yes! I don’t have the ingredients here for it so I settled for some homemade Cherry Chocolate Fudge. 🙂 Susanna, your ideas are the best!

    Kim, The title of your book is catchy and fun which is enough to make me want to read the story.
    This is your pitch: ‘The Pitch: Olivia is a gullible eight year old girl that must come to terms with her Dad’s explanation of the origin of the holes in her favorite shirt. With the help of her friends and her dog Rowdy, they will cure the infestation of the belly button piranhas.’
    You don’t need the adjective for Olivia, let the readers decide it. I am really curious about what causes the holes though which makes me want to read the story but if you cut out ‘is a gullible eight year old girl’ and ‘of the origin of the holes in her favorite shirt.’ the pitch is much stronger though you will have to rework some of the wording.

    This story sounds funny! If you also add in a little ‘fishy’ language, it will pop more as well.

  6. Judy Sobanski says:

    Kim, the title of your story alone would get me to read it! I would like to see a little more information in the pitch. Though you say Olivia is “gullible” it seems as though she is skeptical of her Dad’s explanation. What sort of obstacle does she encounter trying to disprove his theory? So maybe something like:
    There are holes in eight-year-old Olivia’s favorite shirt. Her Dad claims it’s an infestation of belly button piranhas! When Olivia tries to get rid of the piranhas, she finds that (insert obstacle or problem). But with the help of her dog Rowdy and her friends, Olivia discovers (insert clue as to what she discovers).
    I am definitely curious how those holes got in her shirt!
    I’m off to find some shmearfuls!
    Best of luck with your fun story!

  7. Rene` Diane Aube says:

    Hi Susanna and Kim. What a yummy cake to start this dreary day.. Just the sort of meal one needs while contemplating bellybutton piranhas! I love the title and the premise so would definitely read your story. I think the other comments have adequately addressed the nibbles that need revamping so I will bite my lip while savoring this whole post. Best of luck, Kim!

  8. Pj McIlvaine says:

    Maybe. The pitch reads very adult to me. Eight seems a bit old for the main character to be that gullible. “Must come to terms” sounds awful serious when the title implies a zany romp. I would suggest adding more kid friendly words. The title is great, like everyone else said.

  9. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    I would definitely read this. I’ve never met a belly button story I didn’t like. Actually, I’ve never met a belly button story, so YAY! I agree with the people who said that Olivia should be younger. Maybe 4 or 5. And we need some hints to what she and her friends (and Rowdy) are up against as they take on these demons. Is it a well planned strategy? Are there attempts that fail along the way? Good luck with it.

  10. yangmommy says:

    This sounds like a fun story! Yes, I’d read it. I can imagine that the illustrations would be a lot of fun! As for your pitch, I like its simplicity–you get to the heart of the matter right away. But I think you can make your opening sentence a bit tighter. Consider rearranging the phrase and cutting some words; if you end up with 2 sentences instead of 1, that’s alright. Are there any obstacles/challenges that you can include within your pitch to hook the reader even more? Also, I’m not sure if an 8 year old today would believe something as wicked as a belly-button piranha :). To be safe, I would completely omit the girl’s age from the pitch, or make her younger altogether. Best of luck!

  11. ingridboydston says:

    I have to stop reading this post so late in the day, all that chocolate right before bed… 😋! This title made me laugh out loud, so I would definitely read this based on the title. The pitch was a little confusing as others mentioned. And I wasn’t sure if the piranhas were coming from her belly button which was mildly disturbing but maybe that’s just me. I do think you have something here. I hope you are able to able to write your way out of the cubicle! Keep at it!

  12. rupalimulge says:

    For me the draw was one huge piranha in the title. OK it was the munchkins the smear full (I just had them last week!!!!!) And that yum cake.but the title was a big draw .
    I would read it. But the pitch could be more specific exactly like what KatHalsey said. I won’t repeat what the others said. But I sooooo want to read about the infestation. And… This is my personal opinion. .. reconsider using the word gullible for your MC.

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