Perfect Picture Book Friday – Wishes

Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit!

Happy First Day of October, Everyone!

Today I have such a gorgeous book to share that I can’t wait to show it to you! I encourage you all to read it if you can. Writers, especially, will find this book a shining example of how to say so much with so little.

Get ready to have your socks blown off!

Title: Wishes

Written By: Mượn Thị Văn

Illustrated By: Victo Ngai

Publisher: Orchard Books, May 2021, reality-based fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: immigration, family, home, resilience

text copyright Mượn Thị Văn 2021, illustration copyright Victo Ngai 2021, Orchard Books

Opening: “The night wished it was quieter.”

Brief Synopsis: A young Vietnamese girl must leave behind her home and everything she knows to find hope for a better life.

text copyright Mượn Thị Văn 2021, illustration copyright Victo Ngai 2021, Orchard Books

Links To Resources: the back of the book includes a note from the author about her own journey from Vietnam, as well as a note from the illustrator describing how she went about crafting her illustrations; if you had to leave home, what would you wish for? discuss, draw, or write a story or poem; what do you think would be the hardest thing to leave behind if you had to leave home? what would you want to be sure you brought with you?

text copyright Mượn Thị Văn 2021, illustration copyright Victo Ngai 2021, Orchard Books

Why I Like This Book: This is the kind of gorgeous, poignant book that makes your heart full. With only 75 words, the author conveys such a depth of emotion and story. With true picture book perfection, the illustrations tell as much of the story as the words, beautifully expanding the reader’s understanding of exactly what is happening and the strength it demands from the characters. The majority of young readers (thankfully) will never have experienced this particular kind of hardship, but it is so important for them to understand that life experiences are different for everyone and that many of them require strength, resilience, effort, and hope. A beautiful, thought-provoking, heart-stirring book that young readers will gain a lot from.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 😊

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific blog links (and any other info you feel like filling out 😊) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #395 – Readerosaurus (PB)

Well, would you look at that?

It’s time for Would You Read It Wednesday again!

I don’t know about you guys, but ever since the whole pandemic thing started (and by the way, whose idea was that because we totally shouldn’t listen to them any more!) it feels like everything has ground to a halt. I used to actually do stuff, but these days going to the mailbox is what passes for excitement around here.

Imagine, therefore, the absolute thrill I got today when I was out walking the dogs and. . . wait for it!. . . I saw a cray fish crossing the road! I kid you not! I mean, come on! That’s big news! I’ve lived here for just shy of 29 years and never seen a cray fish before, on or off the road. I’m not sure what business a cray fish had wandering around in the road far, far away (in cray fish miles) from anything that could be classified as water. So I think the only question to be asked here is. . . (I know it, you know it, let’s ask it together!) . . .

Why did the cray fish cross the road? 🤣

Surely there’s a picture book in that!

Anyway, cray fish aside, I do believe it’s time for Something Chocolate! Now that autumn is in the air, I know that even though it’s too early o’clock, you are all sitting around your own personal campfires faint with hunger, so what could be better for our Something Chocolate snack than S’mores Cupcakes?

a. nothing
b. what time exactly is too early o’clock?
c. Colonel Mustard in the conservatory with the candlestick
d. who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?

I’m sorry. Did I forget to say there was a pop quiz? Well there is, and you were all wrong (unless you said (a)). The correct answer is:
e. Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore! Have a S’mores Cupcake!

Perfect S’mores Cupcakes

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Jennifer who says, “¡Hola! I’m Jennifer the mother of The Readerosaurus (@Readerosaurus for IG and Twitter).  I have been itching to do a story about a kiddo or dino or kiddo wearing dino costume and using his voice to be heard! 

My son last year heard about a local center closing in our state and he decided to offer his drawings to donate to people who make a donation to the center. 

In doing so he was about to get over $5,000 of donations to go to the center. This helped make sure they didn’t close during 2020 when Covid was affecting many places.  He read all 7 continents and all 50 states his joy and excitement for helping a place was just unbelievable. He wanted to help so much. Any money he was given he put towards the center. 

I thought wow a child who is 6 has such a big heart and wants to reach so many people has to be heard. His joy and kindness spread like wild fire. Who would have thought this 6 year old’s voice would matter. 

So the story idea came to life. In a perfect world I want to have this book so that I can get proceeds from the book to donate to places all over the world that need help with their animals. Maybe it’s a zoo, an aquarium or maybe a marine center. Anyway we can help we want to!”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Readerosaurus

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

The Pitch: A kid who loves dinosaurs all because he devours books finds out that his favorite place in the whole world is closing and there isn’t anything he can do about it. Or is there? 
Will his roar be heard among giants? 

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 Jennifer 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!

Jennifer is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to a little sleuthing. Someone’s got to! That crafty cray fish was clearly up to something. . .and I’m going to find out what!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Cynthia Argentine!

It’s Tuesday, so you know what that means!

Time for a brand new Tuesday Debut!

It’s so much fun to meet new authors, isn’t it? And see the wonderful books they’ve created? And hear about how they got from writing and hoping to PUBLISHED! 😊

I also love the opportunity to learn about the creative process involved for all different kinds of books. We’ve have authors, and illustrators, and author/illustrators, fiction and nonfiction, religious, dyslexia-friendly, self-published. . . and today, we’ve got a debut book that is “illustrated” with photographs! Something new for us to educate ourselves about!

So without further ado, I’m delighted to present today’s Tuesday Debut-ess, Cynthia Argentine, and her gorgeous book, NIGHT BECOMES DAY: CHANGES IN NATURE!

Night Becomes Day: Changes in Nature
written by Cynthia Argentine
no illustrator (illustrated with photographs)
Millbrook Press, a division of Lerner Publishing Group
10/5/2021
Nonfiction
ages 4-9

Whether sudden or gradual, change is a constant in our world. NIGHT BECOMES DAY shows the beauty and power of nature through transformations happening all around us. Pairing lyrical text with vivid photos, the book takes readers from beaches and woods to caves, canyons, glaciers, and more.

SUSANNA: Welcome, Cynthia! We are thrilled to have you here today, and so excited to learn about your journey to publication! Where did the idea for this book come from?


CYNTHIA: Thanks so much for having me, Susanna!

Three specific things came together to inspire this book:

  1. spring outside my window
  2. a class called Nonfiction Archaeology, and
  3. broccoli. (I’ll explain!)

It was March of 2017, and I was taking an online class called Nonfiction Archaeology led by Kristen Fulton. One assignment was to come up with an idea for a science-based, nonfiction picture book. Noticing the spring transformations happening right outside my window, I started listing them. I thought about how familiar some changes were and how surprising others could be. The first time I grew broccoli, for example, I discovered—lo and behold!—it could turn into a bouquet of yellow blossoms. I realized children might be interested in learning about all sorts of transformations as well.

SUSANNA: How long did it take you to write this book?

CYNTHIA: Digging up the answer to this question was enlightening! I went back through old computer files, and my first document related to this project was dated March 20, 2017 and titled “Nature Changing Cycling Surprising Picture Book Compass.” I was clearly just brainstorming at that point! But in that document, I worked out my central nugget and theme. Key phrases included “nature is constantly changing” and “this view of nature brings awe, wonder, beauty, and interconnectedness to our world.” Those statements guided my writing from initial idea to publication.

As for the actual timing…. I looked back at my file history and discovered this:

  • I spent ten hours, spread over three evenings, writing my first draft, which is strikingly similar to the published text.
  • Before starting that first draft, I spent five days pre-writing. This included jotting down ideas. Tapping into childhood memories. Categorizing changes by scientific discipline. Playing with pairs of opposites. Reading other nonfiction mentor texts. Developing a satisfying beginning, middle, and end. Organizing an outline. And mocking up a 32-page dummy.

SUSANNA: Wow! Not only are you way more organized than I am in your pre-writing, you know how many days and hours you spent! What amazing record-keeping! Did you go through many revisions?

CYNTHIA: Yes! I revised the initial manuscript off and on for about a year, putting it away for days or weeks at a time. During that period, I also did a lot of research to support and expand the scientific aspects of the book. Some of that research became part of the back matter.

My wonderful critique partners played a part in the revision process, too. We read each other’s work individually and then meet to discuss it. This helps me identify both the strong and weak points in a manuscript.

SUSANNA: When did you know your manuscript was ready for submission?

CYNTHIA: When I faced a deadline! 😉 There is nothing like a deadline for motivation. The deadline for this submission came in the form of a blog post written by Carol Hinz at Millbrook Press (a division of Lerner Publishing). I knew that Lerner published the kinds of books I was interested in writing, so I had already subscribed to their blog. In March of 2018, the blog post advertised a call for nonfiction manuscripts for grades K-3 that could be illustrated with photographs. (Learn more about that here.) I had read and admired several books published by Millbrook and edited by Hinz, so I was excited to have an opportunity to submit to them.


SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

CYNTHIA: On April 30, 2018, I emailed Lerner my manuscript. I don’t have an agent, so I recognized this as an important opportunity. I had developed a list of other houses that accepted nonfiction from un-agented authors, but I never submitted this manuscript elsewhere.

SUSANNA: How long after you submitted were you told it was a “yes”?

CYNTHIA: In August, four months after my submission, I got an email from Carol Hinz saying it was “a strong manuscript” and she’d like some more time to consider it. Four months after that, in December, Carol said yes—she wanted to take it to acquisitions! YAY! That was a wonderful Christmas present.

SUSANNA: When did you get “the call”, which these days is more likely to be “the email”?  (Best moment ever! 😊)

CYNTHIA: Less than a month later, on January 11, 2019, Carol emailed to say that Lerner wanted to acquire it! Happy New Year!

SUSANNA: How long was it between getting your offer and getting your contract to sign?

CYNTHIA: Less than two months. Lerner and I both signed shortly after that. The contracts department at Lerner was helpful and friendly.

SUSANNA: How did you celebrate signing your contract?

CYNTHIA: I strongly believe in celebrating milestones, but I honestly don’t remember whether I did anything special to commemorate signing. I do remember the night I got the “yes” from acquisitions. I ran downstairs, told everyone in my family, and had extra ice cream for dessert!

SUSANNA: Was the contract what you expected in terms of advance, royalty percentage, publication timeline, author copies etc.?

CYNTHIA: I was working on a middle-grade, work-for-hire book around this same time, and I will say that my payment for that book and the advance on this book were in the same ballpark. Lerner isn’t a big-five house, and I was a first-time author with them, so the advance wasn’t large. Nonetheless, there were benefits. I felt it was a great place for this manuscript, and I was excited to work with Carol Hinz based on the excellence of the other K-3 photo nonfiction Millbrook Press had recently produced. I was able to negotiate for an escalation clause on royalties and for additional author copies (25).

SUSANNA: Can you tell us a little about the editorial process?


CYNTHIA: The book was slated for publication two years out (2021), so we didn’t begin the editorial process right away. In February of 2020, a member of the editorial staff contacted me and recommended a few minor line edits. Then that editor left, and the pandemic spread, and we learned that Lerner was pushing back publication from Spring to Fall 2021.

The editorial process resumed in earnest in December of 2020. Carol Hinz completely understood my vision for the book, and it was great to work with her on it. She had ideas for strengthening the manuscript and particularly encouraged me to carefully consider the opposite pairs. (The book is structured around opposite types of change.) We also exchanged many emails about details in the back matter, making sure the science was as clear and accurate as possible. Her editorial work definitely improved the book.

SUSANNA: What was your experience of the illustration process like?

CYNTHIA: One of the interesting things about this project is that it is illustrated with photographs. I did not envision it that way when I wrote it—I pictured drawings and paintings. But when Lerner’s open call requested books that could be photo-illustrated, I realized mine had that potential. In the end, it worked out beautifully! The vibrancy of the photos invites readers to take a closer look.

interior spread – text copyright Cynthia Argentine 2021 Millbrook Press

Lerner’s art department handled the photo selection and permissions. Mary Ross at Lerner did the design. In most cases, the initial photos they selected were exactly what I was describing. The beaches, caves, glaciers, and mountains were stunning! In a couple cases, the initial photo choices had to be adjusted. For example, I wanted a photo to show an additional stage in the transformation from flower to fruit. They added one to accomplish that. In another case, they could not find a photo to exactly match what I had described in the text, so I revised the text to match the photo they suggested. It was definitely a collaborative process, and I’m grateful for that.

SUSANNA: Did you get to see advance reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, etc? What was that like?

CYNTHIA: One has come in so far! Kirkus praised the book, saying it

  • “leads readers to notice and seek out the many changes that are taking place in their world,”
  • “simultaneously folds in a lesson in opposites,” and
  • “will hold readers’ interest.”

Lerner put an advance digital copy on NetGalley.com as well. It received great reviews from teachers, parents, and librarians there. It’s so rewarding to see the book connect with and inspire readers. Thank you, advance reviewers!

SUSANNA: How long did it take from offer to having the first copy in your hand?

CYNTHIA: My author copies should be arriving any day! It will have been two years and eight months.

SUSANNA: What kind of marketing and promotion has your publisher done for this book?

CYNTHIA: In addition to submitting the book to major review journals and putting it on NetGalley.com, Lerner mailed hard copies to several media outlets. They helped me make a promo video of the book and posted it online here. They are actively promoting the book on social media and their website as well. And they sent me a packet a few months ago with information about what I could do.

SUSANNA: Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.

CYNTHIA: There has been so much to learn in this area! I have lined up several local in-person events, including a book-birthday bash with my local library and our nature center. My town is featuring Night Becomes Day in its StoryWalk installation during the month of October. And I’m doing a virtual book launch with SK Wenger through The Writing Barn in Austin, Texas on October 9. (It’s free! Come join us!)

I’m also part of two co-marking groups—21forthebooks and STEAMTeam2021—both of which have been so valuable. I highly recommend having partners to help you climb the learning curve! I made bookmarks and stickers using Canva and Vistaprint online. I partnered with Deb Gonzales to build Pinterest pins and a teacher’s guide related to my book. And I’m appearing on several blogs in October in addition to this one. I also have prepared presentations with ties to my book. In August, I gave a webinar called “Science—An Open Door to Creativity” for the Montessori Family Alliance. In November, I’m presenting a webinar called “Nonfiction: A Vast, Vibrant Genre from Board Books to Middle Grade.” It’s hosted by Indiana SCBWI and you can learn more here!

example of Pinterest pin created by Deb Gonzales

SUSANNA: How long was it between the time you started writing seriously and the time you sold your first picture book?

CYNTHIA: I started writing for children in 2007 with a course through the Institute for Children’s Literature. I discovered I loved writing nonfiction articles and began regularly contributing to children’s magazines such as Odyssey: Adventures in Science and ChemMatters. Then, in 2016, I found a subject that deserved more than an article. This woman needed to be the focus of a picture book biography. At that point, I shifted my energy into learning how to write picture books, which are very different from magazine articles. So, if I count back to that point in 2016, it took three years. If I count back to that first course in 2007, it took twelve years.

SUSANNA: What is the most important/helpful thing you learned on your way to publication? (Or what is your most helpful piece of advice for up and coming writers?)

CYNTHIA: For most of us, writing is a calling. It’s something we do despite the fact that some stories may never sell and our books may not yield significant financial gain. We do it because we have felt something in this world that moved us, and we want to share that experience and emotion with someone else. We see that writing forges connections—connections between us and our subjects, between us and our critique partners, between us and our readers.

Writing for children is an art form. Like all art, it has the capacity to be beautiful, resonant, and unique. Good books for children develop through the accumulated insights of years. Invest the time, and recognize that creating books is a worthy calling.

Author Cynthia Argentine

Website
Pinterest @CynthiaArgentine
Twitter @CindyArgentine
Instagram @argentine_writer

SUSANNA: Thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this series and paying it forward to other writers, Cynthia! We so appreciate the opportunity to learn from your experience, and wish you all the very best with this and future titles!

Readers, if you have questions for Cynthia, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond!

You may purchase Cynthia’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)

Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

We can help our debut authors successfully launch their careers by:

– purchasing their books

– recommending their books to friends and family

– recommending their books to our children’s teachers and librarians

– recommending their books to our local libraries and bookstores

– suggesting them as visiting authors at our children’s schools and our local libraries

– sharing their books on social media

– reviewing their books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other sites where people go to learn about books.

Thank you all for stopping by to read today!  Have a lovely, inspiration-filled Tuesday!  Maybe today is the day you’ll write your debut picture book 😊

Missed any previous Tuesday Debuts?  Check them out!

Christy Mihaly – Hey! Hey! Hay! A Tale of Bales And The Machines That Make Them

Jessie Oliveros – The Remember Balloons

Beth Anderson – An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin And Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution

Hannah Holt – The Diamond And The Boy

Laura Renauld – Porcupine’s Pie

Annie Romano – Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book Of Gratitude

Melissa Stoller – Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush

Sherry Howard – Rock And Roll Woods

Kate Narita – 100 Bugs! A Counting Book

Vivian Kirkfield – Pippa’s Passover Plate

Laura Roettiger – Aliana Reaches For The Moon

Matthew Lasley – Pedro’s Pan: A Gold Rush Story

Natalee Creech – When Day Is Done

Margaret Chiu Greanias – Maximillian Villainous

Wendy Greenley – Lola Shapes The Sky

Danielle Dufayet – You Are Your Strong

B.J. Lee – There Was An Old Gator Who Swallowed A Moth

Cathy Ballou Mealey – When A Tree Grows

Pippa Chorley – Counting Sheep

Sandra Sutter – The Real Farmer In The Dell

June Smalls – Odd Animals ABC

Jill Mangel Weisfeld – Riley The Retriever Wants A New Job (self pub)

Kathleen Cornell Berman – The Birth Of Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound

Eleanor Ann Peterson – Jurassic Rat

Sarah Hoppe – Who Will? Will You?

Marla LeSage – Pirate Year Round

Stacey Corrigan – The Pencil Eater

Shannon Stocker – Can U Save The Day?

Nadine Poper – Randall And Randall

Christine Evans – Evelyn The Adventurous Entomologist

Karen Kiefer – Drawing God (religious market)

Susan Richmond – Bird Count

Dawn Young – The Night Baafore Christmas

Heather Gale – Ho’onani: Hula Warrior

Ciara O’Neal – Flamingo Hugs Aren’t For Everyone (self pub)

Theresa Kiser – A Little Catholic’s Book Of Liturgical Colors (religious market)

Lindsey Hobson – Blossom’s Wish (self pub)

Kirsten Larson – Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents An Airplane

Valerie Bolling – Let’s Dance!

Janet Johnson – Help Wanted: Must Love Books

Susi Schaefer – Cat Ladies

Heather Kinser – Small Matters: The Hidden Power of the Unseen

Kelly Carey – How Long Is Forever?

Mary Wagley Copp – Wherever I Go

Nell Cross Beckerman – Down Under The Pier

Claire Noland – Evie’s Field Day: More Than One Way To Win

Sharon Giltrow – Bedtime, Daddy!

Gabi Snyder – Two Dogs On A Trike

Sarah Kurpiel – Lone Wolf

Vicky Fang – Invent-a-Pet

Lisa Katzenberger – National Regular Average Ordinary Day

Pam Webb – Someday We Will

Abi Cushman – Soaked!

Teresa Krager – Before Your Birth Day

Lindsay H. Metcalf – Beatrix Potter, Scientist

Nancy Roe Pimm – Fly, Girl, Fly! Shaesta Waiz Soars Around The World

Jolene Gutiérrez – Mac And Cheese And The Personal Space Invader

Julie Rowan-Zoch – Louis (picture book illustration debut!)

Janie Emaus – Latkes For Santa

Amy Mucha – A Girl’s Bill Of Rights

Hope Lim – I Am A Bird

Melanie Ellsworth – Hip,Hip…Beret!

Rebecca Kraft Rector – Squish Squash Squished

Gnome Road Publishing (publishing house debut)

Sue Heavenrich – 13 Ways To Eat A Fly

Julie Rowan-Zoch – I’m A Hare So There (author/illustrator debut)

Nancy Derey Riley – Curiosity’s Discovery (author/illustrator self-published debut)

Moni Ritchie Hadley – The Star Festival

Sita Singh – Birds Of A Feather

Ann Magee – Branches Of Hope: The 9/11 Survivor Tree

Amanda Davis – 30,000 Stitches: The Inspiring Story of the National 9/11 Flag (nonfiction)

Jennifer Buchet – Little Medusa’s Hair Do-lemma

Michelle Vattula – The Stalking Seagulls

Christine Van Zandt – A Brief History Of Underpants (nonfiction)

Candice Marley Conner – Sassafras And Her Teeny Tiny Tail

Ashley Belote – Frankenslime

Becky Scharnhorst – My School Stinks!

Darshana Khiani – How To Wear A Sari

Ana Siqueira – Bella’s Recipe For Success

Kate Allen Fox – Pando: A Living Wonder Of Trees (nonfiction)

Jenna Waldman – Sharkbot Shalom

Karen A. Wyle – You Can’t Kiss A Bubble

Rebecca Mullin – One Tomato (board book)

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Fluffy McWhiskers

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

I have the cutest book ever to share with you today. Literally! 🤣

Unfortunately you’ll have to wait a few weeks to read it, but you can preorder it (or reserve it at your library) now!

Title: Fluffy McWhiskers Cuteness Explosion

Written By: Stephen W. Martin

Illustrated By: Dan Tavis

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books, November 2, 2021, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: self-acceptance, friendship, humor

text copyright Stephen W. Martin 2021, illustration copyright Dan Tavis 2021, Margaret McElderry Books

Opening: “Fluffy McWhiskers was cute.
Dangerously cute.
Yes, Fluffy McWhiskers was so cute that if you saw her. . .
you’d explode.”

Brief Synopsis: Fluffy is an adorable kitten. But she’s so adorable that anyone who sees her spontaneously explodes into balls of sparkles and fireworks! How will she ever find a friend?

text copyright Stephen W. Martin 2021, illustration copyright Dan Tavis 2021, Margaret McElderry Books

Links To Resources: Explosive Science Experiments Kids Can Do At Home; 20 Cute Recipes For Kids; Cottonball Kitty Craft

Why I Like This Book: Sometimes, a book is just plain fun, and this is one of those books. I mean, not really. It’s not really fun! It’s serious! Spontaneous explosions happen! People KABOOM into balls of sparkles and fireworks! Fluffy is dangerous! In an effort to save people, she tries to make herself less cute. But a bad haircut just makes her cuter. And wearing a bag over her head just makes her ridiculously cute. Even exiling herself to outer space doesn’t cut it. What next? I won’t tell you because you should read the book! But beneath the silliness and hilarity is a story about wanting to protect others, learning to accept yourself, and finding friendship where you least expect it, as well as the suggestion that cuteness is in the eye of the beholder. The art is bright and fun and adorable. Fluffy is SO CUTE! But you already knew that. 😊 Young readers will love Fluffy. How could they not?

text copyright Stephen W. Martin 2021, illustration copyright Dan Tavis 2021, Margaret McElderry Books

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 😊

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific blog links (and any other info you feel like filling out 😊) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #394 – Which Newbie You Be? (MG)

Hi Everyone!

It’s officially Autumn!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE Autumn! The pleasant days and cool nights, the colorful trees and crunchy leaves, the tang of woodsmoke in the air, and the season for miniature candy bars 😊 What’s not to love? Although I have to say, I have NO idea how we got to September 22 so fast! Wasn’t it August like, yesterday?!

Whether or not yesterday was August, today is Would You Read It Wednesday and I’m so glad you’re here!

Let’s start of the fun by announcing the winner of Rebecca Mullin’s darling board book, ONE TOMATO! (You all remember Rebecca – she was on Tuesday Debut last week. That link will take you there if you want another look at her book 😊)

And… the lucky winner of ONE TOMATO is… Bru Benson!!!

Bru, please email me or use the contact page above to email me so I can get your snail mail address and send you your book! I know you’ll love it! 😊

Nothing like talking about garden vegetables and thinking about how Autumn brings miniature candy bars to make you want Something Chocolate, so how about a little indulgence? Today I’m thinking Tiger Butter, which is a creamy fudge-type candy/bark made from chocolate, white chocolate, and peanut butter. Yum! Sounds like breakfast to me! 😊

Tiger Butter

The recipe website says it makes a great holiday candy, but it looks to me like it would be delicious ANY day! 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Kelly who says, “I live in eastern Washington on the mighty Columbia River. I homeschooled my son and daughter, then finished my degree in Early Childhood Education. I worked with the Early Childhood Education Assistance Program before retiring and pursuing a career in children’s literature. I am a determined literacy activist who tutored ESL students in college. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2000 and am a passionate mental health and neurodivergent  advocate.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Which Newbie You Be?

Age/Genre: MG

The Pitch: The author uses weather metaphors to tell the story of resilient teen with a “can-do” spirit juggling the secret of her bipolar disorder as a newbie, negotiating the stigma of mental illness, middle school friendships, another newbie and parental conflict, to show hope through a life-altering move to a small town. Someone with a broken leg or diabetes does not have a stigma attached to their illness, why should a person with a brain disorder?

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 Kelly 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 November, 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!

Kelly is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to trying out that Tiger Butter recipe which looks simple enough that even I might be able to pull it off. If I fail at the recipe, Tiger Butter sounds like a good title for a picture book, so it’s all good 😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Chirp!: Chipmunk Sings For A Friend

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday once again, my friends!

And guess what? I may have finally fixed the glitch in the link list! (And by “I” I mean my far more intelligent and tech-savvy daughter 😊) Fingers crossed it works right this time, after 2 weeks of wrong and more wrong!

So! To the books!

Back to school time is making friends time, and my Perfect Picture Book for today is all about friendship!

Title: Chirp!: Chipmunk Sings For A Friend

Written By: Jamie A. Swenson

Illustrated By: Scott Magoon

Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, July 13, 2021

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: friendship, perseverance, cooperation

Opening: “Chipmunk lived on a rock.
Most days she sat on her rock, chirping from dawn. . . until the stars shone down.”

text copyright Jamie A. Swenson 2021, illustration copyright Scott Magoon 2021, Paula Wiseman Books

Brief Synopsis: Chipmunk spends her days sitting on her rock and singing the songs in her heart, but sometimes she wishes for a friend who could sing with her.

text copyright Jamie A. Swenson 2021, illustration copyright Scott Magoon 2021, Paula Wiseman Books

Links To Resources: songs for kids about different emotions; recipe – friendship snack mix; discuss – what makes a good friend?; draw a picture or write a poem or a story about your best friend.

Why I Like This Book: This is such a sweet story about finding friends! All on her own, Chipmunk sings to Rock, and then to Pinecone and Rock, but though they are excellent listeners, they’re not quite the kind of friends she is hoping for. Eventually, her singing brings Raccoon along and a friendship begins (unnoticed!) as she and Chipmunk try to move Log to where Rock and Pinecone are (Chipmunk thinking that Log might be a friend.) But Log is too heavy even for Chipmunk and Raccoon together, so they sing about their frustration…and that brings Moose along. Once again, friendship begins unnoticed as Moose listens and then offers to help. Finally, Rock and Pinecone and Log, and Chipmunk and Raccoon and Moose are all together in the same place. Rock and Pinecone and Log do what they do best – listen! – while Chipmunk and Raccoon and Moose sing together, a true friendship having formed through their cooperation. The story is simple and sweet, with little notes of humor (favorite line: ““Like a rock, a pinecone, and a log in a pod,” said Moose. 😊) The art is delightful. I especially like how every time Chipmunk sets out to find another friend she literally dashes off the page 😊 A lovely story about finding what matters.

text copyright Jamie A. Swenson 2021, illustration copyright Scott Magoon 2021, Paula Wiseman Books

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 😊

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific blog links (and any other info you feel like filling out 😊) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #393 – The Good Wolf (PB)

Howdy Friends!

How’s the first week of school going for everyone? Hopefully your school buses are showing up!

Things are busy in my neck of the woods, but I got a surprise visit from my sister, so that was amazing! (Too short, but I guess every visit is. We should live closer!)

Also, in my quest to discover that which is nonessential but endlessly entertaining, I found out that Violet’s DNA test claims she is a mix of 24 breeds including 9% Chihuahua, which is why even though she looks like this:

she still clearly thinks she’s a lap dog 😊

It’s all in how you see yourself, right? 😊 I’m pretty sure there are a whole lot of good picture book ideas in that!

I don’t know about you, but I see myself having a little Something Chocolate right about now. Chocolate Oreo Cheesecake Chocolate Cake anyone? Why yes, thank you, don’t mind if I do! 😊

Oreo Cheesecake Chocolate Cake

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Hannah who says, “Hello, there! I’m Hannah, an army wife, mother to three boys, and children’s writer. I love writing for kids because it brings out the kid in me 😊”

Find her on the web at https://www.hannahlapehnbooks.com/

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Good Wolf

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

The Pitch: All Wolfington wants is to be included, but when he goes into town, grandmothers hide, pigs squeal, and sheep faint. Fed up with the big bad wolf stereotype, Wolfington sets out to prove that his heart is bigger than his stomach.

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 Hannah 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 October, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Hannah is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to reading the pile of picture books on my desk – some new, some just new to me – but all of them look good!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Tuesday Debut – Presenting Rebecca Mullin!

Welcome, Everyone!

Today’s installment of Tuesday Debut will be of special interest to those of you who want to write for youngest audiences. Although we usually feature picture books, today’s debut is a board book. I thought we might all learn a thing or two from debut-ess Rebecca Mullin about first-time publishing in this fun and wonderful format.

Rebecca has generously provided a copy of her book as a giveaway, so one lucky commenter will be randomly chosen to win the book! Please comment on this post by Sunday September 19 at 9PM Eastern to qualify for the random drawing!

And now, without further ado, please join me in welcoming Rebecca Mullin as she kindly shares her journey to publication of ONE TOMATO – a book she wrote for her daughter and which was illustrated by her niece!

One Tomato
Written by Rebecca Mullin
Illustrated by Anna Mullin
Rubber Ducky Press, May 1, 2021
Counting board book for 2-6 year olds

Count the vegetables as you harvest the garden beginning with one ripe tomato!  Ants, moles, bees and other garden friends join in the fun. Watch for the sneaky yellow dandelion. Learn about growing healthy foods while counting to ten in One Tomato! 

SUSANNA: Welcome, Rebecca! Thank you so much for joining us today. We’re all excited to hear about publishing a board book. Where did the idea for this book come from?

REBECCA: One night while cooking dinner I asked my daughter to pick a zucchini from our garden. She came back with a cucumber! We needed some help with vegetable identification! So, I contacted my niece, Anna Mullin, to make a poster of the vegetables we grew in our garden.  At the time, Anna was a senior biology major at Earlham College and had a side-hustle doing commission artwork from her website, ANNAEM.com. She created several beautiful posters which I hung in my kitchen. Now that would be the end of the story except that my mom, who owns Kids Ink Children’s Bookstores in Indianapolis saw the posters and said  “that looks like a board book.” 

SUSANNA: How long did it take you to write this book? And how long was it between the time you started writing seriously and the time you sold your book?

REBECCA: The initial writing of One Tomato took a couple of weeks.  But in reality I spent my whole life working on One Tomato. I’ve been an avid gardener and reader my whole life.  I began working in my mom’s bookstore in 8th grade and have since logged thousands of hours buying books for the store, selling books to customers, reading at storytimes, hosting author events, writing book reviews, and of course packing, unpacking, and lifting lots and lots of boxes of books (not sure how the manual labor piece helped in writing – but I sure do remember the back aches!)

SUSANNA: When did you know your manuscript was ready for submission?

REBECCA: Honestly, I never thought it was truly ready for submission.  At some point I just couldn’t see how to make any improvements so decided I’d just give it a try!

SUSANNA: When and how did you submit?

REBECCA: I submitted directly to Rubber Ducky Press without an agent or query. 

SUSANNA: How long after you found out about your book going to acquisitions (if you did) or after you submitted were you told it was a “yes”?  When did you get “the call”, which these days is more likely to be “the email”? 😊

REBECCA: The “yes” came slowly.  I submitted by email and got a reply within days that the publisher was “interested.” We spoke on the phone a few weeks later at which point I understood that my book needed some significant changes to fit within the Rubber Ducky brand. I submitted a revised edition several months later and was subsequently invited to visit the publishing house. (Covid delayed this visit by 3 months.) The “yes” came when I met with the publisher, distributor, editor, sales manager and probably a few others…it was such an exciting blur! 

The book launch

SUSANNA: How long was it between getting your offer and getting your contract to sign?

REBECCA: Three weeks. 

SUSANNA: Was the contract what you expected in terms of advance, royalty percentage, publication timeline, author copies etc.?

REBECCA: Standard royalty contract and 10 copies of the book included. 

SUSANNA: Can you tell us a little about the editorial process?

REBECCA: After signing the contract I thought the book was finished….rookie mistake!  The editor asked for several major changes that required re-writing and re-illustrating.  Honestly I thought the changes were outrageous. You want to substitute corn for spinach? You want pumpkins instead of dandelions? But once the changes were made it undeniably made the book better.

SUSANNA: What was your experience of the illustration process like?

REBECCA: Of course, my experience with the illustration process was unusual because I worked with my niece!  We met several times and layed out all the pages of the book across a table to see the flow of the story.  Anna sees color and composition in an entirely different way, I learned so much working with her!

SUSANNA: How long did it take from offer to having the first copy in your hand?

REBECCA: The initial interest in the book was in December 2019 and the publication date of One Tomato was May 1, 2021. However, the book was delayed by shipping and customs issues and did not arrive until the end of July! Boy was that an agonizingly long wait! The print run was 3,000.

SUSANNA: What kind of marketing and promotion has your publisher done for this book?

REBECCA: Rubber Ducky Press has an incredible sales team and marketing staff. One Tomato is now available in bookstores, libraries, Ingram warehouses, and Amazon. 

SUSANNA: Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.

REBECCA: I’ve found some great gardening items to promote One Tomato! I had custom tomato seed packets printed and paired these with a child sized watering can with a One Tomato image to use as a giveaway at the book launch.  Also, I’ve printed stickers and postcards for promotional purposes and my publisher produced a really nice sell sheet for gardening and book stores. Additionally, I’ve reached out to gardening centers and seed catalogs as another avenue to sell One Tomato.

Watering an and seed packet promotion

SUSANNA: What is the most important/helpful thing you learned on your way to publication?

REBECCA: Read everything available in the genre and age range for which you are writing. 

Author Rebecca Mullin

Instagram: @ReadOneTomato

Link to publisher product page:

Link to activity page

SUSANNA: Thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge and expertise in board book publishing with us today, Rebecca! We so appreciate the opportunity to learn from your experience! I know I speak for everyone when I wish you every success with this and future titles!

Readers, if you have questions for Rebecca, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond! And don’t forget to comment on this post by Sunday September 19 at 9PM Eastern to qualify for the random drawing! Someone will win a copy of this cute book!

You may purchase Rebecca’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)

Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

We can help our debut authors successfully launch their careers by:

– purchasing their books

– recommending their books to friends and family

– recommending their books to our children’s teachers and librarians

– recommending their books to our local libraries and bookstores

– suggesting them as visiting authors at our children’s schools and our local libraries

– sharing their books on social media

– reviewing their books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other sites where people go to learn about books.

Thank you all for stopping by to read today!  Have a lovely, inspiration-filled Tuesday!  Maybe today is the day you’ll write your debut picture book 😊

Missed any previous Tuesday Debuts?  Check them out!

Christy Mihaly – Hey! Hey! Hay! A Tale of Bales And The Machines That Make Them

Jessie Oliveros – The Remember Balloons

Beth Anderson – An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin And Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution

Hannah Holt – The Diamond And The Boy

Laura Renauld – Porcupine’s Pie

Annie Romano – Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book Of Gratitude

Melissa Stoller – Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush

Sherry Howard – Rock And Roll Woods

Kate Narita – 100 Bugs! A Counting Book

Vivian Kirkfield – Pippa’s Passover Plate

Laura Roettiger – Aliana Reaches For The Moon

Matthew Lasley – Pedro’s Pan: A Gold Rush Story

Natalee Creech – When Day Is Done

Margaret Chiu Greanias – Maximillian Villainous

Wendy Greenley – Lola Shapes The Sky

Danielle Dufayet – You Are Your Strong

B.J. Lee – There Was An Old Gator Who Swallowed A Moth

Cathy Ballou Mealey – When A Tree Grows

Pippa Chorley – Counting Sheep

Sandra Sutter – The Real Farmer In The Dell

June Smalls – Odd Animals ABC

Jill Mangel Weisfeld – Riley The Retriever Wants A New Job (self pub)

Kathleen Cornell Berman – The Birth Of Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound

Eleanor Ann Peterson – Jurassic Rat

Sarah Hoppe – Who Will? Will You?

Marla LeSage – Pirate Year Round

Stacey Corrigan – The Pencil Eater

Shannon Stocker – Can U Save The Day?

Nadine Poper – Randall And Randall

Christine Evans – Evelyn The Adventurous Entomologist

Karen Kiefer – Drawing God (religious market)

Susan Richmond – Bird Count

Dawn Young – The Night Baafore Christmas

Heather Gale – Ho’onani: Hula Warrior

Ciara O’Neal – Flamingo Hugs Aren’t For Everyone (self pub)

Theresa Kiser – A Little Catholic’s Book Of Liturgical Colors (religious market)

Lindsey Hobson – Blossom’s Wish (self pub)

Kirsten Larson – Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents An Airplane

Valerie Bolling – Let’s Dance!

Janet Johnson – Help Wanted: Must Love Books

Susi Schaefer – Cat Ladies

Heather Kinser – Small Matters: The Hidden Power of the Unseen

Kelly Carey – How Long Is Forever?

Mary Wagley Copp – Wherever I Go

Nell Cross Beckerman – Down Under The Pier

Claire Noland – Evie’s Field Day: More Than One Way To Win

Sharon Giltrow – Bedtime, Daddy!

Gabi Snyder – Two Dogs On A Trike

Sarah Kurpiel – Lone Wolf

Vicky Fang – Invent-a-Pet

Lisa Katzenberger – National Regular Average Ordinary Day

Pam Webb – Someday We Will

Abi Cushman – Soaked!

Teresa Krager – Before Your Birth Day

Lindsay H. Metcalf – Beatrix Potter, Scientist

Nancy Roe Pimm – Fly, Girl, Fly! Shaesta Waiz Soars Around The World

Jolene Gutiérrez – Mac And Cheese And The Personal Space Invader

Julie Rowan-Zoch – Louis (picture book illustration debut!)

Janie Emaus – Latkes For Santa

Amy Mucha – A Girl’s Bill Of Rights

Hope Lim – I Am A Bird

Melanie Ellsworth – Hip,Hip…Beret!

Rebecca Kraft Rector – Squish Squash Squished

Gnome Road Publishing (publishing house debut)

Sue Heavenrich – 13 Ways To Eat A Fly

Julie Rowan-Zoch – I’m A Hare So There (author/illustrator debut)

Nancy Derey Riley – Curiosity’s Discovery (author/illustrator self-published debut)

Moni Ritchie Hadley – The Star Festival

Sita Singh – Birds Of A Feather

Ann Magee – Branches Of Hope: The 9/11 Survivor Tree

Amanda Davis – 30,000 Stitches: The Inspiring Story of the National 9/11 Flag (nonfiction)

Jennifer Buchet – Little Medusa’s Hair Do-lemma

Michelle Vattula – The Stalking Seagulls

Christine Van Zandt – A Brief History Of Underpants (nonfiction)

Candice Marley Conner – Sassafras And Her Teeny Tiny Tail

Ashley Belote – Frankenslime

Becky Scharnhorst – My School Stinks!

Darshana Khiani – How To Wear A Sari

Ana Siqueira – Bella’s Recipe For Success

Kate Allen Fox – Pando: A Living Wonder Of Trees (nonfiction)

Jenna Waldman – Sharkbot Shalom

Karen A. Wyle – You Can’t Kiss A Bubble

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Pokko And The Drum

Woo hoo! It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

The perfect time to make a list of books and then hustle off to the library after school to set yourself up for a weekend of great reads!

The book I chose for today is one that I think fits perfectly with heading back to school where it’s so important to both be yourself and be part of the community!

Title: Pokko And The Drum

Written & Illustrated By: Matthew Forsythe

Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, October 2019, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: individuality, community, persistence

Opening: “The biggest mistake Pokko’s parents ever made was giving her a drum.
They had made mistakes before.
Like the slingshot.
And the llama.
And the balloon.”

text and illustration copyright Matthew Forsythe 2019, Paula Wiseman Books

Brief Synopsis: Pokko’s parents give her a drum but quickly realize that might not have been such a great idea! Wanting a break from the noise, Pokko’s dad sends her outside. Before long, Pokko has inspired an instrument-playing following, and what started out as banging has become such a joyful noise that even her father has to admit it turned out well after all.

text and illustration copyright Matthew Forsythe 2019, Paula Wiseman Books

Links To Resources: get some friends together and make your own band – what different things can you use as an instrument? Draw a picture or write a story or poem about something that makes you who you are – do you play the drum like Pokko? do you dance or sing or play soccer? For a drum-related snack, make cupcakes for the drum and pretzel stick halves with mini marshmallows dipped in chocolate for the drumsticks!

Why I Like This Book: I love Pokko! Such a confident, poised little character! She plays her drum through the emerald forest gathering followers in a Pied Piper-esque way and plays her drum with such joy that her father goes from “We’re just a little frog family that lives in a mushroom, and we don’t like drawing attention to ourselves” to “And you know what?…I think she’s pretty good!” 😊 There is plenty of humor. Her mother is comically engrossed in reading a book throughout the whole story no matter what else is going on – even when she’s being swept away by the crowd! And a small mishap causes Pokko to tell the Wolf, “No more eating band members or you’re out of the band.” Pokko asserts her own individuality while also bringing the community together. Such a delightful book!

text and illustration copyright Matthew Forsythe 2019, Paula Wiseman Books

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 😊

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific blog links (and any other info you feel like filling out 😊) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week! I hope it works right this week… something is hinky!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! 😊

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!!! 😊