Would You Read It Wednesday #386 – Buddy And The Blue Crew (PB)

Hey, Everyone! Today is the perfect day for us!

Do you know why?

Because April 21st is Kindergarten Day!

And I think pretty everyone here reads and/or writes for 5 year olds 😊

I think we should all challenge ourselves to write a story today – suitable for reading in kindergarten!

Need a topic?

Let me rummage around and randomly pick something. . .

Tomorrow is Earth Day, so maybe let’s write stories that celebrate our earth, or show how important it is to take care of it! Play with POV! Maybe write from the perspective of an apple tree, a crocus, or an inch worm…!😊

First we shall fuel our creativity with Something Chocolate. Never let it be said that I don’t provide breakfast! It’s the most important meal of the day, especially when it includes chocolate 😊

Chocolate Croissant Breakfast Bake

Mmm mmm good! Buttery, flaky croissant and chocolate – what’s not to love? 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Angela who says, “I’m an aspiring children’s writer and mum to four, living in London.  Up to now, I’ve written 4 complete Picture Book Manuscripts and I’m currently querying Literary Agents for representation.  I’ve had a handful of my short stories published by Keys For Kids Ministries, a US quarterly devotional.  

I’m on Facebook (Angela Jelf) and my twitter handle is @angietange.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Buddy And The Blue Crew

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

The Pitch: On Buddy’s first day at school, all he really wants to do is blend in.  But the problem is, he’s the only kid in school with bright, blue feet!  When Buddy meets Bill, a friend with an even crazier feature, will Buddy finally come up with a way to convince the other children, and ultimately himself, that there’s so much more to him than first meets the eye?

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 Angela 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 is an opening next week! as well as openings in May, so you could get your pitch up very soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Angela is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to my dad’s birthday tomorrow! I still have to decide what kind of cake to bake!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

32 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #386 – Buddy And The Blue Crew (PB)

  1. palpbkids says:

    Angela, your pitch shows heart and that grabbed me right away.
    You’ve done a great job at showing us the obstacle:
    When the children see Buddy’s bright-blue feet on the first day of school, Buddy’s confidence sinks.
    Now show us what Buddy does to solve this problem:
    When he meets Bill, he (this is where you can show the taste of your writing, meaning incorporate some of what you wrote, but in one sentence).
    When he meets Bill, who has …., he convinces the other children, and ultimately himself, that there’s so much more to him than first meets the eye
    Can’t wait to read this!

  2. ptnozell says:

    What a lovely treat and challenge, Susanna. Happy early Earth Day! Hmmm, Early on Earth Day – there may be a picture book title there! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Angela, I would read this! I’d suggest changing the last sentence to a statement, rather than a question, but I like the premise, wanting to fit in on the first day of school, the problem, feeling different and not being sure how to overcome that difference, and the realization that others have differences, too.

  3. Judy Sobanski says:

    Susanna, that breakfast bake looks yummy! Happy Birthday to your dad tomorrow!

    Angela, I would definitely read your story. I love the title! Feeling different from others is a very relatable theme for kids. Perhaps “more unusual” might be a better phrase than the word “crazier” when describing his features/characteristics? It sounds as if Bill was the reason Buddy finally accepted his own differences. Did they work together to make the other children look beyond their physical features? If so, it might be good to include that in the pitch.
    Then Buddy meets Bill, who has…and who convinces Buddy that _________. Together they ______________.
    Thank you for sharing your pitch. Best of luck!

    • Angela Jelf says:

      Hi Judy, thank you so much for your kind encouragement. Yes, you guessed it, Bill and Buddy do indeed end up working together (they form a Blues Band). I wasn’t sure how much to give away in the pitch. It’s trying to get that balance between leaving some room for suspense, but also giving enough information to satisfy the reader that the book is worth reading. Your suggestion is so helpful, and yes, ‘more unususal’ would definitely work better! Thanks very much.

  4. Katie Engen says:

    Sweet tone, nice pacing. You can omit ‘the problem is’ phrase to tighten that sentence (& save words). There’s a slightly odd tension between ‘fitting in’ and ‘even crazier feature.’ Do Buddy and his new friend think their features don’t work or is it just others? The last sentence is a bit of a yes/no question & ends with a cliche – two things that agents seem to find off-putting. Perhaps adjust or offset this with a few key details revealing what Buddy & friend try to fix the situation.

  5. Angela Jelf says:

    Hello Katie, thank you so much. You’re right, I could definitely omit ‘the problem is.’ So, Buddy is a Blue Footed Booby, and Bill is a Baboon (with a blue bottom, but this isn’t revealed until the very last illustration, as a comic element). Buddy ends up joining Bill’s band – The Blue Crew, as the lead singer. Yeah, you might be right about the last line sounding like a bit of a cliche. I think I need to creatively find a way to add more detail to the pitch without completely giving all of the surprises away.

  6. Wendy says:

    Hi Angela!
    Based on the information in your last post–think about whether blending in is really what Buddy wants if he ends up as the lead singer in a band. The last line of your posted pitch makes me think the same–showing that he’s more than his blue feet. Does he want to be accepted? Have his talent acknowledged? Do others ignore him because he’s different and what he wants is the opposite of being ignored? Just throwing out thoughts! Good luck!

    • Angela Jelf says:

      Hi Wendy,
      Thank you so much for your thoughts – yep good point – perhaps ‘blending in’ is the wrong expression to be using – I think initially, all Buddy wants if for people NOT to notice his blue feet. So when Bill says: “So show them what else you’ve got!” it kind of encourages Buddy to think about all the other things that make him unique. And then he reveals that he loves to sing. It’s kind of a journey in which Buddy finds his voice. I really appreciate your help, thanks.

  7. Angie says:

    Hi, Angela! Yes I would read your book! I’m fascinated about the blue feet. And the even more interesting feature on Bill. I think you’ve touched on a universal theme-being appreciated/noticed for more than just our one distinguishing feature. Best wishes!

  8. Wendy says:

    FYI – I was just reading the Storystorm success story on Tara Lazar’s fabulous blog and this might be a comp title for you, Angela. Published last year. This is copied from the publisher’s website. : A young bird with a flair for discovery and invention learns self-acceptance one blue-footed step at a time.

    Benjamin the blue-footed booby is coming of age in his flock’s world of flying, diving, swimming, and fishing. But he already has a unique gift: treasure-hunting. One day, after finding a mirror, Benjamin becomes convinced that his beak is too long, his wings are too wide, and his feet are too big and blue. He decides to use his treasures to change himself. But without his beak, wings, and feet, is he even a blue-footed booby anymore?

    Illustrated with Sue Macartney’s lively, light graphic art style, Benjamin’s Blue Feet is a playful, jovial picture book about self-image and self-worth. Packed with humor and heart, it is sure to become a new storytime favorite.

    • Angela Jelf says:

      Oh my.. I just saw it! Had no idea there was already a story about a blue-footed booby! .. What are the chances of that being posted today.? I think my story is a bit different by the sounds of things, but oh gosh, I wonder if I may have to rethink my main character now?

      • clearywriter says:

        Don’t give up on your idea! Read Benjamin’s Blue Feet and see if any of the rest of it is similar to your story. Based on the pics in Tara’s blog, it looks like it takes place on the shore and there is probably not a baboon in it! Also, remember that once you’re story is picked up, it’ll take a couple years to go through the process of being published. And think about how many stories there are about unicorns out there! Two about blue-footed boobies is really not a lot!

      • Angela Jelf says:

        Aww thank you so much for the encouragement – that’s very kind of you. I was feeling a little deflated. But I won’t give up on the idea, even if I have to tweak it somewhat.

  9. rosecappelli says:

    Yes, Angela, I would read this. My first advice would be to rephrase the question (which others have already suggested). I would also like to know a bit more about the plot. Can you hint at some of the things that happen without giving everything away? Using some of your phrases or words would also give a sample of your writing style.
    Good Luck!

  10. Karen Condit says:

    Yes, I would read it! I think it has universal appeal!
    I wondered, too, if you had heard of the book brought up Wendy a few comments back. I think your book sounds different though, but it would be worth a read and see how yours is different. Perhaps, it could be used as a comp title when you query, noting how yours stands out and is . . . better!
    One thing I that might be missing in your pitch is how your title connects to it. How does this Blue Crew play into the story?
    All the best!

    • Angela Jelf says:

      Thank you Karen. It’s always a sinking moment when you realise your bright idea has already been written! But you’re absolutely right, it’s not the end of the world, and I’m sure with some work, and by famiilarising myself with the other text, I can hopefully work at making mine stand out. Good point about the Blue Crew – Buddy ends up joining Bill’s Blues band, who are known as The Blue Crew.

  11. bababloggayaga says:

    My question is – if Buddy’s a kid like you say in your pitch, how do the other kids find out so quickly about his blue feet? Isn’t he wearing shoes? If he’s a bird or an animal that should be clearer.

    • Angela Jelf says:

      Very good point – yep, he’s an animal. He’s a Blue-Footed Booby. Maybe I need to have the other kids notice his feet when he gets changed for PE or something?

  12. seschipper says:

    Yes, I would read it! However, I couldn’t believe that I just finished reading Tara Lazar’s post today and it was about Benjamin and Blue Feet as well! What are the odds of that happening!
    Don’t be discouraged! Just keep revising, revising, revising!! 🙂

  13. Norah says:

    I would read it! I love the thought of blue feet. Blue is my favourite colour and I’m thinking of the blue-footed booby. I’m desperate to know what sets Bill apart.

  14. robincurrie1 says:

    Maybe – do Buddy and Bill work together for class acceptance? Or do become friends as the “odd ones out”? Or does it turn out EVERY child has something different. Just add a clue as to which way the action will go, please. And why shoes Buddy have to take his shoes off in school? PS love the Blue Footed Booby – may Blue footed Bobby?!

    • Angela Jelf says:

      Hi Robin, thank you so much, yes perhaps there needs to be slightly more of a clue in the pitch. Buddy and Bill do indeed work together. They form a blues band called the Blue Crew and all the other children come and cheer at their amazing music!

  15. syorkeviney says:

    I love this and would definitely read it! As a Kindergarten teacher for almost two decades, I know that children do want to fit in because they want to play together. I also know that most Kindergartners would love someone with blue feet, they would cherish that individual and draw pictures for that student and tell him how much they love those super duper feet! I am looking forward to seeing this book in print.

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