Woo hoo! It’s Wednesday!
And that means it’s time for Would You Read It!!!
But first, this week, we get to choose our favorite pitch from May!
Our brave and industrious pitchers took all of your helpful advice to heart and worked hard to improve their pitches. The results are below.
Please read through the 5 May pitches carefully and decide which one you think is best – most makes you Want To Read It! 😊 – and then vote for your favorite in the poll below by Sunday June 23 at 9PM Eastern. The winning pitch will be sent o editor Erin Molta for her comments!!!
May Pitch Pick
#1 – Nadine – Puffcaso (PB ages 4-8)
The ocean art contest is days away. Pufferfish is diligent at creating his masterpiece only to have it destroyed by a hostile and fearsome deep-ocean dweller. However, a faceoff with his adversary leads Pufferfish to learn the value of teamwork.
#2 – Nicole – The Reluctant Unicorn (PB ages 4-8)
Thaddeus isn’t like other unicorns – he doesn’t have a flashy name, he can’t sing or dance, and his special power is a bit of a…well…snooze. When a dragon attacks town, Thaddeus will gladly let the other unicorns take the spotlight. But when the dragon accidentally threatens his little sister, Thaddeus must put his best hoof forward and save the day.
#3 – Sarah – Cake, By Sloth And Ant (PB ages 3-7)
Friends Sloth and Ant bake a cake. While Ant is up to her feelers in flour, however, Sloth sleeps. Sloth awakes and sneaks a sample of the finished product, and Ant gets angry. Uh-oh! Sloth whips up an apology and Ant adds a hug to the mixture. Sloth comes up with the perfect ingredient for the finishing touch.
#4 – Keely – How We Say, “I Love You” (PB ages 5-8)
Evangeline’s older sister cannot use her voice to speak and often gets upset. When her sister pulls her hair, it hurts. Evangeline wishes her sister could just tell her she loves her. As she begins to listen in different ways to her sister, Evangeline starts to “hear” her a little more clearly. In “How We Say ‘I Love you!’” Evangeline not only begins to understand her sister better, but she also finds creative ways to show her that she loves her, despite their different ways of communicating.
#5 – Andrew – Dorian And The Silent Piano (PB ages 6-8)
In a search to find his talent, Dorian becomes captivated by an old man playing a piano with great gusto and joy. There’s just one problem-Dorian is deaf. Guided by the old man, Dorian struggles to read music, hear notes, and learn proper hand movement across the keys. As their special friendship develops, Dorian learns that talent can be one of heart.
I know! Tough decision! How about a little Something Chocolate to ease the trauma of having to choose! 😊
Chocolate Cake With Whipped Chocolate Frosting
The decision trauma is practically a thing of the past already after that scrumptious and delicious cake, wouldn’t you say? I hope you all feel sunshiny and re-energized!!! 🙂
Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Ana who says, “I’m also a sassy Latina with two books for children in Brazil. One of them received “Honorable Mention” by the “Brazilian Academy of Letters.” My Spanish Easy Reader–EL PATO QUIERE UVAS –will be released in the fall of 2019 by “Teacher’s Discovery.” When I’m not writing, I’m having a blast creating stories in Spanish with my elementary students. I’m an active member of SCBWI, Storyteller Academy and 12×12.”
Find her on the web at
Here is her pitch:
Working Title: Bella The Best Quits Again
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: BELLA THE BEST QUITS AGAIN (520 words) is a laugh-out-loud picture book about growth-mindset. Gifted kids are expected to be the best at everything. Bella, a sassy Latina inspired by Junie B. Jones, quits everything she (barely) tries because she’s not the best at it: her backflips look like giraffes rolling downhill and her dulce de leche frosting like crocodile skin. Some empanadas de chicken waffles might be the first step to a determined Bella. It’s written for kids 4-8 who enjoy The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Garry Rubinstein.
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 Ana 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!
Ana is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to Friday which is the first official day of summer! Fingers crossed it won’t rain and we’ll get our local fireworks show!!!
Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊
16 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #329 – Bella The Best Quits Again (PB) PLUS The May Pitch Pick!!!”
This sounds like an interesting book. I would like to know what her overall goal is.
Agreed. I will definitely read it but I want to know more❤️
Good luck to all of the May entries – such a difficult choice!
Ana, I like Bella’s spirit & the problem you highlight. I think you can strengthen your pitch by deleting “laugh out loud” – give a glimpse of the humor to cause a reader to laugh instead, and the word count. I also think you can delete the last sentence and use that in a comp section of a query letter. Use the space to give more hints as to why making empanadas changes everything for Bella.
I hope these suggestions help as you revise your pitch.
I really like the idea of facing down perfectionism and the high-energy/humorous tone Bella’s story conveys. It’s a tricky balance to convey a story’s meta/executive functioning skills within a pitch and I think this one is a bit heavy-handed. Perhaps eliminate some teacher-speak (e.g. ‘growth mindset’ and/or the phrase about gifted kids) since every kid is growing and any kid may have a variation of this all-or-none tendency. Word to the wise: I’m told agents/editors cringe when authors offer predictive superlatives ‘laugh out loud.’ The cultural references seem like natural touch points for revealing Bella’s traits and the plot points. Perhaps subbing a non-food reference for one of the foodie ones you offer will give more balanced variety. ‘Back flips like a giraffe rolling downhill’ is a GREAT image – funny and clear.
I would definitely read this. I’d like to say I identify with the gifted perfectionist… but nah. It’s not me at all! Anyway, I’d leave out the first sentence completely, and jump right in with the problem. I read the pitch a couple of times before figuring out that the empanadas were her road to success. Maybe strengthen that sentence with more punch so the reader gets that that’s what finally clicks. Good luck!
Fun pitch and story. I’d be interested. Love the title and the fun examples of what her efforts produce, but I’d not begin w/ the growth-mindset section, put it further on down in the pitch. Also, agree that agents/editors like to make up their own minds as to if this is “a laugh-out loud” book. Good luck. And yes, it was a hard vote for May,
Being a fellow educator, I like the concept and love the title. I am stuck between a Maybe and a Yes. On the technical side, I see the boxes mostly checked, but thinking like a person who is getting a pile of pitches, I think the pitch is a bit wordy and passive.
The first sentence is not needed. It is informational. I realize this is more of a query letter than a pitch. In most letter structures, this would be found in the second part of the letter. The pitch is the first line(s) that set the hook to read on.
The second sentence is also informational. It does nothing for the story and red flags me to the story being didactic. It can be combined with the third sentence where your pitch really begins.
The third sentence gives me both a query and a pitch. I would eliminate everything between the commas. Does her ethnicity play into her problem? If not, I would drop it because it narrows the market to a specific group of readers.
Perhaps do it something like this: Bella is used to praise because she only does things she knows she can do well.If she isn’t the best, she quits. When her backflips look like giraffes rolling down hills and her dulce de leche frosting looks like crocodile skin, she decides they are not for her.
Then wrap it up with a hint of how or why she changes. Don’t just “Tell” us, let Bella tell us through her actions.
Again, get rid of the last sentence as a part of your pitch and put it in the technical part of your query.
Ana, I think is a great pitch. It’s well-written and humorous. I love the “barely”. 😊 I wonder if this is really a chapter book, rather than pb. The depth of theme and character arc may lend itself to that (plus the Junie B. Jones – love her! – reference). Thanks for sharing and good luck!
Although I never thought of myself as gifted or needing to be best, I did avoid some things because I did not want to be laughed at or looked down on. We don’t need to be officially gifted to have those feelings. I’m new to writing pitches, so I’m not going to make suggestions to improve it. It did capture my interest. I would read it and hope that I can in the future!
Yes, I would read it. The title is a hook for me. The funny details in the pitch (comparing things to giraffes and crocodiles) lead me to believe I’d enjoy reading this funny story aloud. I think Junie B. Jones is hilarious, so that comp is also a hook for me as a reader. Best of luck!
Yes, I would read this book. I think you could delete the first two sentences of the pitch and start right in telling us about Bella. Love the visuals of the backflips and frosting, but as others have said, I didn’t quite understand what was happening with the empanadas. If you can expand on that sentence and maybe remove some of the references to comps (including Junie B. Jones), I think your pitch will be stronger. I think you can include the comp titles separately from the pitch.
Sounds like a fun read. Good luck!
Thanks so much for all the comments. They will be help me writing a stronger pitch. I agree with removing gifted kids and too much teacher’s vocabulary. 😄
I would definitely read this book. Loved the premise of life from a gifted child’s perspective. The examples about the things Bella tries are hilarious. The book sounds humorous as well as insightful with much for kids to relate to and for adults to learn about gifted kids. Two thumbs up!
Oh my goodness this was a very hard decisions. Wow the talent in this batch. Susanna that you for what you do. You introduce us to some really great writers.
Based on the title alone, I’d read it. It sounds so funny and I love Junie B. Jones.
I’d love to read it and have my cake too.
Thanks, I guess if this book ever gets published, it should be sold with some dulce de leche cake mix, right?