Would You Read It Wednesday #284 – One Smart Cookie: The Story of Ruth Wakefield and the Invention of the Chocolate Chip Cookie (NF PB)

Darlings, life is a whirlwind!

Thank you all for your enthusiastic WYRI submissions last week – we’ve got a bunch of good ones lined up!

And in honor of the whirlwind just mentioned, for our Something Chocolate today let’s have a good old-fashioned tornado… otherwise known as a Chocolate Milkshake! 🙂

choc milkshake

Recipe HERE at BBCGoodFood


Now that we’re all wound up, let’s jump right into today’s pitch (which seems like it fits right in with our chocolate theme here 🙂 ) which comes to us from Jackie who is a picture book author and regional advisor of the SCBWI North Texas chapter.

Find her on the web at https://www.jaclynkruzie.com/blog

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: One Smart Cookie: The Story of Ruth Wakefield and the Invention of the Chocolate Chip Cookie

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

The Pitch: For years the invention of the chocolate chip cookie has been hailed a happy accident. Perhaps it was, or perhaps it was the clever invention of a clever lady. Devour every morsel of this mystery and decide if it was a lucky mistake or the creation of one smart cookie.

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 Jackie 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 time to polish your pitch before putting it up for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Jackie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the whirlwind mellowing just a bit… maybe by the 3rd week of June or so 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


18 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #284 – One Smart Cookie: The Story of Ruth Wakefield and the Invention of the Chocolate Chip Cookie (NF PB)

  1. tinamcho says:

    I really like the last sentence. But regarding the premise, there are already 2 books about this invention, so perhaps check the market first. You could change & have only 1 “clever” in the middle. Otherwise, it will be a delicious pb.

  2. Nadine Poper says:

    I just LOVE homemade chocolate chip cookies. I only follow the original Tollhouse recipe and it never fails! It may be a good idea to place Ruth Wakefield in the pitch along with the mistake or motivation that led to the invention of the cookie. I would use only one “clever”. Good luck with this project Jackie!

  3. ptnozell says:

    Hi Jackie, I would read this story – such an interesting, kid-friendly topic! Your voice really comes through in the pitch – I love the inclusion of the foody language. I would, however, suggest that you mention the name of your subject somewhere in the pitch & perhaps also give a bit more context – where & when this story occurs (state or region & perhaps the decade or century).

    I look forward to reading your revised pitch, as I dream of straight-from-the-oven cookie!

  4. Marla says:

    Yes! I’d read it before I even considered the pitch. Although you’ve peaked my interested with the mention of a mystery. I had no idea there were other books on this topic.

  5. Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

    Good job writing the pitch! As a Massachusetts resident the Toll House cookie story is one oft told and written. Here’s another fun fact: Ruth Wakefield’s assistant baker wrote some of the recipes backwards so that you needed to read them in a mirror to decode them!

  6. matthewlasley says:

    Since I like cookies, I would definitely be interested. I love the last line, but I think I would tighten up the first two by making them one sentence. I would like to see a stronger hook. Is this a story about chocolate chip cookies or Ruth?
    I also want to know who the character is. Is it a cookie or Ruth or a mouse who happens to witness the whole thing? What makes this a Picture Book rather than a Chapter Book or a Highlights Magazine article?
    You invite us to solve a mystery and decide if it was a mistake or clever creation. I want to understand how it is a mystery? Do you have clues to the answer? Will it remain a mystery or can we solve it as promised? This has been a highly debated topic for as long as I can remember.

    Good luck with your story. I think it has potential and I would hate for it to get swallowed up in the market.

  7. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    I would read this like crazy. I’ve never met a cookie story (or a cookie) I didn’t love. I agree with the earlier commenters about putting Ruth’s name in there. Also I wonder if the story is written like a typical mystery or are you just using that word in a more global way? Good luck with it.

  8. Keila Dawson says:

    What a tasty pitch! I can see interactive back matter where kids compare fact vs opinion, especially in today’s news climate. Just suggest you replace clever with another word.

  9. Debbie Meyer says:

    I agree with MatthewLasley above. Is this a mystery book or a non-fiction book about how the chocolate chip cookie was invented? I wonder if this is a book similar to The Hole Story of the Donut by Pat Miller (I love that book!). I think you should leave out the mystery part and say something like “The Chocolate Chip Cookie may be the most-loved cookie of all time, but they would never have existed if it weren’t for a happy accident by baker Ruth Wakefield.” ??? I love reading how things came about. Especially cookies. I’d read it!

  10. Katie Engen says:

    YES. You had me at chocolate chip cookie. And I have always wondered if the Legend of… is correct, actually. The puns are well-placed and do enhance the pitch. Pass the cold milk, please.

  11. Jennifer G Prevost says:

    Oh, certainly I would read this story! If it is nonfiction and the entire story reads with as much voice and heart as this pitch, you surely have a winner! I agree with the above mentioned changes — if you replace ‘clever lady’ with her name, you could take care of all of it in one big swoop! Great job!

  12. Jackie Hartman Kruzie says:

    Thank you everyone! All of the suggestions are helpful, thoughtful, and professional. I appreciate it immensely and will revise accordingly. And that you Susanna! Being a part of Would You Read It Wednesday has been a blast!

  13. bababloggayaga says:

    Yar! I be reading it. Who not be liking them they chocolate chip cookies. I be thinking yer last sentence sez it all. You might could start with that then explain in another sentence why yer book be different from any others out thar.

  14. Rachel Tomlinson says:

    Oops! I’m a bit late to the party! A bit like yourself Susanna this week has been a whirlwind!

    I’m a Maybe. I feel like the pitch could be tightened to make it clearer (which is stopped me from being a yes). I love the concept…. and have always been interested in who first developed recipes that turn into “everyday” things we bake. I agree with comments about mentioning Ruth’s name and removing the repetition of the word clever. Also the last sentence is great in terms of the food based language (I love that)… but the puns are making the concept unclear. You said “if it” maybe clearer about what you are referring to here? Ruth? The recipe? And when you use the word smart cookie it feels (to me) like it’s describing a person. I do love your concept and enjoy NF PBs. I think this would be so fun for kids to read and promote some family baking fun!!! I so look forward to the revised version.

  15. Pam Miller says:

    Keep the beginning thru “smart cookie”. This nicely makes your point and drew me in to your clever non- fiction story. Although I agree that authors need to search out similar titles, there are many choc chip cookie variations, illustrators, perhaps inventors. Please publish yours because it will be read by younger group of kids and old me, a choc chip cookie lover.

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