Would You Read It Wednesday #359 – The Bug Battle Circus (PB)

Hello, friends! Happy Earth Day!
(and Would You Read It Wednesday!)

A little message from our sponsor (me 😊): This land is your land, this land is my land. . . Let’s take good care of it 💚🌷



And a wonderful book to read on this day:

You Are Home: An Ode To National Parks (linked to perfect picture book review)

You Are Home

While we are celebrating Earth Day by singing and reading and maybe planting a flower or a tree, we will certainly need Something Chocolate.  In our never-ending quest to keep the kiddos busy and entertained during our confinement, let’s make Banana Giraffes!  It’s more of an art project snack than an actual recipe, but it’s fun!

You will need bananas, chocolate-covered raisins or chocolate chips, sliced almonds, and a little hot fudge or creamy peanut or other nut butter (or icing if you have food allergies) in a piping bag (or ziploc with the corner cut) to draw the face.  If you are so forethoughtful as to have some googly eyes on hand you can use those instead of drawing eyes with fudge/peanut butter/etc.  I think it’s pretty self-explanatory how to put them all together from the picture 😊

Banana Giraffes (which have chocolate on them!) 😊

Banana giraffes

Aren’t they so cute?  Delicious and nutritious! And so obviously healthy you don’t even need me to rationalize it for you! 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Sierra.  Sierra Wilson is the author of The Atonement of Jesus Christ Is for Me (Cedar Fort, 2018) and the upcoming My Testimony Tree (Cedar Fort, 2020) and I Can Be Like Jesus (Covenant Communications, 2020). She spends most of her time keeping up with her wild, wonderful little ones and used to work as a high school English teacher and community art educator.

Find her on the web at:
Twitter: @SierraTWilson
IG: @sierra.arts.poems

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Bug Battle Circus

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-8) Narrative Nonfiction/Humor

The Pitch: When household pests go head to head in the Bug Battle Circus, which crawly critters will be victorious? You guess! A wild, interactive story comparable to Bob Shea’s Crash, Splash, or Moo! and the Who Would Win? series. Nonfiction backmatter included.

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 Sierra 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!

Sierra is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to watering and enjoying the beautiful little rose bush my daughter gave me for my birthday… but not planting it outside quite yet because it keeps snowing! 😊


Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

categories: WYRI

tags: writing exercises, writing fun, writing practice, pitches, recipe name, recipe blog

17 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #359 – The Bug Battle Circus (PB)

  1. Katie Engen says:

    The pitch’s upbeat tone is compelling – makes me eager to read a story with a similar feel to it. Yet I’d like a few specifics about why or how the battle rages and related details about a bug or two. Is it humor-based? Informational fiction? And why is it up to the reader to choose the outcome? Is it an interactive story or is that just a general invitation to read? The comps can go elsewhere in the query since they take up a lot of words for a short pitch.

  2. Deb Buschman (@DebBuschman) says:

    You had me at Bug Battle. The circus part confused me because when I think of circus I think more of preforming not battling or fighting. If there is no preforming in the story then you may want to stick with just Bug Battle which I am already imagining a roach taking on a fly. This is something I would read. Yes!

  3. fspoesy says:

    Hi Susanna! I love how the banana giraffe noses are little smiley faces!

    Sierra, this is currently a maybe for me. I like the idea of the Bug Battle Circus, which makes it seem like it is a play battle, rather than a true circle-of-life battle to the death. But that said, I’m confused by the mention that it is non-fiction. Or is it just the back matter that is non-fiction? If that is the case I would remove the description of it being narrative non-fiction. If it is definitely non-fiction then I guess I’m not getting a good feel for what this book looks like.

    I think maybe my confusion comes from the huge difference between the comp books. While I think the wackiness of Bob Shea combined with the non-fiction content of Who Would Win? could work, the pitch doesn’t tell me how it would work and I think that might be something an agent or editor would want to know.

    Also, and this may just be me, but describing the characters as household pests makes me think of cockroaches, mice, and rats. I don’t have a problem with those animals as picture book characters, or as valid subjects of non-fiction treatment, but describing them in the pitch as household pests just seems like a negative, unlike crawly critters, which seems fun.

    Best of luck with your pitch!

  4. ptnozell says:

    Happy Earth Day! I’m celebrating by watching my container garden grow oh so slowly on my balcony, which helpfully sheltered them from the worst of the unseasonable temperatures last night. Listen closely and perhaps you can hear my encouraging chants: “Grow, Peas, Grow!” “Leaf, lettuce, Leaf!”

    Now then, back to the bugs (which hopefully are not scheming about a garden invasion anytime soon), I think creepy crawlies are a terrific subject for a picture book. Their antics will provide loads of illustration possibilities. I’m confused by the title, though: are the bugs in a performance competition (the circus) or an actual fight? If a fight, is this with each other or with humans (who, presumably, don’t want to share their space with creepy crawlies)? I agree with the comment above to save the comp’s for another spot in your query, and instead give us more details about the types of critters & how this story is interactive.

    I look forward to reading a revised pitch. And I look forward to harvesting peas & lettuce sometime soon!

  5. matthewlasley says:

    I think I would read more.

    I’ll admit I was a little confused with “Battle Circus”, but upon thinking on it, “Bug Battle” is too aggressive and I think that the Circus adds the playful side to it.

    Typically comp titles come later in a query pitch, but there are many kinds of pitches and I think they are fine where they are at.

    I too wish for more details, but 1) I am not sure how you would do that without destroying your pitch, and 2) the details I want I feel would be the right questions to have an agent or editor ask.

    Your comp titles dispel the voice of the story and sets the bar high for you! Good luck!

  6. Sarah Tobias says:

    I am intrigued and feeling a bit confused about your pitch. The story doesn’t sound like non-fiction based on what you wrote, but I am totally intrigued if it is non-fiction. Is this about real bug battles that take place in nature? Inquiring minds want to know. I feel like you need to write more into your pitch and then edit it down. Also, is this really non-fiction or is it a fictional story that includes backmatter? I am a maybe. Weird bug stuff is cool in my opinion, just not sure yet what this story is.

  7. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    I would definitely read this. It sounds like the American Idol of bugs. It seems less like a circus and more like a battle, so unless there are specifically circus events, I think you could safely drop that from the title. I’d love the pitch to name a few of the bug contestants. Nonfiction backmatter is a great idea. Fun with the bugs. Facts about the bugs. I get that. Good luck.

  8. ingridboydston says:

    First things first- those giraffes look cuuuuuute and tasty! How fun!
    Second- true confession time, when I first read your pitch Sierra I was an absolute yes! But after reading the suggestions I think they make some very good points. So I’m still a yes but I would clarify as suggested above. It will be even better than it already is! Have fun!

  9. palpbkids says:

    It sounds like your story is full of sparkle. I bet there’s so much to tell. How about showing that in your pitch?
    You can leave this part for your query: A wild, interactive story comparable to Bob Shea’s Crash, Splash, or Moo! and the Who Would Win? series. Nonfiction backmatter included.

  10. Corine Timmer says:

    Hello, Sierra. Based solely on your pitch I’m afraid I’m a no. There’s too little information to get me hooked. Household pests sounds grown-up and long-winded. How about “house bugs”? Who are your main characters? (There shouldn’t be too many. Does one stand out?). What causes the clash (challenge)? What’s the solution? Can you give us a hint? Where are we? In a circus? An arena? In the house or outside? Is it a battle or a competition? What are the stakes? How about Bugs’ Battle or A Bug’s Battle or Critter Crash or Critter Clash? If you give me more information I could easily become a yes. I love all critters, including bugs. Good luck!

  11. sjwmeade says:

    Happy Earth Day! Those giraffes are adorable. The roses are beautiful. YES, I’d read it. I agree that I’d like to know more about the characters. Even an example of one competition and who’s competing would help. I like “crawly critters” and the interactive component. Good luck, Sierra! Thanks for the post, Susanna!

  12. ekachala says:

    Hi Sierra, I am a yes! I’m intrigued by the topic, your approach to making it interactive, and I love the upbeat, fun voice. But I also agree with the suggestions above, specifically, not to include comp titles in the pitch and instead to include more specifics of the story because I don’t know the other stories you are mentioning so that means I really don’t understand much about your book. Good luck, this is a great idea!

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