Would You Read It Wednesday #293 – Maggie’s New Bike (PB)


In case you haven’t noticed, it is extremely hot.

I can tell because of the copious amounts of dog hair adorning my house.

My vacuum is getting the workout of its life!

They make sweaters and afghans and such out of sheep hair and llama hair and alpaca hair… I think it’s time to invent something made out of dog hair!  I could make a fortune!  And then I could use my fortune for good…you know, world peace, end world hunger, cure cancer, make sure everyone has Something Chocolate 🙂

Given the heat, I think our Something Chocolate should be something refreshingly cool today, don’t you?  How about a little (or a lot!) Oreo Chocolate Ice Cream Pie?  Sounds perfect to me!  And look how delicious…!

Chocolate Oreo Ice Cream Pie

I want you all to have at least 2 or 3 slices to make sure your core temperature is cool enough and you have the energy needed to help today’s intrepid pitcher! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Gabrielle who enjoys travel, exploring, and researching new book ideas. Her passion for writing is reflected in her weekly newspaper column and her blog, Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes, where she shares her thoughts on life, love, and the pursuit of a writer’s dream. Gabrielle is an active member of SCBWI, Maryland Writers Association, and graduate of Children’s Book Academy.

Find her on the web at her “in the works” website!

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Maggie’s New Bike

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

The Pitch: Maggie wants shiny new wheels, not Dad’s old rust bucket. When Dad hints she could get one after she learns how to ride, Maggie gives the junker a second look. With determination and her barnyard cheering section of hens and roosters, Maggie soon discovers not every treasure comes from a store. This is a delightful story of one girls’ never-give-up attitude.

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 Gabrielle 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 September, which will be here before you know it, so polish up your pitch and send it along for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Gabrielle is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to having my daughters home!  One arrives tomorrow, one Friday, and I can hardly wait! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


27 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #293 – Maggie’s New Bike (PB)

  1. Rene` Diane Aube says:

    Oh yum! Oreos in ice cream pie? Deeelicious! Thank you, Susanna!

    Gabrielle, I would definitely read this. I can already envision beautidul illustrations in a barnyard scene and adorable litle girl. However, it seems a little long to me. At the same time, I like your pitch a lot and am not sure how to advise on tightening it up. It seems to have all the necessary elements.

    I hope you come away encouraged and soon have this book on library shelves near me. Happy Wednesday! 🌞

    • Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

      Thanks so much Rene for taking the time to read my pitch! Thanks for sharing it on Facebook!

  2. Lauri Fortino says:

    Hi Gabrielle, I would definitely read this! The concept is great and so is the pitch! My only suggestion would be to drop the last sentence. It’s not needed. Good luck!

    • Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

      Thanks, Lauri! Your comments mean a lot! I will drop the last sentence when I pitch to my next editor!

  3. Kathy Halsey says:

    Yes, chocolate pie and solving the world’s problems with dog hair – let’s do it, Susanna! Gabrielle, I like the premise of the story and the father-daughter dynamic, too. I would read the PB, but would like to see at least one obstacle delineated and a hint of how the animals help to make the pitch more concrete. I agree with Lauri to drop the last sentence. Let editors/agents figure out it’s “delightful.” Good luck!

    • Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

      The consensus is to drop the last sentence…I will and hope it works on my next submission!
      Thanks so much for your input!


  4. Katie Engen says:

    Susanna – Just Google “knitting with pet hair” and you’ll find many options to launch your save-the-world campaign. Yes, really.

    MAYBE: Love the name, Maggie. The general concept seems quite nice, but doesn’t immediately tickle my funny bone or tug at heart strings. I wonder if this is because I’m distracted by the words ‘rust bucket’ and ‘junker.’ While they are wonderfully descriptive, using both makes Maggie seem a bit cynical or pre-teen (is she?) which contrasts with the sweet silliness of barnyard fans. Of course, art and the complete ms could smooth out any gaps of this nature. The idea of cheering chickens makes me smile.

    Overall, the pitch is concise and flows well. I’m curious about just what is so hard for Maggie as she learns to ride, so maybe replace ‘With determination’ with a specific verb phrase. The word ‘delightful’ may be worth re-considering as it seems to assume the reader’s opinion (which I’m told editors/agents don’t always like). Maybe something like ‘light-hearted’ or ‘upbeat’ will convey the tone and/or pace you’re aiming to convey.

    • Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

      Thanks, Katie for your input! Maggie is a precocious 6 year old who is impatient…she cant wait to get that new bike so she tries to teach herself instead of waiting for Dad to help. Other’s have said the last sentence is unnecessary and of course you are correct in saying it is an opinion…almost as bad as saying “You will love this!”

      Thanks again for taking the time to respond!

  5. viviankirkfield says:

    Love my morning breakfast treat, Susanna! Thank you! And yes, it has been pretty hot around here also.
    Gabrielle, I love your pitch and I would definitely read your story.
    And I agree with the others…the last sentence is definitely not needed. In a query letter, we never want to tell an agent or an editor that the our manuscript will be delightful. I guess they want to figure that out for themselves. 🙂 I also think I’d cut out ‘soon’ because she’s going to have to struggle a bit, right? 🙂
    Here’s a thought:

    Maggie wants shiny new wheels, not Dad’s old rust bucket. When Dad hints she could get a new bike after she learns how to ride his old one, Maggie gives the junker a second look. With determination, a few skinned-knees, and her barnyard cheering section of hens and roosters, Maggie discovers not every treasure comes from a store.

    • Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

      Thanks so much, Vivian for taking the time to read and post suggestions on how I could improve my pitch! Love your idea!

  6. Jennifer G Prevost says:

    Gabrielle, put my name in the YES column! I can’t offer different advice than the others, great job on developing a strong pitch. Vivian’s trimmed down version seems nearly perfect. Good luck with this one!

    • Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

      I will take your nothing to say as a good sign! Thanks so much for reading my pitch!


  7. ptnozell says:

    Feeling like I’m late to the party here! Whether it’s the thought of an icy treat or world peace through dog fur (my Two Orange Pups & I are happy to contribute to your cause) or the lovely images evoked with Gabrielle’s story of Maggie’s determination, so many folks have commented at such an early hour. I, too, feel like I have little to add except a “yes,” I’d read your story, Gabrielle, & I like Vivian’s changes to the pitch.

  8. Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

    Thanks so much for taking the time to visit and comment on my pitch…baby steps…to publication!

  9. matthewlasley says:

    I am in consensus with everyone else. A lovely story idea and well written. The first line, though meant to set up the plot, seems cumbersome. It reads fine, but the idea is cumbersome. I would suggest combining both sides of the comma into one continuous line. Something like “Maggie is not impressed with Dad’s old rusty bike.”

    Thank you for sharing and good luck!

  10. authorlaurablog says:

    This is a great pitch for a book that has so much potential. The only thing I would recommend is taking out the description in the last sentence. You aren’t supposed to describe your manuscript with opinion words like delightful, charming, or hilarious. Best of luck!

  11. Author Yvona Fast says:

    Wow – you’ve gotten great advice… i agree with everyone… it is a delightful story and a great pitch. Yes take out that ‘delightful” in the last sentence… i’ve been told also that you shouldn’t tell editors your book is ‘delightful’ and stuff like that…

  12. sherry alexander says:

    While dreaming of munching a piece of that beautiful chocolate pie, I am wondering why you my friend, Susanna, are not working on a book about the dog hair choking vacuum or the 13 reasons not to knit a dog hair afghan.

    Gabrielle, yes I would read this book! I agree with everyone about the last sentence, and agree that Vivian’s idea is a great one. Best of luck, and let us know the book’s publication date! (I have faith)

  13. Denette Fretz (@NextDoorSeries) says:

    Hi Gabrielle. Since there are a number of picture books with (Name)’s New Bike as the title, I was initially not excited about the topic. However, after reading your pitch, I would read your story. Your angle on a much-loved subject is charming and thoughtful. Because an all-capitalized title is the first thing that agents and editors read, I am wondering if a zippier title would excite them about reading your pitch…???

  14. yangmommy says:

    Susanna, seeing as you mentioned “hot,” “dog hair” and “chocolate” all in one post, I thought I’d share that my very own Chocolate Lab sheds a mini Pomeranian every day–wish it was really chocolate 😉

    I would definitely read this, Gabby. Your pitch is spot on!! Good luck 🙂

  15. Ellen Leventhal says:

    Coming late to the party, but I agree with most of the comments here. I like the first sentence a lot since it sets up the father/daughter story. I am glad you included the barnyard animals because I haven’t seen that in other “I want a bike” stories. I am interested to see what role they have in the story. Good luck!

    And Susanna…YUM!!

  16. Butterfly Kisses and Silly Wishes says:

    Thanks so much to everyone for your comments on my pitch! I appreciate your time and hope one day to come back here to announce Maggie’s Book Birthday! (A girl can dream, right?)

    Thanks again!

  17. Sheri Rad says:

    I am really late but I agree the pitch is too long and would shorten to one maybe two sentences at the most. I would read this book to my children and others it is a great book about learning to ride a bike. I agree with Vivian’s rework of the pitch.o

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