Would You Read It Wednesday #377 – Gina The Prima Bearina (PB) PLUS The January Pitch Pick!

In case you were wondering, not only is today Would You Read It Wednesday, it is also National Umbrella Day!

(I knew you’d want to know!)

It’s kind of funny, actually, since today is the only day we’ve had recently (or expect to have for the next few days) when it is NOT precipitating! (And also not sunny, so no actual reason for an umbrella!)

Still, we should celebrate.

And since many of us (including moi) are surrounded by a LOT of snow, I’m going with this:

Image by Louise Dav from Pixabay

Now that we’re feeling warm and sunny, let’s begin the day’s festivities with the January Pitch Pick! Our contenders are:

#1 – Aundra – Beach Sand Waves (PB 4-8)

It’s another sizzling summer Saturday. Beach day. Ocean day! Sand day-ugh. The average beach has ONE HUNDRED TRILLION GRAINS OF SAND. They scratch, they stick, there are crabs and bugs. But to get to what Morgan loves- quiet floating- first sand.

#2 – Sarah – Crin and Iggy: Friendship Rocks on the Beach (Young Reader Graphic Novel Ages 4 -8)

Three stories, two rock friends, one day. With Iggy’s friendship, Crin’s grumpy morning turns into a swimmingly fun afternoon. Well, except, rocks can’t swim — they sink. What will they do?  To end their day, Iggy puts on a One Rock Band performance. Maybe.

#3 – Debbie & Sophia – Rocky The Christmas Tree Surprise (PB 4-9)

A little owl falls asleep in her tree in the forest and wakes up to find herself in the middle of New York City. Alone and without her family, the tiny owl will have to trust her own courage and the kindness of strangers in order to find her way home.

#4 – Mindy – Just Right For Jack Ambrose (PB 3-8)

Jack Ambrose Kalabash wants everything to be just right; from his name, to his fly swatter collection, to the sounds he hears all day long.  He knows how to make the annoying and loud sounds at school just right, but on the bus ride home and at home, it is never just right. Then, unexpectedly a package arrives to help him through his noisy days.

Now that you’ve read them, which one do you think is best and most deserving of a read and comments by editor Erin Molta? Please vote for your favorite in the poll below by 9 PM Eastern Sunday February 14th (ooh! that’s Valentines Day! ❤️)

All that reading and choosing and voting definitely calls for Something Chocolate, so please help yourself to some French Silk Brownies!

French Silk Brownies

Recipe HERE at Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons

Mmmmm! Chocolate-y, creamy, delicious! Perfect to take with you on your beach picnic for Umbrella Day! 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Ms. T. A NYC native, Ms. T. has been teaching dance for decades across the country. Her past students perform all over the world and all have received countless coloring sheets and daily dance stories as part of class. 

Find her on the web at

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Gina The Prima Bearina

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-6)

The Pitch: Left overnight in a dance studio, a teddy bear learns, from pliés to pointe shoes, how to become a “prima bearina”, so she can help her little girl pursue her dance dreams. With illustrations closely inspired by Edgar Degas, this informational fiction written by a NYC ballet teacher shows how technique and creativity blend to make great art. The loyalty of TRUMAN and the bravado of OLIVIA meet in a child’s art book. 

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 Ms. T 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 reserve a spot now and you’ll have time for a little polishing before you’re up for helpful feedback on your pitch and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Ms. T is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the Valentiny Contest which opens in less than 2 days at 12 AM Eastern February 12! I absolutely cannot wait to read all the wonderful stories I know you guys will invent!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

42 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #377 – Gina The Prima Bearina (PB) PLUS The January Pitch Pick!

  1. Nadine Poper says:

    I would read it. I really like the own voices feel to the pitch (not that you are a teddy bear, but a ballet teacher…LOL!) And I can almost feel the softness and heart as I picture Degas inspired illustrations.

  2. ptnozell says:

    Susanna, hurray for beach umbrellas! Just what we need to keep this wintry weather at bay.

    Ms. T, I would read this. You had me at teddy bear left in the empty dance studio. I’m not sure, though, what you mean by a “child’s art book.” I think I’d shorten the final sentence to read, “TRUMAN’s loyalty meets OLIVIA’s bravery.”

  3. Katie Engen says:

    Always a fan of informational fiction! However, the NF elements seem to be taking precedence over the story. Is Prima Bearina the one with the problem to solve or is does ‘her girl’ have the story’s focal problem? And what is that problem specifically? I.e. what are the consequences to not dancing well or soon? It seems the primary theme is creating art with solid technique so the comp titles that feature bravado and loyalty don’t quite connect. Perhaps sharing more plot details will bridge this gap. Also ‘bravado’ has a tinny ring to it; do you mean bravery or gumption?

  4. Meg says:

    I would read this while enjoying a French Silk brownie (at least one)! It sounds like the teddy bear is a trusted friend to the little girl and will be a wonderful teacher.

  5. Marcia Matalon Nass says:

    I love the idea and would def read it. That you teach ballet is an extra plus. The beginning grabs me and I can see the teddy bear in the dark. The title is adorable. Degas to me is dreamy.

  6. readmybook2002 says:

    I would read it. After watching the On Pointe series about the ballet school in NYC and what the students/ teachers go through year after year, I have a newfound appreciation of the profession. I’m sure your story will be from the heart.

  7. Deborah Foster says:

    I would say maybe. I need to know more about what problem the bear is facing. Why does the bear need to learn to be a prima bearina? Is it to help the child? Does he need to learn in order to go to the recital and be united with his owner? I would love for the stakes to be a bit clearer.

    • talararuth says:

      Yes! That’s a good point. For little girl dancers just being able to be great is such a “thing. “ I have to figure out either how to convey that, or make the problem more universal like a competition or recital.

  8. jeanjames926 says:

    I would read it, but I feel like I need a bit more information about the plot. Is the focus on the teddy bear or the little girl or both, and how do they connect. Degas inspiration for illustrations sounds lovely, as do French silk brownies, and sun warmed days at the beach.

  9. Mimi Bond says:

    Ms. T, I would read and buy it for every dance lover I know ! I love your pitch and book idea of a teddy bear learning ballet. Your pitch showcases that it’s beautifully illustrated also and leaves me wanting to see more. Pitch length might have to be shortened for any Twitter pitches, but besides that love your book.

  10. rosecappelli says:

    Yes, I would like to read this book. A bear in a tutu learning ballet sounds very cute and I like the inclusion of Degas’ art. I’m a bit confused about the problem. From the title I’m assuming that Gina is the main character, so is she looking for a way to help her girl? Or is the problem that she got left behind and decides to make the most of it by learning dance? If you can clarify the problem and give some hints as to the plot, I think it would strengthen your pitch.

    Also, while knowing your background (great credibility) and citing some comp titles is very important info to include in a query, I’m wondering if they should be part of the actual pitch?Moving that info to a different place in your query letter would give you more room to explain the story.

    Good luck!

  11. Aundra Tomlins says:

    I think this is a great idea. Made me think of CORDUROY. I would like a bit more tension about the story and less information about who wrote it. I think it a query this could go in the bio and for a pitch, they can learn about it after. I also don’t think you need the comps in the pitch. that will give you more space for the problem that the bear faces.

  12. Karen Condit says:

    Yes, I would read it. I love Degas, and the teddy bear makes me think of Corduroy! But I’m wondering more about the conflict? Where’s the tension coming from? Add this after the first sentence and use the last two sentences for another paragraph. Well written…just not enough.

  13. kathalsey says:

    En pointe, Talara! I agree that you might change this last line and that’s all! You have a winner. The loyalty of TRUMAN meets the bravado of OLIVIA. YAY.

  14. kitkat9990 says:

    I would read it. I love the idea of a bear learning ballet combined with Degas inspired illustrations. I agree with an earlier comment about identifying the tension in the plot. Why does the girl need help? The overnight setting lends itself to a magical experience.

  15. Nicole Loos Miller says:

    Yes!! Love the sweet teddy bear aspect, the fun voice, how you managed to fit the comps in, and the fact that it’s written by a ballet teacher! My daughter would insist on this being read more than once 🙂

  16. Jamie Donahoe says:

    I might read it. You lost me a bit at Degas, since I can’t imagine teddy bears in that style. My initial image in my head was a more contemporary illustration style. But I love stories where children find inner strength with a little help from a dear “friend”.

    • talararuth says:

      Thanks for the comment! I wish I could have included some illustrations… strangely for me, the bear works great in soft pastel, but I think that may be because I was so immersed in Degas as a child.
      Thanks so much for your comment.

  17. annamaledonchildrensauthor says:

    This sounds delightful.

    I agree with other about the lack of clear problem, although I didn’t even notice that.

    What stood out to me is TRUMAN. Truman who?
    Also was a little confused by the bear learning from the shoes?
    (“teddy bear learns, from pliés to pointe shoes.” )

    That being said,if I saw an ad on facebook or the back cover blurb in a library I would definitelly click the ad/pick it up to read. The name/title is fabulous! My 5yo son loves DOGS DON’T DO BALLET picture book and he is a boyish boy, who doesn’t do ballet.

    • talararuth says:

      Thanks for the comment! There’s a picture book Truman who’s a turtle who loves his Sarah. As others have said, maybe less on comp titles, more on plot… thanks for enjoying the title! I have five sons (no girls) so the comment about your son made me smile. thanks!

      • annamaledonchildrensauthor says:

        There is also a picture book ROVER by Michael Rosen about a dog who narrates the story and it is super funny. He describes humans as if he (the dog) was their owner and they were his pets. The little girl in the story gets lost on the beach and the dog finds her, saving the day. Perhaps that story could be useful to you.

        I have 4 sisters. Our neighbours had 5 sons and my parents had 5 daughters which is rather funny. I remember them joking that they should swap one night.

        It’s strange how that works. My dad’s sister had a girl too so that means my grandparents didn’t have any grandsons, only 6 granddaughters. I have 2 sons though.

  18. palpbkids says:

    Yes! Yes! I would read this in a heartbeat!
    I’m so tired of pitches having to be so short.
    I think this is a compelling pitch!
    Good luck!

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