November has been a whirlwind!
Can you believe it?
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving!!!
By Friday it won’t be safe to go within 10 miles of the mall 🙂
And if Walmart hasn’t got you singing holiday tunes already, we’ll all be doing it by this weekend! 🙂
Since I’m sure we all have a lot to do (and by that I mean I am hosting Thanksgiving and I have to vacuum – ACK!!!) I think we should bolster our stamina with Something Chocolate and get right down to business!
In the spirit of the first Thanksgiving, I’d like to share an old pilgrim recipe handed down from our forefathers (forefathers loosely interpreted as my daughter making Pillsbury homemade in her own special way 🙂 ). It is important around Thanksgiving which involves such demanding time demands as vacuuming that recipes be simple. So get ready.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (so Thanksgiving-y, am I right?! 🙂 )
Recipe: 1 box of Pillsbury Pumpkin Bread mix prepared according to the muffin directions on the back with however many chocolate chips seem like a good idea (suggestion: a lot!) added in.
Didn’t I tell you it was simple?
I think we all know where my daughter inherited her genius in the kitchen 🙂
You can make these mini-sized and serve them at your Thanksgiving table, or normal size and enjoy them for Thanksgiving morning breakfast. Ooh! Or you can bring them as a gift if you’re going to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving! So versatile!
And I know I don’t even need to point out that they are health food, what with being made out of pumpkin which is indisputably a vegetable! 🙂
That’s just my little gift to you because I am so thankful for you all – no jokes! ❤
Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Mary who says, “I am a former teacher who loved reading silly books to my students. In another former life, I was employee at a museum overrun with mice. The Mouse of Rock Town evolved out of those two experiences.”
Find her on the web at
Here is her pitch:
Working Title: The Mouse Of RockTown Museum
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-7)
The Pitch: Parker, a resident mouse of Rock Town Museum, loves his home, but soon realizes the new museum security guard is not mice-friendly. After harrowing experiences involving brooms, mousetraps and a cat, Parker must use his ingenuity to devise a plan and protect the only home he has ever known.
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 Mary 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 January, so polish up your pitch and get your new year off to a great start with helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!
Mary is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to the vacuuming being over! But more importantly, to seeing all the family I’ll get to see 🙂
Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂
And Happy Thanksgiving!!!
P.S. I’m not sure if I’m going to post PPBF on Friday – depends how much time I have – but if I’m going to run the Holiday Contest, I’ll try to get the guidelines up this weekend! This is your last chance to weigh in on whether you want to have it or not…! 🙂
59 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #305 – The Mouse Of RockTown Museum (PB)”
#305 I would read it! I want to find out how Parker solves his problem.
Thanks for your enthusiasm for Mary! 🙂
I have gone back and forth on how much to tell in the query- he gets rid of the security guard by haunting the museum. Still in revision!
Happy Thanksgiving to you, Susanna & all at Blueberry Hill. Those muffins look yummy. Can you send your daughter to Ohio to be my resident cook? I would read the book, but I’d like to be more enticed by the pitch, Mary. You talk about your students loving the “funny,” so add some to the pitch, maybe with spun or fun language – alliteration, onomatopoeia, or museum-like words. You have all the elements needed in a pitch – the stakes, the three harrowing attempts, but you need a bit of glitz. Good luck to you.
Hahaha with the autocorrect, Kathy! It gets me ALL the time 🙂 Thanks so much for your very helpful comments for Mary!
Thank you- will do!
Typo – perhaps add some pins for fun.
Ha – need more coffee – oh, autocorrect. PUNS are fun.
Yes. The problem is clearly stated in the first sentence which also flows nicely despite being packed with so many details. Nicely done. The plot is outlined without being overly-revealed or sidetracked by superfluous details. There’s a dash of passive voice bogging down the final phrase. Suggested tightening could be something like: …ingenious [or clever] Parker launches a plan to protect…
Thanks of you careful consideration of Mary’s pitch, Katie, and your helpful suggestions!
Absolutely yes! This sounds so fun! I think your final phrase could be simplified or made more fun: Parker must use his ingenuity to devise a plan and protect the only home he has ever known. (Maybe a little stuffy for such a fun concept.)
Something as simple as: Parker turns the tables. (Bad example, but you get the idea.) Without knowing your ending, I’m not sure how, but I feel like this would be the perfect the perfect place to end on a punch of humor.
Best of luck, Mary! I can see the cute illustrations this would generate!
Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments for Mary, Sherry!
Thank you, Sherry! Appreciate the help!
Good morning. I would say maybe leaning towards yes. You have a well written pitch letting me know who is involved, what the problem is, and the path that is being taken.
I agree that the pitch needs some umph when it comes to the “fun”. This is what leaves it at a maybe. I don’t “hear” how this story stands out above the rest. I know that in the last two years I have heard 6 or 7 different mouse escape stories, so I think you need to add your humor or direct the reader to a plot twist.
I know you have to worry about making it too wordy, so might I suggest taking out “a resident mouse of Rock Town Museum”? In the rest of the sentence (along with the title), you work out he is a mouse in a museum. This will also help speed up the tempo of the pitch and help build excitement.
Best of luck!
Thanks for your helpful thoughts and suggestions for Mary, Matthew!
Thank you Matthew! I will most definitely use your suggestions to rewrite the query!
I love mice stories, so I would definitely read this We are to show and not tell in our story, as well as our pitch which I think you did pretty well. In the first sentence Parker loves and realizes. But the end of the second sentence could use a bit more work as mentioned by a few others. Maybe something like “Parker cleverly devises a plan to protect the only home he’s ever known.”
Thanks for your enthusiasm for the story, Aileen, and for your helpful suggestions for the end of Mary’s pitch!
Thank you Aileen! Appreciate the input!
Yes. Mice are fun in illustrations and children easily identify with small creatures being antagonized by larger one.
I like the idea of your story and the stakes are clear. A few thoughts, the first sentence is a little too jam packed for me. I would suggest breaking it into 2 sentences so the information is a little more bite sized (yes, I’m already thinking Thanksgiving food.)
I also wonder if mouse friendly is better than mice friendly.
Good luck with your story! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!
Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments for Mary, Laura! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! 🙂
Great suggestions Laura! Appreciate the feedback!
This seems like a fun, and funny, story, Mary. I’d love to get a sense of more of the humor & how Parker overcomes the perils in the museum.
Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours, Mary & Susanna. May there be lots of chocolate at your dinner tables.
Thanks for your suggestions for Mary, Patricia, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours too! You will be shocked to know that not much chocolate is planned for my Thanksgiving table even though I’m cooking. My idea of a chocolate turkey was vetoed 🙂
Thank you Patricia! and Happy Thanksgiving to you as well! So grateful that everyone travelled safely!
Thank you Patricia! and Happy Thanksgiving to you as well! So grateful that everyone traveled safely!
I think this could be a fun story with cute illustrations. I looked up some museum terms and tried to include them in the pitch. Here are two possible ones:
“When Parker, the resident mouse, comes face to face with a new, unfriendly museum guard, he must exhibit his cunning to save his favorite hole in the wall.”
Paker wants to stay in the museum, but a new and unfriendly security guard pushes this determined mouse to exhibit his cunning to outwit the gallery galoot (or goofus).”
(using “exhibit” and “gallery”. Hope this helps some. You have some great suggestions.
Gosh, you went the extra mile, Sherri, thank you! That was so sweet! I know Mary will be grateful for your helpful and creative suggestions!
Thank you Sherri! Susanna is correct! You went above and beyond- appreciate the comments and suggestions!
I definitely would read it. I like the last sentence…tells us just enough to make us want to find out how Parker solved the problem.
Could make this pitch a bit better if you delete the full title of the museum and write: Parker, a museum mouse, loves his home, but soon realizes the new museum……
Thanks for your helpful thoughts for Mary, Bonnie! So glad to see you here, and glad the commenting seems to be working today!
Thanks Bonnie! Great suggestions- Happy Thanksgiving!
It sounds cute, I’d definitely read it! I’m envisioning an escalating “Mouse Hunt” style war, although hopefully without the museum being destroyed. 🙂
A couple of suggestions for tweaks:
Parker, a* resident mouse of Rock Town Museum, loves his home[. Unfortunately,] the new museum security guard is [decidedly] not mice[mouse?]-friendly. After harrowing experiences involving brooms, mousetraps and a cat, Parker**
*Is there more than one? If so, are they all involved in the plot, or just Parker? And if just Parker, why?
**It’s quite a good pitch right up to here; IMO it deflates at the end. “Use his ingenuity and devise a plan” is what he’s going to do, yes, but it’s not what he FEELS (and what you want the reader to FEEL) *about* what he’s going to do. “…Parker will do whatever it takes to save the only home he’s ever known.” That sort of thing (only better).
Thanks for your in-depth analysis of Mary’s pitch, Erik, and your very thoughtful suggestions! I’m sure she’ll find them helpful!
Great suggestions Erik- appreciate the comments! I will most definitely think about putting in more feeling!
This is so tough, Mary! Perhaps I’m a maybe. I love that Parker lives in a museum, and I’m curious what Rock Town Museum actually is. Is it a town built from rocks? Is it a rock-and-roll town? So I would need to read your story to find out! It does seem that there are so many stories of mice out there, but yours might be different–Parker might be smarter than the average mouse. Now I’m leaning more toward yes.
Susanna, I have already voted for a holiday writing contest, but I thought I would place my vote here also. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Thank you for your honest and helpful thoughts for Mary, Debora! And I’ve got my thinking cap on trying to devise a good plan for the holiday writing contest 🙂
Deborah, thanks for the feedback. You are correct that there are many mice stories out there, and so this one has to stand out! Happy Thanksgiving!
I’m eager for you to make it stand out, Mary! 🙂 All the best to you as you craft your story–you can count me as a yes now.
Thanks Deborah for the encouragement. I love the basis of the story, and I think I need to out more effort into making it unique and unusual. Your comments were very helpful!
put not out- I hate auto-correct sometimes.
Aye matey I be liking the story idea. But like they other responders I be thinking yer pitch it need a bit of zhuzhing up, if’n you knows what I means. Here be me idea: Resident mouse Parker loves his home at the Rock town museum until the new security guard breaks out a broom, mousetraps, and a cat. Parker will be homeless if he can’t outsmart that mean guard.
Har, matey! Thanks fer yer helpful thinkin’s for Mary!
Thanks Matey! Ironically, I am in the middle of a pirate story at the moment- too funny! Appreciate the feedback and suggestions! Happy Thanksgiving!
Ahoy matey, let me know when it be out thar. I be pluggin’ it on me blog.
I would read this. I love mouse stories. The pitch is good, but I feel as if he has to protect himself, rather than his home. Or, are they literally destroying the library? I feel a lot of fun going on in this story.
Happy Thanksgiving all.
Thank you for sharing your reaction to Mary’s pitch, Mona – I think she’ll find it helpful to know how it hits people who haven’t read the story. Happy Thanksgiving to you!
Good point! I will give that question some thought and figure out how to be more clear about what is going on! Happy Thanksgiving!
I like that the mouse lives in a museum and kids could perhaps learn Hong’s from the exhibits as the story unfolds. First graders in our state study rocks for their science curriculum, so maybe it could be a rock museum and we get to learn about different types of rocks along the way. Might just add another layer to the book to make it stand out.
Susanna, I LOVE your writing contents and would look forward to a Christmas contest (if you have the time) but now that I am back to teaching full time, not sure if I will be able to participate this year. Love seeing others’ entries, though!!
Thanks for your helpful comments for Mary, Liz, and your thoughts about curriculum connections! Maybe you can get your class to write an entry as a group 🙂
Thank you for your feedback! The rocks put a new spin on the story, and I will have to think about it! Happy Thanksgiving!
Wow! I’m late to the party. You’ve already received a ton of excellent advice, so I’d just say that yes, I would read this, especially if you add the glitz, pep up the last sentence and give the reader an inkling of how this story would be different from other mouse escape stories. And that usually means a strong voice.
Happy TG, Susanna! Those muffins look truly scrumptious!
Thanks, Jilanne! Sounds like it’s a consensus to punch up the query and make it grab an agent!
Appreciate the feedback!
Thanks for chiming in for Mary, Jilanne! Hope you had a great TG! (And the muffins ARE scrumptious! 🙂 )
Thank you to all who weighed in on my pitch! The back story: I taught outreach classes at a small town (natural history) museum that was (literally) overrun by mice. That experience was the inspiration for the story. Parker’s plan involves haunting the museum.
Sorry to be slow to respond! After traveling for the past few days, I fired up the computer. I have been gone for three months, and just getting my bearings! But, the turkey is in the oven! I greatly appreciate everyone taking their time on a holiday to respond- special thanks to Susanna! I vote for a holiday contest!
We have the best community ever, Mary, don’t we? Everyone is so generous and helpful!
Absolutely- I was so overwhelmed coming home Tuesday night, and really did not expect so much help. When you suggested the date, I did not think about the timing, ut it worked out well- reading all the comments helped get me through a very long day on Thursday. Thank you sincerely for sponsoring this and providing the opportunity- I printed up all the comments so I can go through them with my MS hardcopy and make notes.
So helpful with my query- opened up my eyes to issues I was not seeing! What a great community!