Would You Read It Wednesday #324 – Cake, By Cat And Bear (PB) PLUS The April Pitch Winner!!!

Hello, dearies!

Just when I think I might be approaching being organized, a tight deadline comes along and WHAM! I am speedily disabused of that notion!

So, since I have a deadline in a matter of hours, there will be no chit-chat today!

Right down to business! That’s me!

First, I’m thrilled to announce that the winner of the April Pitch Pick is Mary with her pitch for April Showers!  Congratulations, Mary!!!  Your pitch is on its way to editor Erin Molta for her thoughts and I’m sure you’ll hear from her soon!

Congratulations as well to all our other amazing pitchers who did such a fabulous job writing and submitting their pitches so bravely for your comments, and then taking your feedback and improving their pitches!  Well done, all of you, and I hope you’ve come out of this with pitches you feel are stronger than what you started with!

In celebration of our awesome pitchers and because by golly! I need something to perk me up after an inadequate amount of sleep (please refer to deadline mentioned above) I think it’s time for Something Chocolate!  How do you feel about  Easy 5-Ingredient Black Forest Trifle?  As you can see, it has fruit in it, so that makes it breakfast in my book.  (Not the book I’m currently writing, just, you know, the proverbial my book…  Sorry, this is the kind of drivel that occurs when you’ve been banging your head on the wall for a few days… Muse, thy name is Capricious! 😊)

Easy 5-Ingredient Black Forest Trifle

Doesn’t that look scrumptious???!!!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Sarah who you know very well by now! 😊  Sarah says, “I am an Optometrist, mother, and lover of the outdoors. I live in NH with my husband and two children. I love to paint in my free time, when I’m not writing.”

Find her on the web at www.sarahheturadny.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Cake, By Cat And Bear

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-7)

The Pitch: Two friends plan to bake a cake. Only Cat ends up doing the work; Bear takes a nap. This, as well as an additional unfair action by Bear, causes problems between the two friends. All is made well in the end and Bear even makes up for his earlier lack of action.

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 Sarah 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, 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, but there’s no harm in saving yourself a spot!

Sarah is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to a 1) a nap after close of business, and 2) a celebratory weekend because someone in my house is graduating from college!  😊😊😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

 

26 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #324 – Cake, By Cat And Bear (PB) PLUS The April Pitch Winner!!!

  1. tiffanydickinson says:

    Susanna, best of luck with your deadline. They do have a way of sneaking up on you!
    Sarah, “Cake” sounds like a fun book, and I would read it. I think you could add some snap to the pitch by jumping right in with something like, “Cat wants to bake a cake and Bear’s on board. But Bear finds that sleeping (and getting into other mischief) keeps him too busy to help. Can Cat do it in spite of Bear? Will Bear shape up before it’s too late – for the cake and for their friendship?” Good luck and thanks for sharing!

  2. ptnozell says:

    Susanna, I hope the muse has returned in time to meet your deadline! Funny how she disappears at just the wrong moment.

    Sarah, this sounds like a fun take on stories like the Little Red Hen. I especially like the pairing of a domestic animal & a forest animal – it immediately grabbed my attention. I like the snappy start to the pitch, but I feel like the tone and pace change in the middle. Perhaps something like what Tiffany wrote, or perhaps, “Cat and Bear plan to bake a cake. But when Bear snoozes and [whatever else he does] and Cat becomes angry, the pair must find the right ingredients [or recipe] to save the cake and their friendship.”

    Sarah, I hope these comments help – kids love baking & animal stories, so you have the recipe for a winning picture book here!

  3. Wendy says:

    You are so organized compared to me, Susanna! I hope everything fell into place.
    Sarah, I would take out your last sentence–a reader expects that everything will turn out okay in the end in a picture book. What I’d expand is the “unfair action” and the problems created. Amp up the description of the conflict and stakes in this delicious book!

  4. Kathy Halsey says:

    Susanna, eat that Black Forest Trifle for breakfast and I guarantee you’ll m get your deadline. Good luck. I love the premise of CAKE and the conflict is right fronting the pitch. Bravo. I would like a few specifics to be more investing in the story, though. What is the unfair action? Can you give a hint? I do like the rewording Tiffany suggested. And how about whipping up a bit of cake baking language in the pitch to add some spice? (See what I did there? Embed some fun language!) Good luck.

  5. Judy Sobanski (@jkspburg) says:

    Susanna, sometimes deadlines are just what I need to get me to complete my work! Good luck!

    Sarah, I like the idea of your story. Maybe you could liven the pitch up a bit and give a little more detail. It’s unclear what “unfair action” is? Is it something mean? Is it mischievous?
    Perhaps something like: Cat and Bear plan to bake a cake together. While Cat is up to his/her whiskers in flour, Bear naps. When Bear ___________, Cat has had enough! Now Bear must figure out the missing ingredient that will keep their friendship from falling flat. Might be a bit corny, but you get the idea. 🙂 Best of luck to you!

    • sarahheturadny says:

      Yes, I will liven up my pitch… Thanks for your help! I LOVE The “missing ingredient” part. So cute! Thank you so much… Oh, I love corny, sometimes I can’t tell the difference between corny and funny/cute/etc.

  6. Corine Timmer says:

    Sarah, I like the idea behind this story. We can all relate to it. I am curious to find out more and how the problems are resolved. Perhaps start your pitch with the characters’ names? I would like to know what other problems Bear causes and what the climax is. When does Bear realize he needs to roll up his sleeves and help his friend? Personally, I don’t think you need to spell out the ending. Your title is not really working for me. Perhaps something like: Can Cat and Bear Bake a Cake?

  7. Rene` Diane Aube ~ Children's Author says:

    Hi Susanna and Sarah ☺

    Yes, i would read thia book! Especially since i love to bake and i love cats and bears (as long as theu are the cute cuddly stuffed kind and not the o es with claws and teeth).

    After devouring a bit of that delicious trifle, and reading the suggestions already made, I can only say that I agree with those who have advised to use fun language related to the story. I would like to feel a bit more of cat’s emotions as well.

    Hope that helps in some way! Hope you accomplished all that was necessary, Susanna, and get some rest, too. 😊 Happy pitch day!

  8. Jennifer G Prevost says:

    Sarah, I would certainly read this! It has just enough elements of some of my favorite stories and a wonderful premise. You have some FANTASTIC suggestions to revise your pitch already, I don’t think I could offer any better than Tiffany, Patricia or Judy, so I’ll just leave you with a bit of good luck and happy writing!

    • sarahheturadny says:

      Thanks, Jennifer, I’ll take that good luck and hold it tight! Someday, SOMEDAY, I’ll get “the call.” (Magazine editors don’t call, at least not in my experience, so they don’t count!)

  9. matthewlasley says:

    Good morning.

    I believe your story is a classic take on the “fairness” of our world. However, the pitch does not sell me. As I read it, it feels more like a synopsis than a pitch. I want to hear voice, either yours or the characters. I get the premise (two friends bake a cake) but why? Why does it matter to cat that bear takes a nap….isn’t that what bears do?
    Since the story seems classic, I would assume that it is also didactic.
    Lessen the ambiguity and let the characters (especially cat) tell me what problem he is facing and why it is a problem. How does he feel about his friend bear taking a nap?

    • sarahheturadny says:

      Great question: WHY. I’ll take that as a challenge to try to sell you with my revision! 🙂 I know you said esp. Cat, but I was thinking (between the time that I submitted the pitch and now) to change the story and make it from Bear’s perspective, b/c I was at a conference the other weekend and realized I may have more luck with a mc that is MORE flawed.

  10. Katie Engen says:

    While this is a bit young for my PB appetite, it’s clearly a classic theme simply presented for the very young*. Some of punctuation (lots of commas, the semi-colon) and that capital And in the title are distracting. Opening sentence seems like a close attempt at introducing a simple (almost Mr. Rogers) tone. Yet it’s a bit passive voice (‘plan to’). Can you give a bit more specificity than ‘unfair action’ and ‘lack of action’ to reveal a bit more about plot or Cat’s or Bear’s attitude? Is somebody annoyed? Tolerant? Overwhelmed? Chagrined? Other?

    *With a few more layers (maybe humorous art), this could make a great read for any classroom about to embark on the dreaded ‘group work/shared grade project’ format.

  11. Shaunda Kennedy Wenger (@Wenger13) says:

    Food and friendship make quite and enticing match. I like the premise, but I think the wording can be made a bit more snappy, such as what Tiffany suggested. I also think the connection between the want and the obstacle could be more defined. On the most basic level, both Cat and Bear want cake, but what is getting in the way of getting the cake in the end? Does Cat really need Bear to help bake it? Is there a deadline? Or, is the problem that Cat wants companionship while baking, but Bear isn’t giving it? Or, Is the problem that their friendship is in jeopardy if Cat feels neglected? Have fun!

  12. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    It’s so late in the game, I sneaked a peek at a few of the other commenters, and sure enough, they felt the same way I do. We need to know what the “additional unfair action” is, so just say it already. We REALLY need to know that! All that being said, I LOVE this idea and would definitely read this! Good luck.

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