Would You Read It Wednesday #374 – Rocky The Christmas Tree Surprise (PB) PLUS The April 2020 and May/September 2020 Pitch Picks

No time like the present for getting around to a task that should have been done 8 months ago! 😊

Due to COVID and the general insanity of 2020 which included various situations I will not burden you with, it appears we’ve wandered into 2021 without doing all of last year’s pitch picks and Straight From The Editors! So this week and next week we will play catch up and you will get to Vote Vote Vote to your hearts’ content!

Let’s start with the April 2020 Pitch Pick, shall we? Please read the 3 pitches in the April group, choose the one you think best and most deserving of a read and comments by editor Erin Molta and vote for it in the April 2020 Pitch Pick Poll below by Sunday January 24 at 9 PM Eastern.

1 – Sandy – Capybara Triplets (PB 4-8)

The rambunctious capybara triplets, Sebastian, Arturo, and Esteban, play and have fun all day.  But when bedtime approaches, they put on the brakes and push for a delay.  The three capybaras use slow-motion, bathroom art, and a closet hideaway to slow the bedtime process.  Although they end up under the covers, they may not stay there as they are determined to investigate what staying-up-fun they might be missing.

2 – Deborah – Sonny’s Smile (PB 3-8)

When Sonny Brightwell is invited to The Gleeful Gala to receive the “Biggest Smile on Earth Award”, he finds that the only place in town to stay is at The Prickly Inn; where smiles aren’t allowed. Being around all of the frowning guests causes Sonny’s smile to droop to the floor and now he must figure out how to get it back in time to receive his award. 

– Elaine – withdrew from consideration

3 – Sierra – The Bug Battle Circus (PB 3-8)

When household pests go head to head in the Bug Battle Circus, which crawly critters will be victorious? You guess! A wild, interactive story comparable to Bob Shea’s Crash, Splash, or Moo! and the Who Would Win? series. Nonfiction backmatter included.

Next we have the Remaining April/Single May/September 2020 Combo Pitch Pick: please read the following 4 pitches, choose the one you think best and most deserving of a read and comments by editor Erin Molta and vote for it in the April/May/September 2020 Pitch Pick Poll below by Sunday January 24 at 9 PM Eastern.

1 – Jennifer – Priya Paints Backwards (PB 4-8)

Priya thinks blank pages are scary and art class is hard; harder for her than everyone else, at least.  When you add in other opinions and constant comparisons, she’s sure she’ll never make a masterpiece.  Then one day, she turns it all around, and finally finds her way.

2 – Deborah – Jack’s Crazy Confection (PB 4-8)

Jack wants to sell his sweet confections, but the dastardly Ice Cream Man has stolen all his customers. Using his great-great-grandmother’s magic ingredient, Jack must cook up something to out-sweet those frozen treats. But a little too much magic ingredient leads to outrageous results.

3 – Lindsey – The Wind Keeper (PB 4-8)

On Jenny’s eighth birthday, Papa tells her that she comes from a long line of Wind Keepers. Together they harness the power of the wind to change the seasons and send kites flying high. But when Papa suddenly passes away, her world becomes still. Jenny must find the strength to overcome her grief and bring the wind back to the valley.

4 – Katie – Winx Thinks. . . Dinosaurs (MG Time Travel Adventure)

Winx Muller dreams of visiting the Mesozoic Era. But he’s going nowhere fast thanks to an ailing sister, busybody great aunt, and missing parents. Then Winx finds a pair of disgusting old socks that sing promises of Time Travel and suddenly the future – and past – seem wide open! Before he can  meet any Mesozoic megafauna, Winx must survive the Time-Space Continuum and the unsettling  evolution of paleontology. Stumbling through fossil-hunting hot spots, Winx gets mucked up in Colonial America, chased by men with explosives in Victorian England, captured by an ancient tracker in the desert Southwest, and half-drowned in British Colonial India. Which is nothing compared to the thunderous dangers he faces in the Mesozoic Era.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read and vote!

Phew! After all that voting we definitely need Something Chocolate! Grab a cup of coffee, tea, or milk and let’s get dunking with these delectable Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies!

Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Mmmmmm!!!!! Scrumptious!!!!! Perfect for breakfast, second breakfast, mid-morning snack, elevenses, lunch, etc… 😊😊😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which is a special one! A WYRI first! – a team effort! The pitch comes to us from Debbie and Sophia.

Debbie: I’ve been writing since I was twelve years old and have always loved creating stories. My other passion is volunteering with my therapy dog, Zoey, who is a Tail Waggin’ Tutor. We have been working in libraries helping children practice their reading for 9 years.

Sophia is a sixth grader in Denver, Colorado and is eleven years old. She has been writing for 3 years and can’t wait to publish her very first book! She writes in the Creative Writing column in her school newspaper, the Sun Devil Scoop. So far, she has published four stories. To read them, you can click the link below.

The two of us have been friends since Sophia was born and we both share a love of reading and writing.

https://sundevilscoop.org/?s=Sophia+Zafra

Here is their pitch:

Working Title: Rocky The Christmas Tree Surprise

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-9)

The Pitch: A little owl takes an unexpected trip in the most famous Christmas tree in the world. After getting stranded, she discovers that she is no longer in the peaceful countryside. Alone in New York City, this brave owl finds her way home with the love and help of kind strangers.

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 Debbie and Sophia improve their 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 March, 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!

Debbie and Sophia are looking forward to your thoughts on their pitch!  I am looking forward to being able to taste those delicious-looking Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Chunk cookies and getting out of quarantine someday 😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #323 – Thaddeus, The Unicorn (PB) PLUS The April Pitch Pick!!!

Hello again, my friends!

Today is the kind of day that requires cake! 🎂

choc bday cake

That is because this little chickadee

fullsizeoutput_177

is 22 today!  Hard to believe…especially since I’m still 29 😊

We’ll be having cake (chocolate of course) right after the pitch pick, but in the meantime, Happy Birthday to the girl who is the poster child for last-could-never-ever-in-a-million-billion-years-be-least! 💕

Ready for the April Pitch Pick?

I present to you the new and improved pitches from the talented April WYRI participants!  Please read through the choices and then vote for your favorite in the poll below by Sunday May 13 at 7 PM Eastern.

#1 – Mary – April Showers (PB 4-8)

April adores taking big bubbly baths. When Mom suggests a shower, April’s imagination runs wild with fears of fiery space rocks, smoochy weddings, and pirates! Armed with determination and precise plans, April takes avoidance to a whole new level. In the end, her resourcefulness is the key to helping her wash away her fears. APRIL’S SHOWER combines the literal thinking of Amelia Bedelia with the humorous logic of The Big Bed by Bunmi Latidan.

 

#2 – Maria – Clean Kitty Super Suds (PB 4-8)

Andi T. Vipperman was born with a true knack for business and a bit lazy streak when it comes to homework. But, he mustmake it out of 1st grade before he can make it on Wall Street.

Will the stow-away in his backpack help him razzle-dazzle Ms. Stegman with his final project?  Or, does Andi create a “cat”astrophe that dooms himself to summer school or even worse?

*** Disclaimer: No animals were hurt in the making of this story!

 

#3 – Sarah – To Brighten A Birthday (PB 5-8) (formerly Lane Makes Mama Smile)

As Lane’s birthday nears, he pictures every detail of his special day: a party…caramel brownies…animal balloons.  But Mama stares out the window, with eyes as empty as their new home.  Lane hugs her, breathing in her perfume of paint and gloom.  He suggests they go for a walk in the sunshine, or watch a funny movie – Mom doesn’t want to do either.  Lane works with his dad to find a clever way to succeed, realizing that his mother is still capable of much love…and birthday celebrations!

 

#4 – Nadia – My Pet Phoenix (Graphic Novel ages 8-12)

Arka desperately longs for a pet. Her father doesn’t think she is responsible enough to have one. She makes a wish under a dark moon, but instead inherits an ailing phoenix from her uncle. He tasks her to take the dying phoenix to Sun City before the next full moon to retrieve something special. With less than 30 days and more than one Sun City on the map, Arka must journey through the eight phases of the moon to get the ailing phoenix to the right Sun City or it will die. And, if the phoenix dies, Arka will not be able to complete her journey.

 

 

And now, I think we have waited long enough for Something Chocolate! Bring out the cake!

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake (from a Healthy Dessert Blog!)

(it says healthy right on the blog!)

 

You’ll note that I’m serving health food – chocolate cake that comes from a healthy dessert blog – because I always have your best interests at heart!  So, feel free to have multiple slices, since it’s good for you and all… 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Nicole.

Nicole is a mom, social worker, member of SCBWI, and a big believer in Unicorns. You can find her on Twitter @beautify_life

 

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Thaddeus, The Unicorn

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

The Pitch: Thaddeus isn’t like other unicorns – he doesn’t have a flashy name, he can’t sing or dance, and his special power is a bit of a…well…snooze. But when an angry dragon attacks town and threatens his little sister, Thaddeus must put his best hoof forward and save the day.

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 Nicole 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 September, 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!

Nicole is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to birthday celebrations!  In the words of everyone’s friend, Max, “Let the wild rumpus start!”

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #298 – Garden Bed (PB) PLUS The April Pitch Pick PLUS The March Pitch Pick Winner!

Are any of you guys Calvin and Hobbes fans?

There’s a Calvin and Hobbes collection called The Days Are Just Packed, and that title just says it all!  Really, doesn’t it seem like every day is just packed?  How is it Wednesday again already?! 🙂

Given the packed-ness of everyone’s days, let’s get right down to business, shall we?

First up, I’m happy to announce the winner of the March Pitch Pick! It is Jean with her picture book pitch for A Little Witchy!  Congratulations on a strong (and popular!) pitch, Jean!  It is on its way to editor Erin Molta for her expert review!

Congratulations to all our other pitchers as well for excellent pitches and wonderful story ideas!  I hope the WYRI experience has helped you strengthen your pitches so that all those stories pique the interest of agents and editors and result in multi-house bidding wars!

Now, let’s move on to the ARPIL Pitch Pick!  (I apologize again for getting so far behind with the pitch picks that we’re having to do one a week for eternity here – you guys are very patient with me!)

Please read through our WYRI contestants’ revised pitches below.  Choose the one you like best and think is most deserving of a read and comments by Erin Molta and vote by Sunday September 23 at 9PM Eastern.  Rachel, Candace, Amanda, Corine, and I all thank you and send virtual Snickers bars your way! 🙂

#1 – Rachel – The Littlest Astronaut – PB Ages 4-10

All Seren has ever wanted is to become an astronaut…but training at the academy is hard work and she cant keep up! If Seren doesn’t improve her grades she won’t be selected for an upcoming space mission. A crisis hits the International Space Station and only a pint sized hero can save the day. Seren has to step up in order to save a team of astronauts and to achieve her dream of going in to space.

#2 – Candace – Curious Cassandra – PB Ages 2-6

The pitch:  Cassandra overhears her mother talking about the plants their neighbor, Mrs Fulton, is growing in her garden – turtle’s heads, fox’s gloves, and lamb’s ears.  She wants to see these mysterious plants for herself but, Mrs Fulton is on vacation. There must be a way to spy over, under, or through the garden fence and Cassandra intends figure it out.

 

#3 – Amanda – Sylvia Swan And Cabot – PB Ages 4-10

Matilda + Big Hero 6 + Walle + Frankenstein

When Sylvia’s family is too busy to help her build a blanket fort, she takes matters into her own hands. She utilizes her pint-sized engineering skills: brainstorming, sketching, measuring, and drafting to create the perfect invention! She brings CABot, her Customized Assisting Robot, to life. CABot becomes her fort building solution—making her favorite pastime a reality. But Sylvia soon finds out that CABot can help her build more than just a fort when inspiration strikes again—solving her problem of eating eggplant parmesan for dinner.

#4 – Corine – Willamina the Wolf Spider – PB Ages 6-9

Willamina the wolf spider wants more than anything to keep her spiderlings safe, but when her tummy starts grumbling, she knows it’s time to hunt. Not an easy task with three hundred spiderlings on her back! To make matters worse, it is full moon, and she is not the only one who is hungry. Willamina has to outsmart an owl, a shrew, and, in the end, a woman with a broom—an incident that forces her to release her spiderlings, but not before telling them they are going on a flying adventure.

 

Now then!  I think we’ve all earned Something Chocolate, don’t you?  What should we have today…?  How about some chocolate pound cake with chocolate ganache? That sounds like breakfast, doesn’t it? 🙂

Chocolate Pound Cake

Mmm!  Delish!  Goes great with coffee, tea or milk, and is guaranteed to either pep us up or put us down for a nap 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Lily.  Lily Erlic is a member of the SCBWI. She has authored many books included Finger Rhymes for Manners and Glaciers: Landscape Carvers. She is a preschool and daycare teacher (ECE) with a BA degree from the University of Victoria.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Garden Bed

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 2-5)

The Pitch: Garden Bed is a lyrical rhyming book that takes place in the garden. Each plant is put to sleep gently. Tomato, cucumber, parsley, eggplant, kale, purple potato, lettuce, carrots and peas are lulled to sleep. At the end, a young child is placed in a “garden bed” and gently lulled to sleep as well. An early picture book for children five and under, this book will find an audience in preschool and daycares across the country. This book will resonate with parents especially for nap time or before bed. I can provide back matter for each type of vegetable.

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 Lily 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!

Lily is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the Princeton Children’s Book Festival this Saturday!!!  Will any of you be there?  I hope you’ll stop by and say hi!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂