Good morning, my friends!
I am waiting.
Yesterday, it snowed.
I am not making this up.
Huge flakes, so big you could see their crystalline construction.
Lazy, insolent flakes, just daring you to point out they had no business at this time of year making themselves at home on decks and porch railings, tree branches, swing sets and mailboxes, piling up like feathers after a pillow fight on every available surface.
Did someone forget to mention it’s April?!
So I am waiting.
Waiting for sunshine.
Waiting for the temperature to get above 40 for more than 14 seconds at the warmest part of the day.
Waiting until the dogs and I can walk on Blueberry Hill and see the trees budding and the flowers blossoming, hear the peepers and the red-winged blackbirds in the marshy areas, wear shorts and a t-shirt and not be cold (well, the dogs don’t care about shorts and a t-shirt… 🙂 ), smell the sun warming the earth, trying to be patient…
…waiting for spring.
And I think I speak for all of us when I say nothing is better whilst waiting for spring than Something Chocolate! Unless maybe it’s Something Chocolate that is also Something Coffee altogether in one mouthful 🙂 In case any of you are also waiting for spring, can I offer you some chocolate espresso layer cake?!
Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake
Mmm-mmm-good! I feel like I shored up a whole slice of patience! I may be able to wait until this afternoon for spring to arrive! 🙂
Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Candace who usually sits in a comfy chair, with a cup of tea and something chocolate, while she reads and writes about things that make her curious.
Find her on the web at:
Here is her pitch:
Working Title: Curious Cassandra
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-7)
The Pitch: Cassandra is a curious girl. She opens drawers, looks under beds, and rummages in boxes. The tall fence surrounding her neighbor’s garden makes her the most curious. She can’t see over it, under it, or through it, no matter how she tries.
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 Candace 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!
Candace is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to daffodils 🙂
Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂
32 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #281 – Curious Cassandra (PB)”
Hi Candace! I’m going to say yes! I love a book that explores the natural curiosity of children and it’s a story with a STEM feel to it (plants/biology/engineering/building). This books seems to have it all…. and for me a female in a STEM role is also very exciting to read about. I think there could be a few ways to tighten the pitch. I’m not really sure what the stakes are for Cassandra. Why is she so desperate to get into the neighbours yard? Or what is the consequence if she doesn’t succeed? Setting the stakes out more explicitly can really help to entice a reader. Although as I said….I was pretty enticed already! This seems like a great idea… and I want to read more! Look forward to seeing your pitch again and finding out more about the stakes or consequences for Cassandra and her adventure into the neighbours garden!
Thanks so much for your helpful thoughts for Candace, Rachel!
Thanks, Rachel. Great advice!
Hello there! Susanna, I wish I could box up a bit of our spring weather and send it your way. It’s the perks to living in the Deep South I suppose. The trade off is that when things finally warm up for you, it’ll be 90 degrees here! Chocolate melts when it’s that hot outside, you know? (Which really only means I have to eat quickly 😜.)
Candace, I would absolutely read it! I love (and write) STEM stories as well. I do think your pitch is a little long as it reads now, and there are places you ‘tell’ a little too much. If you trim down the ‘tell-y’ places your have a fantastic pitch. My thought would be something like-
No matter how hard she tried, Cassandra could not see what was growing in her neighbors garden. One day she overhears her mom and realizes it’s even stranger than she imagined! Foxes gloves? Lambs ears? Turtle heads? It’s time to get creative. She just has to figure out a way over that fence!
Ooh, it would be lovely if you could box up some spring, Jennifer! I appreciate the offer 🙂 And yes… melting chocolate requires quick eating 🙂 Thanks so much for your helpful thoughts for Candace!
Thanks, Jennifer. I thought it might be too long and a good ‘trim job’ is definitely in order!
Love the title, Candace, love the concept and the STEAM tie-ins are great. Agree w/others that you need to tighten pitch and up the stakes. Feel Jennifer’s pitch above nails it.
Thanks for sharing your helpful comments with Candace, Kathy!
Thanks, Kathy. I really appreciate your feedback.
Susanna, I think you’ve been more than patient on this spring thing. I, too, am tired of bundling up every time the Two Orange Pups and I venture forth.
Candace, I love the concept of your story & definitely would read it. As a garden lover, I chuckled at the thought of the confusion over the animal-named plants & Cassandra’s desire to check things out for herself. I like Jennifer’s shortened pitch, however, and would encourage you to try to keep your pitch to one paragraph. Once you weed out some of those extras, I think you’ll have a pitch that will blossom with the promise of your story. I look forward to reading it.
I’m guessing the Two Orange Pups are the same as my brown ones, Patricia – totally unconcerned with the weather because they’re dressed for anything and eager to be out in it! 🙂 But it’s April – time is on our side 🙂 Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments for Candace!
Thanks. I’ll be doing some serious weeding!
Yes. It seems to open a lot of doors to plant biology, design/engineering, and a sense of adventure. Also, I’m wondering if there are references to Rapunzel and the witch’s garden. The pitch needs a bit more hint at what goes wrong or a stronger statement about why Candace is so dang curious.
Thanks for your helpful insights for Candace, Katie!
Thanks, Katie. This is the type of feedback I needed.
I love the set up of the character and the examples demonstrating her curiosity. I have grown foxglove and lambs ear but I’m looking up turtle head after I post this comment, thank you for sparking my curiosity!
My thoughts: will she have thought bubbles of what this garden looks like? Does she draw what she imagines it looks like? Does she try different things to get into the garden and fail? I need a little more information to know the stakes and the obstacles in her way.
Great start and opportunities for illustrating.
Thanks so much for your thoughtful and helpful comments for Candace, Laura!
Thanks, Laura. You have given some exceptional pointers that are much ppreciated.
I am a maybe on this one. I like the concept and I love the idea for the visualizations.
I have three areas that I think need to be addressed to tighten up your pitch. Most have been addressed, so I will briefly highlight them.
The first line is all tell. Demonstrate how she is curious, sort of like you do in the second line.
The overall pitch is to long. You have it broken into two parts. Consolidate the whole thing to three to five sentences.
I know she is curious, but I want to understand her need. What is driving her. That could be addressed with a rewrite of the first line.
Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments for Candace, Matthew – I know she’ll find them helpful!
Thanks, Matthew. I will surely be taking you suggestions into consideration as I revise this pitch.
Arr, I be reading it. I loves me a story with plants, especially since Cassandra murdalizes they names. You doesn’t need the first sentence. It only tells what the second sentence shows. After that you can be talking about they weird plants names, which be showing why she wants to see her neighbor’s garden. That be making yer pitch short, and sweet, and readable.
Arr, Matey! Thanks fer pitchin’ in yer two cents for Candace! 🙂
Arr, I be thankin’ you for your help, matey!
Susanna, I’m pretty sure you should be enjoying a chocolate birthday cake any day now! I hope you’ll get a dose of sunshine to go with it! Best wishes! 🎂🎉☀️😁!
Thanks for your pitch Candace. I’d give this a yes! Perhaps you could start with the part where Cassandra overhears the conversation, driving her to try everything she can think of to get a peek at those fabulous sounding plants? That would be one way of showing she a curious girl instead of telling. Have fun!
Golly, Ingrid, how on earth did you remember that we were approaching the 24th anniversary of my 29th birthday???!!! 🙂 Thank you for the wishes and I will cross my fingers for sunshine and cake 🙂 Thanks so much for your helpful input for Candace!
It was easy, as mine was on the 15th! Lol! Hope it was full of all the good things! Family, friends, books… :)!
Thanks, Ingrid. I appreciate your feedback and will be using it to revise my pitch.
Since the little girl’s mother knows what kind of plants the neighbor is growing, the author needs to provide a good reason why Curious Cassandra doesn’t simply ask her mother to take her over to see what’s growing behind the high fence.
Thanks for your helpful insights for Candace, Carole!
Thanks, Carole. Point well taken. I’ll keep your advice in mind as I revice this pitch.
Sorry I wasn’t able to reply yesterday. I’ve been traveling. I really appreciate the responses to my pitch. You all have given me much to think about and some terrific ways to make improvements. What a very supportive community of kid-litters this is.
Thank you all.