Would You Read It Wednesday #370 – Gregory The Garbage Truck (PB)

Welcome to Would You Read It Wednesday, Everyone!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so it seems an appropriate moment to say

It would be no fun at all around here without you guys, so thanks for hanging around and participating in the high jinx and shenanigans and general tomfoolery! 😊

And since it’s almost Thanksgiving, let’s have something Thanksgiving-y for Something Chocolate today! I was going to go with chocolate-covered strawberry turkeys, (I added the link in case any of you wish to check them out) but this Chocolate Pecan Piecaken looked too good to miss 😊

Chocolate Pecan Piecaken

Doesn’t that look scrumptious?!

And everyone knows that pecans are really good for you because of some reason or other 😊 so you don’t even have to feel guilty having seconds! 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Aundra who says, “I am a middle school special education teacher and mother to a 4 year old and 2.5 year old. This book was inspired by my 4 year old son who has loved garbage cans and trucks for more than half his life.”

Find her on the web at:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JasperSammyand

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Gregory The Garbage Truck

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-9)

The Pitch: GREGORY THE GARBAGE TRUCK is a 548-word picture book for the 3-9 year old range, especially those who wake up early to watch the garbage trucks come by.
Gregory is a lonely garbage truck who putters through his daily routine: Drive around/Clamp the bin/Lift it up/ Dump it in. Day after day, his boredom, loneliness, and stench grows until he meets some clever and unexpected friends.
This whimsical, humorous story shows the struggle of making friends when you smell like old socks sprayed by a skunk and washed in dirty diapers. GREGORY THE GARBAGE TRUCK combines the refrain of TRASHY TOWN (1999) by Andrea Zimmerman with the desire for friendship in THE INVISIBLE BOY (2013) by Trudy Ludwig and the symbiotic relationship modeled in AMAZING ANIMAL FRIENDSHIPS (2017) by Pavla Hanackova.

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 Aundra 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!

Aundra is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow. It’s going to be a little weird – not the big family get-together of other years because we’re all trying to be cautious and maintain small, same-household gatherings with appropriate social distance, for everyone’s benefit but especially because my parents are 91 and 90 – but still a moment to give thanks for all that we have, most especially each other.

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

19 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #370 – Gregory The Garbage Truck (PB)

  1. palpbkids says:

    This is a great pitch!
    Pros: Great job of giving the flavor of the book and stating the problem.
    Cons: Too long. Book comps too old, but very good.
    Not needed: Page count.
    The age range is a bit wide. Wherever you submit this pitch to, look at what age group they publish for picture books and then change it to that.
    A terrific storyline! Good luck:)

  2. Katie Engen says:

    Oh, the joys of big truck love! This pitch reads a bit more like a query. I’d remove the intended audience numbers but keep the line (maybe move it to the end) about readers who get up early, etc. The comparable titles also would go in a query (not a pitch); they should be within the last 3-5 years when you do use them. The lines about Gregory’s situation and text sample are cute & convey details unique to Gregory. Let the agent or reader decide if it’s humorous and whimsical (don’t tell that here, show it). It needs a few more details about how/why he meets new friends (who?) and a specific hint of how/why things get better.

  3. Nicole Loos Miller says:

    Ah, the love of garbage trucks is so real in this house too! I know my kids would love this book 🙂 I’m a YES! I agree with some of the other comments that there is some query info (comp titles and age range) that isn’t necessary in a standalone pitch but it does look like your query letter is ready to go 🙂 I love the promise of the internal rhythmic rhyme too (Drive around/Clamp the bin/Lift it up/ Dump it in)! Makes it feel like it will be a wonderful read aloud that will be read again and again!

  4. marsue77 says:

    Yes. I agree with above comments. I don’t think you need to say the book is whimsical and humorous since from the description I think an editor/agent will get that. Or maybe just one not both. I know my nephew Hudson would be delighted to read this one.

  5. Ellen Warach Leventhal says:

    I agree that you can cut some, but this sounds hilarious! I bet when you smell like old socks sprayed by a skunk and washed in dirty diapers you really DO have trouble making friends! I feel like the age range is too wide, and I agree, that the editor/agent will decide if it’s whimsical. But this sounds like a winner to me! Good luck!

  6. rosecappelli says:

    Yes I would read this, and I know my grandson would love it! I agree with the other comments about age range, comps, etc. Start right in with “Gregory is a lonely garbage truck…” Maybe move the line about how he smells up closer to the beginning, maybe right after the opening line. Love that you have included the refrain in your pitch. Good luck as you revise.

  7. ptnozell says:

    Making friends and vehicles are evergreen topics, so I would read this. I agree with Katie about what to cut and the details to add to give readers a better sense of the friends he makes, and what he has to overcome to acquire them.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. matthewlasley says:

    I am a maybe here.

    Kids love trucks and many books with those concepts find their way onto store shelves. Part of my concern is the length, but I won’t go into that because others already have. Instead, I would like to put on my marketing cap and touch on a few things.
    You’re selling this book to parents. From your pitch, what is going to get that parent to pick it up? That’s what you need to show and editor or agent.
    So breaking it down, the opening line is a query letter entry, not part of the pitch. And, while I know they exist, how many kids get up to watch the garbage truck? That makes my bullseye for marketing pretty small.
    In the second section, I love the opening sentence, but the second makes me sad. I want to know about these clever and unexpected friends. How do they change his boring routine or is he jealous that they aren’t so boring?
    Part 3 is telling. How is this book whimsical or humorous? I haven’t seen evidence of either. I also don’t want the moral, I want to know about his problem (boredom, loneliness and stench) and how he overcomes them.

    Comp Titles: Trashy Town is a bit old for a comp title (though check out it pitch below). Even The Invisible Boy is considered on the edge of comp title life (though a favorite of mine, also see pitch below). Amazing Animal Friendships, while it does give you a tie in (which is never mentioned in the pitch itself) does not reflect the type of writing or presentation of your book. It is difficult to use a nonfiction text as a comp for a fictional piece.

    I think that your pitch (the middle section; part 2) has potential. Read the following pitches for the comp titles you used to help you clearly mark out your pitch. Introduce character, what’s the problem, why is it a problem, what changes.

    Gregory’s voice is what is going to sell this story. Show me the whimsy and the humor. And good luck!

    Pitch for Trashy Town:
    Meet Mr. Gilly. He cleans up Trashy Town. There’s trash at the pizza parlor, trash at the school, and trash at every house. It’s a big job, but Mr. Gilly does it with a big truck, a big smile, and loads of style.

    Pitch for The Invisible Boy
    A simple act of kindness can transform an invisible boy into a friend…
    Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody in class ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class.

  9. katherineadlam says:

    I just finished watching a webinar on pitch parties. Your pitch would have to be within 280 characters. I struggle with wordiness myself so I think you need to pare this back. My one year old grandson is presently besotted by the garbage truck. My nine year old grandson’s passion is Lego. So you need to narrow your age range. It sounds like a delightful book though.

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