Would You Read It Wednesday #392 – Chick-A-Gator (PB)

Hi there, Everyone!

Happy First Day of School! (for those of us who didn’t start in August 😊)

And in the spirit of getting back to things we love, welcome back to the one and only Would You Read It Wednesday!

I know that now that you’ve gotten your little munchkins up and out of bed, dressed in most if not all of their clothing (who really needs socks AND shoes?), fortified with at least a few mouthfuls of healthy breakfast (poptart anyone?), and onto the school bus with a solid percentage of the stuff they’re supposed to have with them – let’s face it, you are the epitome of parenting excellence! – there is nothing you want more than to join in the Would You Read It fun! (And not only because of the Something Chocolate you’ve been craving all summer!)

Before we jump into today’s pitch, I want to let you all know that I have open dates for both Would You Read It and Tuesday Debut. If you’d like to share a pitch and get helpful feedback from our wonderful readers, or if you’re an author or author/illustrator with your very first ever picture book debuting, please use the contact page to give me a holler and let me know!

Available Would You Read It dates are:
September 29
October 6, 13, 20, and 27
November (10?), 17, and 24
December 1

Available Tuesday Debut Dates are:
September 21 and 28
October 26
November (9?), 16, 23, and 30

November 9th and 10th are question marks because of the Halloweensie Contest. . . which is another question. Do you guys want to have it again this year? Let me know in the comments if you’re for or against! 🎃

All that planning has put me in the mood for Something Chocolate! How about you? I think Cookies ‘n’ Cream Sandwich Cookies sound just right for back to school 😊

Recipe HERE at delish

I mean, is there any way to go wrong with Chocolate Chip Cookies baked into Oreos? I don’t think so! Grab a glass of milk (almond, cashew, soy, oat, or cow – whatever floats your boat… or your cookie sandwich) and enjoy!

Now that we’re properly fortified, let’s have a look at today’s pitch which comes to us from Elizabeth who says, “I am a retired teacher and was writing for the magazine market before trying my hand at picture books. I have two adult children, one being a published writer. Was she inspired by hearing the typewriter click, click, clicking as a child? 😊 I wrote this story with tongue in cheek when I imagined how such a creature might look. I’m a midwesterner who grew up loving fairy tales, horse stories and mysteries. As a child I always had my nose in a book. That’s a habit I can somewhat indulge in my retirement.”

Find her on the web at elizabethwestra@gmail.com

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Chick-A-Gator

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

The Pitch:

I bet you’ve never met a chick-a-gator. Neither had the hens in the chicken coop. When one hatches from an egg, pandemonium breaks out. None of the hens accept him; they make him sleep outside the fence;They run whenever he comes near; his rooster father disowns him. But there’s more to Chick-a-gator than they know. One night he performs an heroic act that changes their opinion of him. He is hailed as a hero. He’s half chicken and half gator with a mighty roar. He’s the Chick-a-gator!

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 Elizabeth 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 (as listed above!), so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback from our readers and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Elizabeth is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to everything back-to-school! It feels like New Year’s, doesn’t it? Which I guess, if you celebrated Rosh Hashanah yesterday, it IS! 😊

Don’t forget to give me a shout if you want a WYRI or Tuesday Debut date, and let me know if you want to have Halloweensie this year!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

18 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #392 – Chick-A-Gator (PB)

  1. Elizabeth Meyer Zu Heringdorf says:

    Dear Susanna: Yes, please, Halloweensie again this year!!! I love these contests! If you need any help organizing, let me know! Best, Elizabeth

  2. Jessica Hinrichs says:

    Yes, I would read this. My one (hopefully constructive) comment is to consider changing the wording a bit in the second half of the pitch. Right now, the pitch doesn’t tell us much about what happens to necessitate the heroic act. I might consider saying something along the lines of “But when (fill in the blank) happens, Chick-a-Gator will need to find a way to (save the day/help the other chicks/etc), if he ever wants to prove that there’s more to him than meets the eye.” Just a suggestion! But it sounds like you have a fun story here. 🙂

  3. marsue77 says:

    I love this and think my three year old nephew would adore it. I do agree with Jessica’s comment above to tweak the pitch as per her suggestion. Good luck with this manuscript. Looking forward to meeting the CHICK-A-GATOR!

  4. Deborah Foster says:

    Yes, I would read this. I have to agree with Jessica Hinrichs’ suggested changes. I’d like more details on this heroic act that he does. I’m wondering if you could hint more at what happens.

    Susanna – Yes to the Halloweenie contest!

  5. fspoesy says:

    I would definitely read this but I think the pitch can be tightened up quite a bit. For example, the first three sentences could be replaced with something like “Oh no! A chick-a-gator has hatched in the hen house.” I’d also like to see the description of what a chick-a-gator is in the introductory sentences just to make it clear to the agent/editor.

    Also, I know we are looking at the pitch here and not the story itself but I do read the pitch and hope it isn’t just another “Dumbo” trope story. I’m hoping for a twist in which some completely different trait, like honesty, loyalty, or courage, unrelated to a chick-a-gator’s physical attributes, helps save the day. And I’d like to hear that at least hinted at in the pitch.

  6. Robin Currie says:

    Maybe – love the concept. How about starting the pitch with the moment the eggs hatches: “crack-snap-chip…the hens gathered around the egg to hear the first peep-peep of a new baby! Crunch-CRACK…SNAP!? What was coming out of the egg?”

    Hope that helps you HATCH a great pitch!

  7. Elizabeth Westra says:

    I have started the story with his hatching. I just didn’t put it in the pitch. Thanks, so far, for the helpful idea of adding a hint of what the heroic deed is to draw the reader in more.

  8. rosecappelli says:

    Yes. I would read this because it sounds like it has a lot of very funny scenes. I’ve never seen a pitch that addresses the reader (not to say it hasn’t been done), but I think tightening up the beginning would help get the gist of the story across more succinctly. Maybe something like “When chick-a-gator hatches, pandemonium breaks out in the chicken coop.” Then continue with what happen, and I like the way Jessica suggested wrapping it up. Good luck!

  9. palpbkids says:

    What a wonderfully rich story! I can’t wait to see it in print:)!
    But, to back up just a tad, with this great pitch in the making,
    it will only take a few tweaks to make it rock!
    First: would you consider reading some book flaps to familiarize yourself with their concise story pitches?
    Also, there are great short summaries of picture books on Goodreads.
    Second: Think about movie trailers. They state the problem right off the bat. Then state the problem of your story in the first sentence and finish with the reference to the heroic act (to hint at how the MC grows and finds his own way to solve it).
    Third, instead of telling us (one night he performs an heroic act that changes their opinion of him), show us! This is the most relevant place to put your voice forward, to show the editor/agent why they want this story.
    You’ve got the best structure of a pitch already in place. With a little revision, your next step is to find the right home for it:) Go for it!
    Best Wishes, PAL

  10. Lindsey Hobson says:

    This sounds cute, I would definitely read this. I would tighten up the pitch. Something like… “When something strange hatches in the chicken coop, it causes quite a commotion.”… go on to say what chic-a-gator has to face and then give some clue as to what it does that is heroic rather than say “heroic act”. Just like in your story, make sure every word counts!

    Good luck!

    And pleeeeease do Halloweensie, I look forward to it every year!! 🎃👻

  11. ptnozell says:

    Yes, I would read this, Elizabeth, but I agree with the comments above about tightening the pitch and giving the reader some clues to the the heroic actions that save the day. Also, you mention that both the hens and his father reject him. If the story isn’t specifically about rejection by his family due to a mixed identity, I’d tone that part down and possibly even delete the reference to his father.

    Susanna, is this some kind of trick? A year without a Halloweensie contest is no treat at all!

    Happy New Year! Happy new school year!

  12. Sarah Meade says:

    Yes, I’d read this. My little ones love stories about animals hatching from eggs, especially when there’s a twist like this. You’ve received lots of excellent feedback already, Elizabeth, so I’ll say that I agree about tightening up the beginning of the pitch and giving more of a hint to the heroic act. I might omit the sentence about the rooster father, too. Best wishes with this fun story!

    Yes, Susanna. Halloweensie is always such a treat!

  13. Jeannette Suhr says:

    I would read this story because I don’t think I’ve ever read about a pairing of a chicken and an alligator. Just imagining what that animal might look like makes me laugh. Do you think you might include some information about how Chick-a-gator feels as being an outcast and how he’s determined to right that wrong? And perhaps a stronger opening to really grab my attention. Good luck with this!

    Susanna – I’d like to see “Would You Read it Wednesday” continue and I’d love to have my first opportunity to enter your Halloweenie contest.

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