Would You Read It Wednesday #364 – Tree Monster Tea Party (PB)

Hey there, Everyone!

Here we are at Would You Read It Wednesday again!

And this week we have a pitch! Hurray!!! 😊

You guys certainly stepped up to the call for pitches last week! I think (because of having to skip a week here and there for the upcoming writing contests and the holidays) that we are now scheduled through January 13. But keep working on those pitches and sending them along!!!

No doubt Something Chocolate will help you write your own pitches and think up helpful things to say about today’s pitch, so let’s not waste any more time, shall we? I’m thinking nothing says breakfast like Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars! What are your thoughts? 😊

Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars

Recipe HERE at I Am Baker

I mean, just look at the yumminess! CLEARLY those are good for you! 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Eileen who says, “For the last 28 years, I’ve run a preschool and daycare. Recently because of Covid, I’ve suspended my business and now teach remote learning art classes to our school district’s autism classes. You can follow me on Twitter: Eileen Mayo @Kidfunideas . I also have a website with free crafts, games, jokes, and recipes for kids at: http://www.Kidfunideas.com  “

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Tree Monster Tea Party

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

The Pitch: With the BFF tea party any minute, a broken chair could mean disaster! Never fear, good-natured Bear is off to the rescue until he trips, and gets his head stuck a log! As more forest friends stop to help, the problem grows and grows to epic proportions! In this action-packed cumulative comedy, the kooky cast of characters learn that teamwork makes the dream work and, there’s more than one way to solve a problem.

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 Eileen 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 January, so you have time to polish your pitch before putting it up for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Eileen is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to taking these two for a little hike.

They have been waiting (one patiently, one not so much 😊) so if I value the mostly un-dug-up state of my lawn I’d best get a move on 😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

43 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #364 – Tree Monster Tea Party (PB)

  1. Writer on the run says:

    I would read it, but I do think the pitch is too vague at times and a little confusing. The title is The Tree Monster tea party, but the party is referred to as BFF in the pitch. I would stick with the title.
    “ When a broken chair threatens to cancel the Monster teaParty, Bear is determined to help. When his head gets stuck in a log, forest friends race to the rescue, only to cause more problems and commotion,”
    Are there monsters in the story? Just Bear and forest friends are mentioned. I would also drop the description of an action-packed cumulative comedy- it’s a lot of description.
    “In this humorous story the tea party friends learn that teamwork…..

  2. swugar2 says:

    YES! This sounds quirky and fun! I can only imagine the hilarity that follows.The phrase ‘team work makes the dream work’ is cliche’ but that is probably just me. You are off to a rocking start!

  3. Katie Engen says:

    Fun premise! Love the term ‘cumulative comedy’ and while ‘team work makes the dream work’ is catchy, too, it’s a bit unoriginal sounding and hence a distraction from your storyline. In lieu of ‘grows and grows to epic proportions’ I’d love a quick hit on 3-4 more unexpected outcomes of each stage. Maybe some active verbs? The title does not seem to match the pitch. The upbeat tone is conveyed in wording so maybe ease of on use of exclamation marks.

  4. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    I would definitely read this. It sounds like every problem solving attempt of my entire life.

    Is there a monster in the story? It sounds like just animals from the forest. If there’s a monster (or a tree that’s a monster), then you should probably mention it somewhere in the pitch. Good luck with it.

  5. Angie says:

    Yes, I would definitely read this! Sounds like lots of fun. Is Bear the MC? The phrasing is unclear, since he decides to help. Help who? I think working a little on that first sentence will clarify. But I love the query and how things get crazier and crazier! And working together is great! I can’t wait to read it all! Best wishes!

  6. ptnozell says:

    Hi Eileen & Susanna! Waving wildly!!!

    As I’m fortunate to be in a critique group with Eileen, I’ve had the pleasure of reading this hilarious story. Perhaps I can help clear up what some of you found confusing in the pitch – the difference between the BFF Tea Party and the story’s title. I’d suggest the following:

    A broken chair could ruin Squirrel’s tea party. Never fear! Good-natured Bear races off to the rescue! But when he trips and gets his head stuck in a hollowed-out log, one by one, his forest friends add to the problem. Only when they try working together do they learn that teamwork makes the dream work, and that there’s more than one way to solve a problem.

    Can’t wait to read what others think and see Eileen’s revised pitch!

  7. rosecappelli says:

    This sounds like a great story that I would definitely want to read, but as others have said the title is misleading. From your pitch, I’m thinking here that monster refers to the tea party being big, not an actual monster, so maybe some clarification or a different title is needed. I would also include a few more specific examples that show taking the humor to epic proportions. Love the message of teamwork. Good luck with this! It certainly sounds like a fun read.

  8. Natasha K says:

    MAYBE. Love the themes of teamwork, problem-solving, and friendship. The story arch seems similar to A Bear Came Along. So I agree with other commenters to find the original hook and mention it in your pitch. The woodland tea party is nostalgic but I wonder if that limits the audience. Good luck and happy revising!

  9. Kim A Larson says:

    Thanks for clarifying, Ptnozell. I wondered who the MC was, so that’s solved. I like your revision. And yes, I would read this story as it has the potential to be funny and heartfelt, a great combination.

    I agree with the other commenters about omitting the teamwork-dreamwork phrase. Doesn’t seem necessary anyhow and its omission would tighten the last line. And I think “hollow log” may work better than hollowed-out log : )

    Sounds like a fun read!

  10. Deborah Wise says:

    I agree about the title, you might want to change the title.
    I would read it because I love forest animals and I am also writing books on forest animals.
    I also think you could come up with a more original phrase about teamwork.

  11. Deborah Foster says:

    I have also had the privilege to read this story! And it’s fantastic.

    I would agree with the thoughts so far and maybe instead of re-wording the title, is there a way to hint that bear and the other animals get mistaken for a monster when they “crash” the party?

    Great job Eileen!

    • Eileen Mayo says:

      Thanks Deb! I will have to re-word the pitch so that it is more clear. I love the line about “crashing” the party!! It’s a perfect foreshadowing.

  12. Sandy McGraw says:

    Yes, I’d read it. A cumulative comedy piques my interest. This type of story builds and builds – always a big hit with kids.

  13. matthewlasley says:

    I am a maybe.

    I like the premise of the story, but as said previously, Title…vagueness….so on. My issue is that there are too many cliches in the pitch. It makes me wonder if the story has depth or are we bouncy from one nuance to another.
    I love cumulative stories and that is what is keeping me wanting to read it, but I need to hear your voice, I know it is a pitch and short, and that is why it is important to hear YOU. Change out the “telling” and show me. For example “kooky cast of characters” (good alliteration by the way) can set you up for a big let down.
    Without your voice, the first thing that came to mind was the Winnie the Pooh story where he gets stuck in the hole. “Think small thoughts!”
    I get the vibe that this story has a tree monster (aka the Bear) that terrorizes the tea party until his BFFs try to help him.

    Think: Character/Problem; Escalated Problem/Antagonist; Failures; Hint of solution.

    Bear misses his hat and all he wants is to get it back. His forest friends; Fox, Deer, nervous Rabbit and others, haven’t seen his hat anywhere. But Bear is pretty sure he has seen it somewhere….wait a minute! Why was Rabbit so nervous?

    This pitch leads you through the Jon Klassen’s story quickly, tickles at the voice of the story and its tone, and brings you to the solution without giving it away.
    (PS- I recommend never to use questions unless it is rhetorical or is a question the agent/editor won’t ask. I ended this pitch with a question to draw them back to the nervous rabbit and a problem in the story that wasn’t obvious when they first read it. It can’t be answered without the full story but it doesn’t leave the reader scratching their head. Instead, it is meant to peak their curiosity to the solution.)

    • Eileen Mayo says:

      Thanks, Matthew for your thoughtful comments! I will definitely take out the cliche phrasing and work to tighten the pitch.

  14. Diana Lynn Gibson says:

    Yes, I would read this story and I love the premise. I love the idea of team work making the dream work. I would consider the title, however. As a primary grades teacher for 30 years, I would say that boys do not gravitate to a story about a tea party. Perhaps the story is about a tea party but pulling it off the shelf in the library, kids would look at the title and either keep it or put it back. Could you use “Team Work Makes the Dream Work” as your title? It’s catchy! Does BFF stand for “Best Friends Forever”? (I’m a bit older). There were commas not needed: (until he trips, and gets…) and
    (dream work and, there’s more…) – both cases the sentences are just compound Sentences, not complex. Great story overall!

    • Eileen Mayo says:

      Thanks, Diana Lynn for the comments. It didn’t occur to me that boys wouldn’t want to read a story about tea parties. I should have figured that out because I have 3 boys!

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