Would You Read It Wednesday – The 37th Pitch… And A Challenge!… With A Prize :)

YIKES!

I moseyed on over to my blog to write today’s post and everything looks totally different and unfamiliar!  We’re not in Kansas anymore!

What happened to blogger?

I guess this is that new format they’ve been threatening and I’ve been avoiding.

Well.

Let’s just hope this post goes up the way it’s supposed to!

Harrumph!

First things first.  Your friend and mine, Phyllis, cutest and fuzziest of all groundhogs, is still on tour.  Wonderful, amazing, awesome people are still hosting her and putting up terrific posts about her visits.  So if you have a second, please hop over and see what kind of high jinx and shenanigans she got up to with Saba in Washington!

Next, I’d like to throw out a challenge to all of you – and this is for everyone because you don’t have to be a writer to do this.  In fact, some of you teachers might be really good at this!

It has come to my attention that I’m very bad at distilling picture books (or any other books for that matter) down to the nitty-gritty of their themes.  So for anyone who would like to take pity on me (and I’m guessing there are a fair number of others out there who could benefit from this as well :)) please be so kind as to give the title of a well-known picture book in the comments today along with a few words or a sentence that crystalize the theme of the book.  You may also do the plot if you want, but it’s really the theme I’m interested in.

So, for example, what the flinging’-flangin’ heck is the theme of Fancy Nancy?  Pinkalicious?  I Want My Hat Back?  I mean something like “love conquers all” or “if at first you don’t succeed, keep trying”… that kind of thing.  Gosh.  They sound like proverbs.  Is that how this works?  You can see I need help 🙂  So PLEASE help!  For every book you put with a theme in the comments below today or tomorrow, I will put one entry into random.org and then on Friday, during Perfect Picture Books, I will give one lucky winner a copy of the brand new and fabulous Puzzled By Pink (of which I also can’t state the theme) by Sarah Frances Hardy!!!

See how this works?  My desperation equals a great exercise for you and the possibility of an awesome book! 🙂  Nice, no?

Third, by popular demand, we will be doing one (or possibly a couple) of Q&A posts with editor Erin Molta, so if you have questions for her, please get them to me ASAP, either in the comments or by using that handy Email Me button over there on the right 🙂

Now then.  Time to get down to business.  Would You Read It business, that is.  Today’s pitch comes to us from Anna who has a background in teaching and strives to entertain and teach children about different cultures in her writing.  (I believe this book has been self-published, but Anna is still hoping to strengthen her pitch for marketing purposes.)

Ready?

Working Title:  A Bug Who Needs A Hug
Age/Genre: Picture Books (ages 2-7)
The Pitch:  A Bug Who Needs A Hug is about a fuzzy little bug that goes out into the forest looking for someone to hug. The vivid and colorful illustrations in the book emphasize the importance of friendship and leave a positive message for children at the end of the story.

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 Anna 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 the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in early July – not that far away! – so go ahead and send your pitch for a chance for it to be read by editor Erin Molta!
Anna is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!
And I am looking forward to your succinct statements of picture book themes and your questions for Erin!
Have a happy Wednesday everyone! 🙂
Wait!  Stop the presses!  I forgot to say that if anyone hasn’t had a chance to read Monday’s interview with Lisa Thiesing and enter the awesome book giveaway, there is still time!  Hop on over!

Straight From The Editor!

Happy Monday, Everyone!

I hope you’re all feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning 🙂

To start off, we have a new piece of the Would You Read It feature (which makes me realize I’m going to have to put some sort of organized posting calendar in my sidebar so everyone will know when to look forward to what, but I digress…)  This exciting part includes editor Erin Molta’s thoughts on the winner’s pitch – an educational opportunity for us all!

To remind you, the winner was Alisha, and her pitch was as follows:

Working Title:  Finding The Reindeer Beat
Age/Genre:  PB
The Pitch:  When Santa’s sleigh team decided to retire, a new group of reindeer trained with Coach Dasher, almost crashed in front of Santa, and discovered the secret to staying together.
Here are Erin’s comments:

Your pitch is intriguing, but in order for an editor to hit reply and write out a note to say she/he wants to read more, it needs to have a little more punch!

For instance, here’s your sentence: “When Santa’s sleigh team decided to retire, a new group of reindeer trained with Coach Dasher, almost crashed in front of Santa, and discovered the secret to staying together.”

I think it needs more action and decisiveness, like this: Santa’s sleigh team retired. A new set of reindeer trained with Coach Dasher but crashed in front of Santa. Finally, after (they are threatened with replacement or after many trials or something . . .) they discovered the secret to working together.

That basically tells the story in a nutshell and though it’s three sentences, it gets the point across in a decisive manner without the wishy-washy verbs—“decided” and “almost” are passive and seem like you’re not sure. Always go with the action.

Of course, our contest was for one sentence – perhaps something to consider modifying slightly in the future if this type of comment comes up again.  But hopefully Erin’s thoughts about action will be helpful to us all!
Now for item number 2.  And I hope you’re all paying attention because even though it’s Monday morning, that is no excuse to ignore our health.  So please follow along with this important exercise program:
Exercise for the weak:
Begin with a 5-lb potato bag in each hand. Extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can.
Each day you’ll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.
After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato bags.
Then try 50-lb potato bags and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato bag in each hand . (I’m at this level.)
After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag 🙂
(Courtesy of my friend Teri through her friend Bev.)
 
I hope that gets your week off to a good start 🙂
Feel free to share your thoughts on the editor’s comments as well as any successful exercise programs of your own in the comments below, and don’t forget to tune in Wednesday for Would You Read It, this week starring Saul with an Early Reader!

OH!  And I almost forgot!  Marissa Oachs over at The Review Stew did a nice review and giveaway for my books (go here: http://www.thereviewstew.com/2011/09/childrens-books-by-susanna-l-hill.html) so please hop over and check out her site and enter the giveaway if you’re so inclined 🙂