Welcome to Would You Read It Wednesday, where this week’s installment falls smack in the middle of Read Across America Week!
Read Across America Week begins with Read Across America Day – the Monday that falls closest to March 2, Dr. Seuss/Theodor Seuss Geisel’s birthday – and continues for a week of reading celebration.
I don’t know about you guys, but I loved Dr. Seuss and so did my kids. I read The Cat In The Hat, The Cat In The Hat Comes Back, Green Eggs And Ham, One Fish Two Fish, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, and many others so many times I could recite them verbatim when my kids needed entertainment in the car or waiting in any of the many situations that require waiting (the DMV, the supermarket, doctor’s and dentist’s offices, airports, restaurants…) The man was a genius!
So what are you reading this week? What are you writing? How are you celebrating with your kids and/or students?
Whatever you’re reading, it goes better with Something Chocolate! (Like how smoothly I slipped right into chocolate time? But let’s be honest, any celebration is a good reason to have cake 🙂 )
Today I think we’ll wander on the road less traveled. I know we all often think of white chocolate as milk and dark chocolate’s lesser sister – a chocolate imposter – but it IS technically still chocolate, and sometimes it’s nice to change things up a bit, especially when no baking and fresh raspberries are involved. What could be better for breakfast?
No Bake White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
Doesn’t that look decadently delicious? But if thinking of it as health food makes it more appealing as a breakfast choice, no problem! It’s fresh fruit, calcium, protein, and whole grains 🙂
Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Rose who says, “I am a former reading specialist and lover of literacy, nature, and all things pumpkin. You can read more at my blog http://www.imaginethepossibilities.wordpress.com or follow me on Twitter @RoseCappelli”
Here is her pitch:
Working Title: Rabbit’s Lists
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: It’s Stew Saturday and Rabbit’s whiskers are in a tizzy. She can’t find the vegetables she needs to make her special stew for Squirrel, Badger, and Porcupine. Rabbit searches and digs accepting no substitutions until she is finally forced to step out of her comfort zone and try something new.
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 Rose 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 April, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!
Rose is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to my school visit on Friday where I will be doing a new presentation (I won’t lie – I’m feeling a wee bit panicky!) so wish me luck!
Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂
27 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #351 – Rabbit’s Lists (PB)”
I would absolutely read ‘Rabbit’s List’. The title makes me smile from the get-go, and the language in the pitch says I’m in for a thoroughly entertaining reading experience – ‘Rabbit’s whiskers are in a tizzy’. Love it! It’s a thumbs up from London.
Thank you, Roo!
Susanna, that cheesecake not only looks delish but makes me think of warmer days, sunshine and fresh raspberries!
Rose, I would definitely read your story! I love how you let us know so much about Rabbit and how she likes routine and sticking to that recipe! I do think the last line is a little vague. Could you maybe add a “cooking” term to keep it fun and help us know a little more (without totally giving it away) about how she solves her problem? Maybe something like: …until she realizes that tweaking the recipe can have delicious results…or something like that, I’m sure you can come up with something better! 😉 Best of luck!
Thanks for the ideas, Judy!
Susanna, the cheesecake looks delish’! I think I’ll have to make a list & try this one soon.
Rose, I love the title, too, and I think you have a very strong pitch – I can guess at Rabbit’s personality (a detail-oriented, goes-by-the-book list maker), you introduce the other characters, you introduce the problem, and you give a hint at the answer. Bravo! The only tweak I’d make is to substitute something that fits the rest of the fun language for the phrase “step out of her comfort zone”, as that sounds more serious and analytical. Can’t wait to read Rabbit’s story!
Thanks! I appreciate your thoughts.
I am a yes, and I need/want a little more.
“Rabbit searches and digs accepting no substitutions until she is finally forced to step out of her comfort zone and try something new.” It’s this line where my eyebrows raise in a bit of “wait give me more” confusion.
Maybe it’s just wanting a sense of place, and an understanding of if she is alone in this search or meeting up with other characters.
It may be that I am wondering why the vegetables are missing. Did someone take them to force her to try something new? Did she think she planted her special stew vegetables, but actually planted something else? This inquiring mind wants to know.
I think the theme of having to try something new has great universal appeal.
Thanks very much!
I think the pitch is nicely written with a slew of animal favorites, and my personal all-time favorite, a rabbit. So I would, of course, be interested in reading it. My concern, however, is that it does sound very much like one of those ideas that has been done over and over again, so I worry that it may not stand out enough to an editor or agent. Make sure to read any and every book with a similar premise, both old and new, and make sure that your story is not only well-written, but has a fresh and new angle that will stand out. Good luck with this. Lynne Marie (www.literallylynnemarie.com)
Thanks for your suggestions. Much appreciated.
Upbeat, clever, unique. At first I thought Stew Saturday was a character – can the name be changed (e.g. Stew-making Saturday)? Maybe lead with Rabbits whiskers in a tizzy – it gets the problem front and center. Or, since the next line says Rabbit must make stew, just skip the day name in the pitch. The phrase ‘step out of comfort zone’ is not very new/fresh. Also, is there an option that more clearly represents the details of this story? Without getting too punny, I could be fun to add a twist in the final phrase (e.g. a nibble/taste of something new; spices it up a bit; or similar).
Rose–you’ve gotten some great suggestions here. I would have to agree that your first line is an attention grabber, as it sets the tone of your story. I’d also like to see you tweak your last line with some language that fits the tone/theme of your story to end your pitch with a punch. Good luck!
Thanks, Heather. Since you are someone who has read this story in several versions, I appreciate your comments!
I think your story has potential, but putting on my marketing hat, I would say no.
Your first line is great, but then the rest doesn’t follow up. I get a lot of voice and character from it and want to know why Rabbit’s whiskers are in a tizzy. I do have to admit that I am concerned why Rabbit is making a “stew” when 3 out of the 4 animals mentioned are herbivores and a stew is traditionally a meat and vegetable based soup.
The second sentence needs action. I want to get emotion from this. Why can’t she find the vegetables? Where is she looking? I would also advise to change the animals to “friends” since listing them slows down the pace. Is it necessary to know what kind of animals they are?
The last line is stronger, but seems paradoxical. She does all this work and refuses to make a substitution, but has to “step out of her comfort zone” to make the stew. Since a stew is a hodgepodge of ingredients, I wonder what she could choose that is out of her comfort zone? That is not a bad thing, but with the statement of “no substitutions” in a stew a paradox that can lend to the absurd. (I hope she isn’t tossing poor squirrel into the stew!)
For me, I want to know why this stew is special? Why do these friends have Stew Saturday? Why is this stew special to Rabbit?
In the end, what really pulls me out is that the pitch feels didactic. “…forced to step out of her comfort zone and try something new.”
I hope that this gives you some helpful feedback to give your story the best opportunity to find a home.
Thank you for your thoughts, Matthew. Many of the answers to your questions are found in the story, so perhaps that is a good thing that you want to know more. I do agree that I need to add more fun language and change that last line.
Many of the questions I asked should not be asked by marketing or an editor. I want to know how your story is different and why someone would want to buy it.
Personally, I like the idea behind your story, but I wouldn’t know how to sell it from your pitch because there are too many questions about the fundamentals in the story.
As it is now, I can not see where I would put it on a shelf.
Editors don’t buy books because they are cute or funny, they buy them because they think they can sell them.
Sell your book to them.
Your title immediately drew me in, Rose, and I agree with the advice given by the others (just a tad more detail and fun language in the last line). Not much else to add here! Great job, can’t wait to read this someday : )
P.S. My daughter’s name is Rose!
Thanks very much!
Good luck, Susanna, at school!
Yes, I would read this! It sounds adorable. I love the characters and the problem of not having what is needed to make a meal. At first it sounded like another story I’ve read, and I can’t think of the name. So you will want to read other books with similar cooking plots and animal characters to make sure yours is totally different and unique. I loved the first sentence of your pitch. I can just see it! I think you could play with the last sentence and jazz it up a little with more of the flavor (heh heh) of the first sentence. And maybe add a hint of why this day and stew are so important. But I definitely would read it! LOVE the premise! Best wishes!
Thanks for your thoughts, Angie. While the story does have to do with cooking, the message is more universal. I will definitely be working on that last line.
Rose, I’m a hard yes too! I don’t have more to add, other than I tripped up a bit on Stew Saturday, but it made sense as I kept reading.
Consider rearranging… “Rabbits whiskers are in a tizzy! Her friends (list them) are coming over but she can’t find any of the vegetables she needs for her famous stew…” Are you familiar with Marigold Bakes a Cake? That would be a great comp! Best of luck!
I would definitely let Mom read this to me. It sounds so fun. And maybe it can have a recipe included at the end. Is the “something new” a new recipe? Or just an adjustment of the old one? I hope Rabbit makes grilled chicken. It’s my favorite food beside kibbles.
Love and licks,
Hey Rose, I love the pitch! “Whiskers in a tizzy” really draws me in. And I like that it’s about getting out of her comfort zone and trying something new. One of my children struggles with this, so it appeals to me. Good luck on submission!
The pitch is well written and very visual, but it doesn’t jive with the title for me. Maybe it needs another adjective for the type of list? Definitely cute though!