Would You Read It Wednesday #358 – Brave Allie Mallie (PB) PLUS The March Pitch Winner!!!

Welcome to Would You Read It Wednesday, Everyone!

I know you’re all struggling to manage the demands of this somehow busier-than-it-should-be quarantine life, so let’s jump right into today’s pitch biz, shall we?

I’m happy to announce that the winner of the Late February/March Pitch Pick was Shae with her PB pitch for Skritch, Scratch, Sniffle!  Congratulations, Shae!  Your pitch has been sent to editor Erin Molta for her thoughts and I’m sure she will send them along at her earliest convenience!

Congratulations to our other pitchers as well!  Even if you don’t get to have Erin read your pitch, I hope the experience was still helpful and worthwhile and you’ve come out of it with a stronger pitch.  You were very brave to share your pitches for comment and feedback so we could all learn alongside you!

Given the stress of quarantine which causes some of us to never have to get out of our pajamas and others to wrestle with algebra and 4th grade social studies and what the proper use of a gerund is while also trying to run a business or file our taxes or write for deadlines etc, I think I speak for all of us when I say it’s time to break out the Something Chocolate!  How about some perfectly perfect Chocolate Filled French Silk Pie?

Chocolate Filled French Silk Pie

Yummy! yummy!! yummy!!!


So chocolate-y and delicious!!!  Now, go hang out your window and pretend you’re sailing the open seas or speeding down the big hill on your bike, roller blades, or skateboard, not stuck in your house! 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Elaine who says, “I’ve been writing children’s books for about three years and trying to climb the learning curve quickly!”

Find her on the web at www.elainekachala.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Brave Allie Mallie

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)

The Pitch: When Brave Allie Mallie accidentally, on purpose, forgets her mom’s note, she thinks she’ll escape the vaccination – she can’t. Allie and mom make a plan to calm her nerves but wait – what if Allie turns superhero? “ZAP! ZAP! You’re dead germs!”

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 Elaine 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 May, 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!

Elaine is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing the dance videos you all produce to the music clip above in order to while away the quarantine boredom! 😊

Have a wonderful healthy and happy Wednesday everyone!!! 😊


21 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #358 – Brave Allie Mallie (PB) PLUS The March Pitch Winner!!!

  1. Corine Timmer says:

    Susanna, that cake looks delicious. Your Something Chocolate always cheers me up.

    Elaine, I am a yes. I like your voice and the idea of something potentially terrifying turned into a fun challenge. I would like to learn a bit more about Allie’s desperation from your pitch. What feelings (hurdles) does she need to overcome? At the end, perhaps change: what if Allie turns superhero? into: Can Allie turn herself into a superhero? I hope that helps. Good luck!

    • ekachala says:

      Thanks Corine! You raise a great point, and thanks for the ending suggestion. Allie’s afraid of needles. I’ve been playing around with different versions that include this point.

  2. Susan Krevat says:

    I’m a “maybe.” The word, vaccination, doesn’t sit right with me. Then needing a note to get one? I like the superhero idea and getting rid of the germs; also I like the rhyming name.

  3. Katie Engen says:

    Allie’s rhyming name is appealing, but it’s not clear if or how it’s integral to the plot. The first sentence is a bit rushed. Two sentences can add a beat of tension (split to 2 after ‘vaccination’). Also, even there’s a vax/anti-vax message to the story the word ‘shot’ may resonate more with the intended readers (young kids). Same thoughts about the making a plan sentence – it may be better as two. I’d also like to know that Allie has a lead role in the planning (if she does). And a hint at what specific thing/moment helps Allie shift from nervous to superhero would be fun.

  4. ekachala says:

    Thanks very much Katie. You’re raising some great points. I am reworking the pitch to make it clear that she’s afraid of needles and you’ve given me a great idea by asking about what thing/moment helps Allie make the shift.

  5. rosecappelli says:

    I’m a yes. I think the premise of looking for a way to get around the need for a shot is very kid friendly. I was a bit confused by the reason for a note at the beginning. I would also like more of a hint at what the plan included. Love the “ZAP ZAP You’re dead, germs!” and Allie’s fun name. Good luck with your revisions.

  6. Melissa Stiveson says:

    Yes for me. Love the voice and playfulness. The questions I have are why is there a note and what is the hurdle? Sounds lovely.

  7. authorlaurablog says:

    I love the “accidentally on purpose” part of forgetting something because it’s great voice and so relatable. I love the rhyming name. Right now, anything to do with germs or vaccines is not something I want to read about. Also, TBH, anything about not being vaccinated doesn’t appeal to me because of the importance of herd immunity is not to be taken lightly. I’m a maybe later.

  8. ekachala says:

    Thanks Laura, your comments are very helpful. One comment and question to clarify: The book is not anti-vax. The story is actually based on science-based tips to help kids manage their needle fears (and includes back matter about vaccines and how to reduce the pain of needles). Does it sound anti-vax?

  9. matthewlasley says:

    I think I am a no on this one. I think overall the pitch is well written and I can clearly hear your voice as well as that of the character.

    I think I have to echo the vaccination concept. I think replacing it with “shots” might be less in your face. I am in Alaska, and I know that young kids can’t get a vaccine without an adult or guardian present, so the note part also pulls me out. And realistically, what parent would send their kids on their merry way to get vaccinated.

    I have not read your back matter, which is never a driving device for a story, but is the science-based tip to believe you are a super hero? That seems to be the solution here and that jerks me towards a no. That is lying to the kid!
    In the back matter, are the tips to help kids manage their needle fears anything the kid can “do” or is it parent oriented? If they are kid capable, does the character do them? If they do, then that is where the story lies and the pitch should be more indicative of that.

    Also, is there anything about you that makes you the person to tell this story? Do you have a background in medicine, a doctor or a nurse? That would be an important selling point for you story. Not in your pitch of course, but giving validity to your voice.

    Good luck with your story and keep writing!

    • ekachala says:

      Thanks Matthew, I appreciate your comments. I am a health researcher and have investigated the topic thoroughly (this would be in an author’s note). I can see that with just the pitch and my brief reply, there is context lacking. You’ve read way more into this than is really in the story. Trust me, the super hero stuff has nothing to do with the science-based tips! And the story is not reliant on the back matter.

  10. palpbkids says:

    Elaine, this sounds so entertaining! And what a great topic to choose. It never gets old!
    Just one tweak for a suggestion. Hope it helps.

    Brave Allie Mallie accidentally, on purpose, forgets her mom’s note and thinks she’ll escape going to the doctor and getting that nasty booster shot. When Allie’s mom helps her make a plan to calm Allie’s nerves, someone turns into a superhero. “ZAP! ZAP! You’re dead germs!” Watch Allie tackle her dilemma her way!

    Best Wishes!

  11. claireannette1 says:

    Hi Elaine,
    I think it sounds like a fun approach to an important topic. Perhaps instead of a note, Allie could be playing in the yard and pretend to not hear her mom calling for her to come and get in the car.

  12. ingridboydston says:

    Hi Elaine,
    I am a yes. I think kids could use a story to help calm their fears .Although, as others have stated you could reword the fear. I think something as simple as “afraid of getting a shot” would suffice. Vaccination has too many conotations, needles can sound TOO scary. Just a thought. I am a little confused by the needing a note aspect. I don’t understand how it works. But I love your voice! It sounds like a fun story to read with a nice take-away at the end. Good luck!
    BTW- I haven’t had time to make any dance videos Susanna, but I have made 2 pies! I may try this one next!
    Thanks as always! 🙂

    • ekachala says:

      Hi Ingrid, thanks so much! I was told by a public health reviewer not to use the word shot so there’s definitely a different opinion than I am hearing from the kidlit community overall, so I’ll have to sort that out. Thanks for your opinion about the word ‘vaccination,’ I am making some changes in the book because of this issue. I appreciate you taking the time! And enjoy your pies!

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