Would You Read It Wednesday #354 – Maple & Pine (PB)

Darlings, has the novelty of working from home…whilst homeschooling the littles…whilst still being in charge of laundry, household chores, cooking, refereeing, peacekeeping, and entertaining…. whilst trying to exercise in the hall closet because the rest of the house is overrun with hooligans and it’s the only place you can get any privacy… whilst not being able to take the kids to the park or the zoo or the movies or even send them to play next door…  worn off?

I’m thinking we’d better have some fun!  How about you?

This is a game adults and kids, parents and teachers, writers and illustrators, anyone and everyone can play!

Are you ready?

It’s time to make Story Starter Cootie Catchers!

In case you don’t remember how to fold them, here’s a little review:

And in case you don’t remember where to write on them, here’s a template:

A nice flat clear one:

cootie catcher

and then mine which is less flat and less clear but has the right kind of information on it! 😊


You will need 4 colors (I chose Orange, Purple, Raspberry, and Turquoise.)  Alternatively you could choose 4 animals, or 4 musical instruments, or whatever blows your hair back 😊

Then you need 8 numbers.  I went with the obvious: 1-8.  But you can pick whatever you like 😊 You could also swap out the numbers for genres if you want – adventure, mystery, how-to, etc.

Then you need 8 story elements of some kind.  I actually put in choices to get more mileage out of my little homemade idea generator, but for those of you who are trying to get mileage out of entertaining your kids, let them make as many cootie catchers with as many options as they like…!

I put in 8 different story starter/opening lines and also 8 different sets of 3 random words.  You could choose one or the other or parts of both if you land on that option while playing the game.

You could also use the colors and/or numbers as part of your story if you wanted to.

If thinking up what to put in doesn’t work for you, you are most welcome to use my options – I’m pretty sure you can read them with a little zoom-in and tilt your head sideways!




So, for example, if you were using MY fancy little story starter, you could choose

Raspberry, (and you open and close the cootie catcher 9 times as you spell out r-a-s-p-b-e-r-r-y which lands you on a choice of 4 possible numbers)
so you might choose  3,
and when you lift that flap it that would give you a story that started with Rory rounded the corner quickly and ran headfirst into. . .

or you could choose to write a story that included the words cinnamon, feather, and bubble

If you wanted to also incorporate raspberry and/or 3, you could do that as well!


Instantly ideas begin to percolate!

If your kids are old enough to read and write, they can make their own story starter cootie catchers and you can trade them around so you get other people’s sparks.

If you’re trying to stretch out the entertainment value, your kids can write, illustrate, act out, make up a song or a jump rope rhyme, and/or tell stories as well, earning you time to do your work (or hide in the hall closet!!!)

Then, after you’ve all had tons of fun with creativity, you can make a snack together!

Something Chocolate – Fun For Kids Chocolate-Dipped Rice Krispie Treats!

Fun For Kids Chocolate-Dipped Rice Krispie Treats!


These are decorated with rainbow sprinkles, but you can decorate with anything you like – mini marshmallows, blueberries, peanut butter chips, slightly stale breadcrumbs if that’s all that’s left in your larder… 😊 – just another opportunity to use your imagination!

Ta da!  I hope I’ve given you a way to entertain your household for at least 14 minutes today 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Jenny Prevost, an aspiring picture book author and french fry aficionado who also loves coffee, her small southern town, and going on adventures with her hilariously loud family. (3 kids, 2 pets, 1 husband and a partridge in a pear tree. Kidding, no pear trees… only citrus ones.) She interviews authors and shares writerly musings at www.jennyprevost.com and ‘mom stuff’ over on  www.thelafayettemom.com.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Maple & Pine

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

The Pitch: Maple gives the best high fives and her words are sweet as syrup, but she’s planted next to Pine, who pokes fun all year long. At least until a springtime storm shakes things up and gives Pine a fresh perspective.

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 Jenny 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 April, 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!

Jenny is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to hearing how you all fare with Story Starter Cootie Catchers!  Feel free to share your story starters in the comments!  And feel free to share this blog post with any of your desperate bored friends! 😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂