Hey there, everyone!
Just when you thought we’d never get around to the November/December and January/Early February Pitch Picks. . . guess what we’re doing today? 😊
Let’s jump right in, shall we?
Here are the pitches from November/December, some revised, some the same as the original:
#1 – Lynne – Samantha’s Swimsuit (PB 3-7)
Samantha is a girl who knows what she wants when it comes to fashion. When she was imagining the absolutely dreamy suit for summer swim lessons, Samantha forgot about one. Little. Detail. It would get wet. What if water ruins her perfect swimsuit?!? Now Samantha must decide if she is relegated to the lounge chairs (safely outside of the splash zone!) or if she takes a chance in the pool!
#2 – Lu – Mary Janes (PB 4-8)
All 6 yr. old Bella wants is a pair of new shoes, not just any shoes, but red Mary Janes. On her Saturday shopping outing with her grandmother, she notices the shoes of others. There are jump-roping girls wearing Keds, ice cream eating girls in black and white saddle shoes, and well-heeled ladies at her uncle’s butcher shop. Bella’s dream comes true in an unexpected way.
#3 – Megan – Wired To Worry (PB 4-8)
Bot arrives on the doorstep in a smiling box, ready to lead a perfectly programmed life. Except he’s not perfect. Bot has an extra worry port and everything from dripping water to malfunctioning lasers threatens to overload his system. But when disaster strikes, Bot just might find that being wired to worry isn’t a fatal error after all.
#4 – Sarah – Lilly’s Get A Great Night’s Sleep Book: Trust Me! It Works! (PB 4-8)
Lilly had a hard time sleeping. Maybe it was all the TV, the lack of bedtime snacks, or her wild imagination, but she finally figured out the (sort-of) perfect pre-sleep routine. Now she wants YOU to get a great night sleep too! In her made-for-TV style, Lilly shares her seven step method including bedtime buddies and a just right way to say good night.
Please choose the one you like best and vote for it in the poll below by Sunday April 5 at 9PM Eastern.
And now here are the beautifully updated and revised pitches from January/Early February:
#1 – Sarah – Waddles And Wheels (PB 4-8)
Wheels is waiting when Waddles flies in to spend summer at the pond. Waddles befriends Wheels and is undaunted by the toy duck’s limitations. Waddles quacks and takes the lead while Wheels clickety tickety follows along. When it’s time for Waddles to migrate, he tries to take Wheels with him but is forced to make a difficult decision. As spring returns, so too does Waddles and his new friend Lucille.
#2 – Paul – All Over The World (PB 4-6) (formerly Does It Rain?)
In a whirlwind tour of the world, from the Outback to Peru to Israel and Cameroon, ALL OVER THE WORLD (249 words, ages 6-8) reminds us that rain falls. The sun shines. Plants grow. Birds fly. Children read and laugh and play and write. Parents kiss their children and tuck them into bed at night. And all of us, regardless of age or gender, irrespective of orientation or creed, no matter our continent or city or home, share the same struggles and triumphs, fears and dreams, joys and laughter and hopes. All over the world.
#3 – Sarah – Bigness (PB 5-8) (formerly The Dark Bigness)
Theo wants to watch the colors swirl like music sounds across his eyelids, but he knows what’s coming. When the shifty shadows of sleepiness unleash the Bigness, Theo faces the scariest part of his pre-dream world: Monster. Theo summons all his courage to conquer the endless darkness of his imagination and fall peacefully asleep.
#4 – Rena – Iggy Crane: The Case of the Missing Bolt (CB 7-9)
A mystery is brewing in Monster Hollow. Kid detective Iggy Crane takes the case in hopes of following in her great uncle’s sleuthing footsteps. But as the day unfolds, Franko’s stolen bolt isn’t the only problem Iggy is tasked with. She must find a missing bat, stop a fight and calm a fearsome Egyptian princess. She better get detecting as the bolt is the key to winning this year’s science fair, starting in a few short hours. Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew meets The Legend of Sleepy Hollow with a dollop of science and a dose of spooky.
#5 – Augusta – Spotlight (PB 4-8)
Hank feels out of place in his theatrical family. Everyone has a talent
to showcase on stage, but him; his dad is an acrobat, his mom a ballerina, and his sister a magician. Hank longs to to shine in the spotlight too. Will Hank be able to save the day and get his chance to discover his talent under the spotlight when an unfortunate accident renders his family unable to perform on opening night?
Please choose the one you like best and vote for it in the poll below by Sunday April 5 at 9 PM Eastern.
Phew! All that reading and choosing and voting calls for Something Chocolate, don’t you think? Let’s go fancy and delicious with Chocolate Bird’s Nest Cake 😊
Chocolate Bird’s Nest Cake
Isn’t that so pretty? Also chocolate-y and scrumptious-looking?! Nothing says breakfast like chocolate cake 😊
Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Sandy who says, “I am a retired teacher that spends her days walking the dog and writing the stories I’ve carried in my head for years. Please find more about me at jesusjingle.com or on FB @makingmuchofHisname. ”
Find her on the web at
Here is her pitch:
Working Title: Capybara Triplets
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: The capybara triplets, Sebastian, Arturo, and Esteban, have had fun all day playing soccer, wallowing in the mud, and swimming. When it’s time to wind down the day and prepare for bed the brothers go into bedtime avoidance behavior with silly antics but little success. What will they find when they run recon to gather intelligence on the nighttime activities they are missing?
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 Sandy 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!
Sandy is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to seeing who wins these Pitch Picks and to (hopefully!) posting the Late February/March one next week so we’re all caught up!
Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone, and stay healthy and well!!! 😊
13 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #355 – Capybara Triplets (PB) PLUS The November/December and January/Early February Pitch Picks!!!”
Sandy, it’s fun to see capybaras as the main characters! This has potential not just as a bedtime book, but also of having fun facts about capybaras sprinkled throughout. I’d pick it up as a bedtime book with capybaras. But I’d like to see a little more of an idea what these three are actually doing.
Is their deepest desire to avoid bedtime and see what happens around them at night? If so, you could change the first sentence to reflect – that they are determined to find out what happens after they’re sent to bed. So, they ______. Can you give us a few examples from the story of their silly “bedtime avoidance behavior”? Instead of using this very pretty, but adult language. It’s generally not recommended to end with a question. Can you tweak the last sentence to show us what they discover? Not as a moral and not giving away the ending, but in the end they discover . . . Good luck, this sounds like a fun book.
Hi Sandy, This is splendid and needs little revision. The only suggestion I have is to capture the ‘spark’ in your story and add it in. Perhaps use a few words from the text? You could place it here: “When it’s time to wind down the day and prepare for bed the brothers (place some text here) .
The words ‘bedtime avoidance behavior’ sounds more like something written for a parenting guide.
Hope this helps.
Thank you, Maria, for the specific feedback. I so appreciate your thoughts!
Thanks for the specific feedback.
Sandy, capybaras as the main characters pull me in right away so yes, I would read this story. I think you can omit the first sentence of your pitch since we don’t need to know what they’ve been doing all day and perhaps make their goal a little clearer. Why are they engaging in bedtime avoidance behavior? It says they meet with little success, yet they are up running recon. If you work on the confusing parts,I think you have a winner!
Sandy, this sounds adorable. I would suggest starting with “When it’s time to wind down the day and prepare for bed the capybara triplets go into…
The fun they had during the day seems irrelevant in a pitch. Also I don’t know what running recon means. But that is probably me…LOL!
Love the use of capybaras and that they are triplets. Will the list of daytime activities directly connect to the night’s recon? As in, when/how did they switch from fun-loving to semi-paramilitary? It’s probably worth eliminating jargon-y ‘bedtime avoidance behavior’ (use it as an SEO tag). Shorten that sentence a lot & emphasize not winding down + silly antics to show the key elements. Is the triplets’ main problem having ‘little success’ at winding down or missing out on nighttime activities?
Sandy, I love the idea about a book about capybaras, as I know nothing about them. From the daytime activities you mention, it seems like they are little different from human children, though. I’d suggest highlighting activities that are unique to capybaras, and, if they’re generally nocturnal (is that why they feel like they’re missing out at night?), I’d mention that, too.
Susanna, what a lovely cake to welcome spring! I’m impressed and thankful that you whipped it up just for us! Happy April!
Based on your pitch I am a maybe but could easily become a yes. I would start your pitch with: When it’s time to wind down the day and prepare for bed the fun loving capybara triplets . . . What is the main problem? Why don’t they want to go to sleep? Is sleeplessness their main problem or is there something extraordinary happening at night? I am not sure how recon fits the story? How do they resolve the problem? Capybara facts could be woven into the story but that’s just my personal preference. Good luck!
I like the concept, but I think you buried the lead, so I am a maybe.
Think about where your book is going to fall in the market. Your book is going to be set next to other bedtime books and how is it going to fare? I haven’t read your story, so only you can answer this, but keep in mind agents and editors ask this question each time they read a manuscript.
I think your opening sentence is a bit long as it doesn’t address the idea of the story itself. I need the problem in the opening sentence. The triplets are having fun and don’t want to go to bed because…..
What they are doing during the day isn’t important to the pitch.
I love the second sentence because I am starting to get a feel for the characters; they are a bit obnoxious in a kid way.The sentence is a bit long and missing some punctuation. Again, it isn’t really the plot here. You are telling me what they are doing, but it isn’t until the last sentence that I find out why.
Putting the plot at the beginning now makes me understand why they are avoiding bedtime. It isn’t that they are simply obnoxious children, they have a fear.
This is a pet peeve of mine, but I never like to use questions in a pitch unless it is rhetorical and builds on either plot or character. It is tough, because it is natural to ask questions, but that is what we want from the editor, we want them to ask good questions about our story so they are interested in more.
Think of it like a joke. It only works if the other person (people) get it. If the comic tells you the reason you should laugh, it isn’t very funny. If you don’t get it, it isn’t very funny. “Okay, I am going to tell you this joke…trust me..it is hilarious! The punchline is…wait for it…A 3 legged frog!”
Delivery is key! So, how do you get the agent or editor to ask the question you told them?
It is a lot of work, but you can do it! And remember, if you add the plot to your first sentence, this can become a suspenseful sentence that leads me to asking the right questions.
I think you have a fun idea here and I am interested in how your story goes!
PS- Changing a question into a statement can be hard. You already have the answers so it seems absurd and frustrating. Write it as flat as possible below your question. Leave it and let it ruminate. Come back to it occasionally and it will pop out at you when the time is right.
YES! I love capybaras! I would love to read a book with three of them, and I love how you gave them Spanish names!
Hi Sandy – I think this is a cute story! Triplets avoiding bedtime sounds fun. I think the sentences are a little long, or maybe just need commas. I like the use of the “bedtime avoidance” and “recon”. Sounds almost like they are spies, or military. That could make fun pictures… capybaras in camo pajamas trying to get out of bedtime. Good luck!
Sandy, This is a terrific book that will no doubt appeal to this age group. I also agree that it doubles as a fun bedtime story with entertaining info about capybaras. Are you adding backmatter too? I do recommend tightening by shortening the pitch, adding more specifics from the text like about the silly antics you mention also removing their names. I’d also suggest beginning with this line “When it’s time to wind down the day and prepare for bed…” I agree with changing up the jargon (avoidance behaviour) and using more fun language. Best of luck!