Would You Read It Wednesday #278 – Navy SEALs: BUD/S From A-Z (PB)

Holy frozen H2O, Batman!

More snow???!!!

According to my research, the first day of Spring was yesterday, beginning at 12:15 PM to be precise.

Something is rotten in the state of New York!

I think we can all agree that the third Wednesday Nor’easter of the month calls for something delightful, something decadent, Something Chocolate right out of the starting gate.  I know we will all feel our outlook on life improve immeasurably after a slice or two of this delicious Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Cake!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Cake

A quick examination of the ingredients (peanut=protein, butter=dairy=calcium, chocolate=vegetable (comes from a bean!), mousse=makes you strong as a moose, also mousse is lighter than air so it has no calories :), and cake=the fifth essential food group) reveals this breakfast to be not only scrumptious, but clearly health food! 🙂

So eat up! 🙂


It’s like spinach for Popeye!

Now we’re all rarin’ to go! 🙂

So let’s get right to today’s pitch which comes to us from Gayle.  She says, “I’m a Navy SEAL mom who loves to write. I’m working on several picture books, a YA novel, and my masters. You can find me at www.gayleveitenheimer.com.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Navy SEALs: BUD/S From A-Z

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

The Pitch: Boys learn their letters Navy SEAL-style while they explore the rigors of BUD/S, the first half of SEAL training, where a sugar cookie isn’t a snack and The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday.

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 Gayle 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 April, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Gayle is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to a baby!  Yes!  It’s true!  On the farm where I work in the morning, one of the mares is expecting.  After ten-and-a-bit long months she is now less than a month away from bringing her new little colt or filly into the world.  Let me tell you, there is great excitement! 🙂  I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


28 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #278 – Navy SEALs: BUD/S From A-Z (PB)

  1. Maria Marshall (@MariaMarshall_) says:

    Susanna – What an amazing breakfast. That must be what they meant by “the breakfast of champions.”

    Gayle – As an Army brat, I am interested in this the topic it is unique and promising. I wonder if it is simply an A to Z concept book that involves the Navy seals. Or is this a concept book with a plot?
    I do have a few questions for you – Why just boys? (Only boys?) Are women not allowed to be seals? Would girls not be interested, too? And what does the sugar cookie have to do with anything?
    Are the kids watching their parents/siblings go through the start of Navy Seal Training “by the letters” (and learning the A-Zs)? Or are they participating in this training? A camp of some sort?
    Is the kids’ goal to complete the training? If not, what do they want? What’s in their way (lots of hard work)? And what do they ultimately get out of this?
    I think you need to flush this out a bit more and maybe define “BUD/S” for those of us not familiar with the term. Hope this helps. I would definitely pick it up and read it. Best of Luck.

    • Gayle Veitenheimer says:

      It is a simple concept book about Navy SEALs that brings their training down to kid level. Girls are allowed to give SEALs a try, but I know of none to date. Sugar cookie is when the instructor tells a trainee to get wet in the ocean and then roll in the sand until he is covered from head to toe.

  2. Rachel Tomlinson says:

    Susanna I think I need to stop reading your posts lol. The justification for such a delicious treats has gotten me thinking about other typ s of foods I like….and could justify away using the foot groups haha!

    think I am a maybe. I like the concept and think that incorporating Navy (or army or airforce for that matter) into literature for kids is great. There are so many families in the forces that I think there would be a potentially large readership who would appreciate your context and authenticity 😊 I did get a little confused about the plot and where the story was leading. Is it a concept book?using the phonetic alphabet? I wasn’t sure so that’s what made me a maybe. I think you might be able to tweak with a short sentence exploring or outlining that it is a concept
    Book…. or alternayively a little bit more of an overview of the plot (intorducing characters and the conflict). Also I agree with the previous comment about it being for boys? Also I’m not sure what’s BUDS is…Excuse my ignorance…. I thought perhaps it was an acronym maybe? (I don’t have a forces background so I’m not sure….apologies). You might need to give an overview of this term for the uninitiated. Overall I really like the idea and I can see the appeal for lots of families and children.


  3. hermanator33 says:

    I’m trying to recreate a photo from 20 years ago, and that cake is NOT helping me reach my goal weight of days yore. It’s a good thing photos do not have calories. I would read that book and love the that there’s a secret NAVY Seal language I would be learning too. I know women are not permitted in the organization, but I would feel less left out if there were male characters learning their A-Z’s. “The Smith brothers learn their letters A-Z style.”

  4. Rene` Diane Aube says:

    Good morning Susanna and Gayle 😊

    I think there’s probably a couple servings of vegetables in that delicious breakfast! Solo much chocolate! YUM! Definitely trying out that recipe, but not with salt and vinegar potato chips🙃

    Gayle, I would read your story. It does lend very well to an alphabet concept book, as was already stated. I like that it’s boy oriented. I know some boys are more reluctant to read and want to see some books geared to that more masculine side. I have a son who walked that path as a child. I wonder if this could even maybe become an older picture book as creative non fiction leaning towards career choices. Military guys that stay in often do very well for themselves in their selfless service.
    I’m not sure how to make this a stronger pitch other than what has already been said, so I’m not going to try to add to it.
    Best wishes as you proceed with your project.😊

  5. Kathy Halsey says:

    Very unique/fresh concept for a picture book, but I agree w/other comments re: boys only. Like the idea of the “Smith brothers” or whatever you choose so girls aren’t so obviously left out of the mix. (Understand no girl SEALS.) Goo luck with this.

  6. Nadine Poper says:

    Susanna, I always forget about your recipes! And here it is..a snow day…when I could have gone to the store yesterday for all the ingredients! DARN!

    Gayle, I like your pitch for two reasons: it is an A-Z book , which, if done simply, can be entertaining and full of learning. I have several students who always ask for “abc” books. And it is a topic I have not seen as a librarian. I would tighten the pitch more by defining BUD/S and what role the cookie plays into it.
    Have fun developing this book!

  7. fspoesy says:

    If my memories of the 1980’s can be trusted Susanna, mousse is also really good for your hair, so that chocolate mousse cake has even more to recommend it than originally thought! 🙂

    Gayle, this would be a definite read for me. While it may be of more interest to boys, I don’t think you need to limit it in your pitch. As a boy I played soldier but was also the only boy in the school dance troop. I didn’t become a professional dancer but I still would have found a book on dancing interesting. Also, just because I did spend four years in the Army, the introduction of the BUD/S acronym threw up a red flag for me. There were so many acronyms in the military, that to an outsider, it can sound like a foreign language. I think you could remove the acronym and just keep “the first half of SEAL training” without losing anything in the pitch. I would also like to hear some more examples of what some of the ABC items might be. I like the Sugar Cookie part but I’m confused by the “The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday”. The fact that it is capitalized makes me think it might be the entry for T, but I’m not sure. I think some very simple examples in the pitch might go a long way for those who don’t “get” the idiosyncrasies of military jargon.

    I can definitely see this illustrated or using photos of real training. I could also see it as a series of books highlighting all the different teams and branches of the service, including the military academies. Good luck!

  8. ptnozell says:

    Susanna, I believe they’re calling this the four’easter. Everything is closed in these parts, including NYU. Who knew that city folks can’t slog their way to university classes when at least this rugged upstater never experienced a snow day in my 10 years at 3 upstate universities. And thanks for the mousse suggestion. I believe chocolate is best for brunettes!

    Gayle, I’m a maybe, for the reasons so ably stated above: focus solely on the boys; confusion with acronyms; not sure if it’s a pure-play concept book or a if there’s a plot. I agree, though, that kids, especially those with family in the military, will enjoy learning about the training & having additional reasons to be proud of parents or older siblings. I look forward to reading your revised pitch & seeing your book in the library!

  9. matthewlasley says:

    Good morning Gayle. For me, I think I am a yes. I think it is well written and with an intriguing concept.

    My only concern is as a counting book, it is typically pushed towards the lower ages (3-5). I would wonder if the concept might be too difficult for uncoordinated young children to do.

    Good luck on the pitch!

  10. David McMullin says:

    Sorry about the extended winter to all of you north-east friends.

    I love the line “learn their letters Navy SEAL-style.” it sounds fun and different. I’m on board. Although I get the BUD/S part, I don’t think it is necessary. More confusing to me was the cookie thing. The last line feels powerful but the capital letter on each word was distracting. As far as the boy topic, I would personally always give girls a voice any time I addressed a topic in a male dominated field (and vice versa). Good luck, Gayle, with a great idea.

  11. Gayle Veitenheimer says:

    Thank so much for your feedback. Sugar cookie is when the instructor tells a trainee to get wet in the ocean and then roll in the sand until he is covered from head to toe. The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday is one of the SEAL mottos.

  12. Gabi Snyder says:

    Susanna, that mousse cake is my kind of health food! 🙂

    Gayle, I’m intrigued by your pitch and so I would read it. I like “…and the only easy day was yesterday.” Funny! I don’t think you need the all caps.

    I was confused by the sugar cookie reference. If you want to keep it, you might need to give a little more background. Is it integral to your story? I also think if this is primarily a concept (alphabet) book, then your age group will be younger. Regarding the girl/boy question, I know Navy SEALS have been men up to this point, but I believe that will soon change. There’s already a woman enlisting to become a SEAL (https://www.cnn.com/2017/07/21/us/first-female-navy-candidates-seal-trnd/index.html). I haven’t heard whether she was successful, but I suspect it’s just a matter of time until we see women SEALS, too. I think you can change “Boys” to “Kids” or name the characters. Good luck with this unique concept!

  13. bababloggayaga says:

    Arr, I be a probably. I be liking the idea of learning about the SEAL world and it be a good hook for a alphabet book. But putting in the BUD/S without you be saying what it means be making it confuzzling. Likewise with they sugar cookie – what be a sugar cookie if it not be a snack? Good Luck.

    For you mateys in the Northeast I be feeling yer pain. It be snow deju vu all over again. You deserves whatever treats you be getting to blot it out.

  14. ingridboydston says:

    Ah! Peanut butter and chocolate- anytime these two get together its good news in my book! Regarding Gayle’s book, I decided not to read all the other notes first this time, so here are my thoughts, fresh from my brain. I wonder if you have to have some prior knowledge for this pitch to make sense. The use of upper and lower case letters, a / and a : was a bit confusing. Also, not knowing much about Navy Seals I wonder if females are allowed? If not, would girls still like to learn their ABC’s from your book? Having said that, I LOVE ABC books and buy as many as I can for my kindergarten classroom. I’ve never found one that somebody in my class didn’t love. Sometimes its just a matter of finding the right book for the right child. I have several kids of military families this year and they might just adore your book. So based on the pitch, I might not pick this title. But based on the concept I would. So I suggest clarifying the pitch so anyone off the street could understand it and go from there because the idea sounds intriguing. I hope this helps! Have fun on your writing journey, it sounds like you are immersed!

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