Would You Read It Wednesday #286 – Sadie’s Tail (PB)

Happy Wednesday, my friends!

I can’t believe it.  This guy

Scan 28

is getting married!

Where does the time go?!

So I’m running around like a lunatic and will not take up your time with amusing anecdotes from my childhood or unnecessary ramblings about nature on Blueberry Hill.  Let’s get right to Something Chocolate, shall we?  I’m thinking Chocolate Wedding Cake… 🙂

choc wedding 2

What could be more delicious?! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Patricia who is a wife, mother to Two Orange Pups and 3 grown kids, & a pre-published author. I’ve wandered much of my adult life, logging over 20 moves in the past 30 years – there’s a “how to” story lurking somewhere!  I review Perfect Picture Books, primarily international ones, at Wander, Ponder, Write.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Sadie’s Tail

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

The Pitch: Ryan and his rescue-pup Sadie are the perfect pair, except for one thing. Whenever Ryan tries to brush her fluffy tail, Sadie growls, howls and otherwise avoids the brushing. As Sadie’s tail changes from fluffy to puffy and household items go missing, Ryan must discover a solution to tame that tail.

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 Patricia 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!

Patricia is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to going to the wedding!!!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

(And I’m forewarning you, I don’t think I’m going to manage Perfect Picture Books this week because I’ll be in sunny Brazil, good lord willing and the creek don’t rise! 🙂 )


30 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #286 – Sadie’s Tail (PB)

  1. Lauri Fortino says:

    Patricia, Yes, I would definitely read this; it sounds delightful and funny and I really want to know how he tames the tail! Your pitch sounds good as is, but you could easily convert it into just two sentences to tighten it up by dropping the first sentence and beinning with When Ryan tries to brush his rescue pup Sadie’s tail… Good luck!

    Susanna, Congratulations on the upcoming wedding!

  2. rosecappelli says:

    Yes. I would definitely read this story. I am a sucker for books about dogs (and I think many kids are, too) and this sounds funny and unique.Your use of the rhyming pairs in the pitch – growls and howls, and fluffy to puffy – gives me a clue that there will be some fun play with words in this book also. I agree with Lauri’s comment about tightening up the pitch. You might also consider deleting the phrase “and otherwise avoids the brushing.”
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Rachel Tomlinson says:

    Oh congratulations on the upcoming wedding!! My best wishes that the day goes well and a happy future to the new bride and groom!

    I’m a yes!!! But think there are a few ways to tighten this pitch…. for a children’s book the words “and otherwise avoids”…. feels a little wordy. It could just be… “and does absolutely anything to avoid”. Also I didn’t really make a clear link between her tail getting puffy and things going missing? Perhaps it’s my baby brain (it’s still a thing even after 16 months post partum right??! ha!!). But this might be spelled out in just a little more detail to highlight (I’m presuming) that her fluff is how how sticking to everything and catching it? But seriously a really cute concept and I love that kids are also inadvertently learning about pet care and responsibility.

    • ptnozell says:

      Thank you Rachel for your perceptive and helpful comments. I am a long-time dog owner & lover & have tried to slip some dog care into this story. And I’m so happy you’re a “yes”!

  4. Judy Sobanski (@jkspburg) says:

    Patricia, I would definitely read this story. I love the word play and fun language. I did feel like the words “fluffy” and “puffy” were a bit synonymous. Maybe something like impeccable to impossible, or something like that, which would really differentiate between the tail being groomed versus out of control. A humorous situation involving a dog…always a winner! Good luck and thanks for sharing!

    • ptnozell says:

      Thank you Judy for your helpful comments. I struggled with the fluffy & puffy, too, so I’ll rethink that. I’m so glad that you would read this story!

  5. fspoesy says:

    As this is written I think this would be a maybe for me. I like the word play that is mentioned in other’s comments, and while books about dogs are common, my guess is that is because they are popular, so I think another book about a dog could easily find an agent or publisher. That said, my main issue with the pitch is that I’m confused how the dog’s tail is connected to things going missing in the house. As I read that Sadie “growls and howls” when Ryan tries to brush her tail, I automatically thought she was in pain and something was physically wrong with her tail (that it is sensitive to touching). The transition from “fluffy to puffy” also points to some sort of medical malady (at least I picture a swollen tail). So when the household items go missing and Ryan only needs to “tame” the tail, I’m confused. Not knowing the full story, I’m not sure I can recommend any specific modifications but in general I’d suggest making a more concrete connection between why Sadie doesn’t like her tail being brushed and why it needs to be tamed. Best of luck on honing your pitch!

    • ptnozell says:

      Thank you for your insightful comments. I’ve struggled with how to show the connection between Sadie’s tail puffing out (meaning the fur, not the tail underneath) & the household items disappearing into the fur. I think I have more work to do to clarify this.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      I agree with this comment. There’s an element of confusion here that I can’t wipe away. I’m also wondering about the “why” of this story. Is it really about getting a kid thinking about taming their own mane? Something else? Or is it just for fun? I’m always a fan of having some underlying meaning to any kind of story. Good luck with your revising!

  6. Katie Engen says:

    Yes. The pitch shows solid craft, yet could be punchier. I like the growls/howls word play. Consider deleting ‘except for one thing’ phrase and perhaps blending what’s left into one sentence. The ‘otherwise avoids’ phrase is stuffy. Maybe drop it, or change to ‘scampers away’ or similarly specific action. The premise is different and twangs at the rescue dog heart strings. The missing household items hints at some quirky humor.

  7. Jennifer G Prevost says:

    Great pitch! I agree with Katie, the phrase I stumbled over was ‘except for one thing’… But I agree with the above mentioned comments. So basically I have nothing new to add, but I would absolutely read this! Sounds like it has great illustration potential.

    Susanna, prayers that all goes well with the wedding! Safe travels 🙂

  8. matthewlasley says:

    I would put myself in the maybe category. I believe there is something there and we all like dogs.
    However, as mentioned, pets are a popular topic so you need something atypical to really sell it. As I read it, I don’t see that hook moment; that uniqueness in the story. There are many children’s books about caring for your dog.
    The part that I do like is the imagery of this bushy tail and the missing household items. I want to know what items go missing. The couch? TV? Fridge? Or is it pens, paperclips and post it notes?
    It sounds like the real main character is Sadie’s tail. If that is the case, it needs to be in the first sentence. I can imagine some fantastical things within the tail.
    Good luck with the story!

    • ptnozell says:

      Thank you Matthew for the reminder to make the hook stand out. You’re right – in many ways Sadie’s tail is a character, or at least a defining character trait, a la Dumbo’s ears or Clifford’s large size. Think I need to edit this pitch to make that stand out & hopefully change your maybe to a yes!

  9. authorlaurablog says:

    An enthusiastic YES from me. I actually laughed at the idea of all the things that could go missing and think this is a unique (I was told never to use that word in a pitch or a query) tale about a tail.
    I have had a similar experience with a daughter who had extremely thick, curly hair so for every reason, I love this pitch.

    Susanna, the child with the thick curly hair got married in February so I know how excited you must be for this upcoming wedding. Enjoy every minute!

  10. hannamccown says:

    Sounds wonderful. I definitely want to read this. I love the mystery about the missing objects. How glorious that tail is going to look when it reaches it’s climax and I wonder about the secret that poor Sadie is hiding about why she hates her tail being brushed. Please write it.

    • ptnozell says:

      Thanks for the resounding “yes,” Hanna! I’m a dog lover through & through, so this story definitely will be written & revised until publishable!

  11. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    Just for the record, NOBODY wants his/her tail brushed. Me included! Mom would definitely read this, just in case anything goes missing around here. If there’s a solution, we need to know what it is. My tail is off-limits. We agree with the commenter who said to cut the first sentence. Easy fix and the rest of the pitch tells us just what we want to know to want to know more. Good luck!

    Love and licks,

    • ptnozell says:

      So true, Cupcake & Genevieve! Thanks for your agreement to cut the first sentence & for saying that you would read this story. As you may have guessed, it’s based, in part, on the real Sadie rescue pup who is a true love, until I try to brush her tail!

  12. Gregory E Bray says:

    My son tries to comb our cats tail. So I can relate to this. I don’t have much to add that others already haven’t. Good luck with this.

    And congratulations Susanna. =)

  13. bababloggayaga says:

    I be a maybe. I be liking the idea of a rescue dog. That be why the business with the tail be a mystery, But like others I not be seeing the connection between the tail and things going missing. You could combine the first two sentences, shortening the pitch and leaving space to expand on the things going missing, especially if it be related to the tail.

    • ptnozell says:

      Thank you Baba, for the suggestion of expanding on the things going missing – something a few folks have been curious about. Think I have some pitch revisions to do!

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