Would You Read It Wednesday #352 – What Would Mozart Do? (PB)

Hi there, my friends!

It’s Would You Read It Wednesday, once again!  Hooray!

Before we get to today’s pitch I want to spread some cheer.  The world seems to be a bit of an alarming place at the moment, and I think we can all use a little dose of cuteness and sunshine and happiness 😊

Untitled design (3)

And for anyone who is a writer, there might be a little story inspiration in puppies and easter eggs, springtime flowers and splashing in puddles 😊 It’s possible three little kittens has been done… but there’s always room for a new twist! 😊

Let’s follow with Something Chocolate – always a way to brighten the day!  I thought with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner it might be fun to add a little good luck into our chocolate 😊

Shamrock Pretzel Pops


So festive and delicious!  For even more chocolate-y goodness, you can dip the pretzels in white chocolate mixed with a drop of green coloring and let them set before adding the other ingredients!

Now that we are all feeling cheered, let’s have a look at today’s pitch which comes to us from Paulette.  Paulette is a writer and pianist who dreaded every one of her childhood piano recitals. Her debut picture book, A Doll for Grandma: A Story About Alzheimer’s Disease (Beaming Books, 2020), was inspired by her work as a volunteer pianist in memory-care homes.

Find her on the web at:

Website: https://paulettesharkey.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/pbsharkey

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: What Would Mozart Do?

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 5-9)

The Pitch:  When a ringing cell phone derails Parker during his piano recital, he uses a tip from Mozart, a sparrow’s warble, and a bit of outside-the-box thinking to save his performance. A story about learning that things can be okay even when they don’t go as planned.

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 Paulette 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!

Paulette is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to Spring! 🌷🌷🌷

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊


47 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #352 – What Would Mozart Do? (PB)

  1. Nadine Poper says:

    Good Morning Paulette and Susanna.Yes I would read this because I feel that your pitch is pretty solid. It tells me who the main character is and what he wants, his obstacle, something he will do to overcome it and a hint at the lesson he may learn from it. As a birder, I find sparrows’ warbles are beautiful. I’m intrigued to see how Parker uses it to get through his piano recital.

  2. Lynne Marie says:

    I think this is great and would definitely read it. I would just emphasize the kid-door in a bit more so it comes off a bit more kid-friendly. You can set up that the child is nervous about the concert and show that the cell phone ringing feeds this, which is something almost any kid can connect with and identify with. Just loose it up a bit for more kid appeal as it sounds a little older/stiff, and it’s really geared toward 5/6. But really like it a lot. Love the Mozart and birds woven in. Good luck with it. Lynne Marie (www.literallylynnemarie.com)

  3. Kathy Halsey says:

    Yes, my interest is piqued by this story. First, I love the title and your background shows you are the right person to write this story. (piano.) I do think, like Lynne Marie, you should add more kid-relatable plot points. Maybe (just spit-balling here) Parker hated or had to be coerced into lessons like you as a kid, so leading up to the recital, we have more tension. Now he’s at recital and one more glitch before he figures it out. Even though you have details re: sparrow warble, and out-of-the-box thinking, those details have no true context to me. Sorry, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out. Congrats on your debut. A much-needed book.

  4. palpbkids says:

    Hi, Paulette,
    Firsts, CONGRATS on A Doll for Grandma: A Story About Alzheimer’s Disease!
    I can feel the ‘heart’ just in the title😊.
    Secondly, as a musician I hear the problem. Things like this really happen, don’t they! What a fun read this will be. I can see the escapades of “thinking outside-the-box” and take delight in looking forward to reading it.
    The only suggestion I would give is to use the rule-of-three. Meaning, add one more thing between ‘a sparrow’s warble, ‘____’, and a bit of outside-the -box’ to save his performance.
    Can’t wait to see this in print!
    Cheers, PALPBKIDS

  5. ptnozell says:

    Susanna, thanks for sharing good cheer. With so many events, including St Patrick’s Day parades, cancelled, it’s great to see some ways to celebrate at home.

    Paulette, I would read this, as I like that this is a kid-relatable problem and that you’ve woven in some facts about Mozart into this fictional story. I would like to learn a bit more about Parker (is he nervous, excited, happy, or sad about the recital), and I agree with Lynne Marie that this pitch reads a bit old (I’m not sure Parker would say his recital has “derailed”). With a few tweaks, I think your pitch will be pitch-perfect to match what seems like a terrific story.

    • Paulette Sharkey says:

      Thanks, Patricia! I’m glad to hear that you find Parker’s problem kid-relatable. The story came from an experience I had at a childhood piano recital, but Parker copes with it better than I did 🙂 I see what you mean about “derailed.” I’ll work on that.

  6. Carole Gerber says:

    I would read this, Paulette. PALPBKIDS got to your first with great comments, which would have been mine if I had gotten online in time. 🙂 I especially like the suggestion for the “rule-of-three” to show the difficulties before a creative “solution” to Parker’s nervousness is resolved.

  7. Katie Engen says:

    I really like it. Quick problem w/just-enough-hint at the solution set. Unique premise with enough familiar bits to appeal to many. Yet… there is something about this phrase: ‘a tip from Mozart, a sparrow’s warble’ that made me re-read that line 3x. I kept interpreting the warble as a sort of appositive for Mozart’s tip (as in Mozart relied on birds for something). I think it’s b/c Mozart is a Big Idea/Key Term so what follows should reflect back on him. Perhaps swapping the order of the 3 things or trying something like: ‘…during his piano recital, he saves his performance using a tip from Mozart, etc…’

  8. rosecappelli says:

    Yes, as someone with a music background I would definitely read this. I think your pitch gives all the information you need. “A tip from Mozart” and “outside-the-box thinking” are a little vague, but invite the reader in to learn more. Nice job!

  9. carrieandtodd says:

    *Maybe* –This is definitely a kid-relatable problem. With a little tweaking, I’d say “yes” as I think you have a fresh idea.

    My ‘maybe’ comes from two things–1) From the pitch, we already know Parker solves the problem instead of being left wondering if he will, 2) the “lesson learned” sentence at the end takes me away from the story aspect.

  10. bababloggayaga says:

    Arr, I be reading it, too. Always on the lookout for some outta the box thinking. But you doesn’t need you the last sentence, as it tells what you already showed in the one before.

  11. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    I’m not a musician, but the lesson of getting through an unplanned glitch in your practiced and perfect plan is universal. I love it! I would definitely read this. Pitch-wise, I would love a little more detail about the bird assistance and out-of-the-box thinking, but as it is, it definitely drew me in. Good luck!

  12. matthewlasley says:

    I love it. I would read it.

    You give me the story, a taste of the character and an interesting plot that makes me ask myself all the right questions. I am sure you will find a home for this!

    Good luck.

  13. marty says:

    Paulette, Yes, I’d read this. It’s an intriguing pitch that makes me want to know more! What is Mozart’s tip and how does Parker handle this disruption? Sounds like a fun story.
    I think I was always more nervous than my daughter when it came to recitals. Held my breath until she was done every time 🙂

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your reaction with Paulette, Marty! And having been both in front of the audience on a piano stool and in the audience watching my kids on various instruments it’s hard to say which was more nerve-wracking! But then, I never liked to perform! 🙂

    • Paulette Sharkey says:

      Nice to hear that my pitch makes you want to know more, Marty! I’m not sure my parents were nervous at my childhood piano recitals, but I definitely was — I dreaded those performances. I needed a story like Parker’s to reassure me that it’s okay when things don’t go exactly as planned.

  14. Sierra Wilson (@SierraTWilson) says:

    Hi Paulette!

    I like this pitch/story idea, but I’d give it a maybe because for me the story problem doesn’t seem quite big enough/dramatic enough. A ringing cell phone doesn’t seem like enough to ruin a performance–maybe something bigger?

    Thank you for sharing your work and congratulations on your debut!

    • Paulette Sharkey says:

      Thanks, Sierra! When I give a piano performance, a ringing cell phone is definitely enough to distract me and cause mistakes. In my story, the cell phone that derails Parker has a ringtone that sounds like a barking dog 🙂 But I’ll think about your comment that I might need something bigger.

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