Would You Read It Wednesday #404 – There Was A Small Python Who Swallowed A Flea (PB)

Hi there, everyone!

I learned something new yesterday that I know you’re all going to wish you’d known sooner (please prepare yourselves):

It is illegal to stand within 90 meters of the Queen without socks on!

Am I the only one who didn’t know this?

I mean, how many times have I stood 89.5 meters from the Queen in bare feet? Or in my sandals with NO SOCKS?

It is a miracle I have never wound up in the royal dungeon!

As soon as I heard about this I knew I had to warn you. I hope I’m not too late to save you all from incarceration.

I’m really wondering, though, who exactly this is a problem for. Is the Palace overrun with barefoot people (or shod but sockless people) romping about in the presence of the Queen?

Do the guards at Buckingham Palace entertain themselves by daring each other not to wear socks and see if anyone notices? 😊

Maybe the Queen walks along their ranks each day and uses her walking stick to lift the hem of their pants and see if they’re wearing socks with their shoes of if those sneaky guys tried to break the law by putting their shoes onto bare feet!

But mostly I wonder who thought this was something that mattered enough to be a law? I can just imagine a bunch of gray-wigged heavy-jowled folks sitting around saying, “By George! We’ve just got to do something about all these sockless people cavorting willy-nilly in the Queen’s presence! It isn’t to be borne!”

And is this law all about respect for the Queen, or is this her way of making a public service announcement to encourage people to protect themselves against athlete’s foot?

These are the kinds of questions that occupy the minds of writers as we wonder, what if? The seeds of stories yet to come! I can see it now. A picture book called A Royal Case Of Athlete’s Foot 😊

Wow!

When one is wrestling with these kinds of weighty questions, it is absolutely necessary to have Something Chocolate on hand, don’t you agree?

Since we’ve been talking about feet, how about some Bear Paw Cookies for our Something Chocolate? They’re so cute! And they might send our writerly minds down a whole ‘nother path. . . what if a bear was in the presence of the Queen without socks on? In bare/bear feet?! 🤣

Bear Paw Cookies

When you’ve finished enjoying your delicious Bear Paw cookies and pondering sockless feet, we can get down to business – pitches!

Today’s pitch comes to us from Kizzi. Kizzi once ran away with the circus and worked with elephants and tigers. Now she writes as much as she can, finds lots of inspiration from her family, and goes on adventures a little closer to home.

Find her on the web at:
Her Blog: www.threeshowsaturday.com
Instagram: @Kizmonster

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: There Was A Small Python Who Swallowed A Flea

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

The Pitch: There was a small python who swallowed a flea because it was small, but pythons need MORE after all. So small python swallows more and more things and grows and grows. As he grows, so does his appetite, and soon he’s swallowing everything in sight. After small python has swallowed, slithered, and slurped, a huge buuuurrrrppppp might just solve all his problems.

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 you answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Kizzi 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 menu bar above. There are openings in February, 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!

Kizzi is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to visiting the Queen! 😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #388 – Ty’s Treasures (PB)

Howdy, friends! Welcome to another exciting episode of Would You Read It Wednesday!

Since everyone here lives in the land of picture books (and therefore surely has at least a bit of the young-at-heart about them ) I think you will all understand the importance of the following brief dissertation on Swings I Have Known 😊 Let’s call it research, because you never know when you might need to write a swing into a book! 😊

I have always loved to swing.

I began my swinging career fairly tamely in the playground in Central Park, across the street from my apartment.

OK. Not as tamely as in this still photo! I promise, I did actually swing! 😊

Later on, we had a metal swing set – the kind with the A-shaped ends and flat plastic seats hanging from stiff chains. It creaked a lot and you couldn’t swing very high, but it served the purpose. And you could stand on the flat seats and swing for an added element of excitement! (I will confess that I also did a lot of very loud singing while on that swing 😊)

The best swing of my childhood was at grandma and grandpa’s house in California. They had a swing that my siblings and cousins and I all loved, hung from a huge black oak at the top of a little hill, so you could pull the rope back to the top of the hill, take a running start, leap onto the circular wooden seat, and sail out into the air like you were flying! If you were really lucky, you could get grandpa to push you and fly even higher 😊 . . . and spin!!! 😊😊 Now THAT was a swing!!! 😊😊😊 The only bad part was we had to take turns. . . and there were a lot of us!

I wish I could find a picture of it. It was a great swing!

But I am not picky when it comes to swings. I’m happy with anything 😊

When my kids were little, I swung on their swing set – a really nice wooden one with a covered play deck and monkey bars and those rubber belt seats – usually with one of them in my lap, but lots of times on my own.

It was pretty new when this photo was taken – it looks a LOT more weathered now! And my daughter is now 28 (years not months 😊)

That one is still in the back yard.

You know that Robert Louis Stevenson poem?

Oh, how I love to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue!
I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do. . .

My mom used to say that poem to me when we swung (really, shouldn’t it be swang?), and I used to say it to my kids (all three verses 😊)

So the cause of all this swing nostalgia it that this year for my birthday, I got a different kind of swing – a lovely porch swing with comfortable cushions and a nice adjustable canopy to provide shade on my very sunny back porch. In just a couple weeks it has become my favorite place to hang out. Who knew a porch swing could be so awesome?! Great for sitting and chatting, talking on the phone, working on your laptop, sipping your morning coffee, or just sitting and gently swinging listening to the birds say goodnight while the sun goes down.

I’ll post a better photo when it’s sunny and I have my flowers planted! 😊

It’s a little less daredevil than grandma and grandpa’s swing 😊, but I highly recommend acquiring one if you can!

Next thing to try on the swing? A little chocolate chip cookie snack! 😊

Because I just happened to be baking Chocolate Chip Cookies yesterday for a friend, let’s go with that tried and true classic today for our Something Chocolate. I think you’ll love this recipe with tips on how to make your cookies thin and crispy, soft and chewy, or light and cakey – whatever you like best! – as well as tips on how to keep cookies fresh, whether to freeze, how to make them all the same size, and how to add a sweet and salty twist in case you want to give that a try! Best cookies ever!

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Patricia who says, “I’m an aspiring picture book writer who has fallen in love with the craft of picture book writing. The best part is the kindness and generosity of the writing community.  I raised two boys, three dogs, and have the appliance repair bills as best  evidence  that children need hiding places for their treasures!  You can find me at  www.patriciajfranz.com or @patriciajfranz1 (Twitter).”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Ty’s Treasures

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-7)

The Pitch: A lucky penny.  A feather .  A thimble.  Another rock.  No one else appreciates the treasures Ty finsd.  Now Ty needs a hiding place to safeguard them; someplace close where he can touch and inspect them and wonder…

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 Patricia 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 May, 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!

Patricia is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to enjoying a chocolate chip cookie snack on my porch swing! 😊 And hearing any swing stories any of YOU would like to share! 😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #377 – Gina The Prima Bearina (PB) PLUS The January Pitch Pick!

In case you were wondering, not only is today Would You Read It Wednesday, it is also National Umbrella Day!

(I knew you’d want to know!)

It’s kind of funny, actually, since today is the only day we’ve had recently (or expect to have for the next few days) when it is NOT precipitating! (And also not sunny, so no actual reason for an umbrella!)

Still, we should celebrate.

And since many of us (including moi) are surrounded by a LOT of snow, I’m going with this:

Image by Louise Dav from Pixabay

Now that we’re feeling warm and sunny, let’s begin the day’s festivities with the January Pitch Pick! Our contenders are:

#1 – Aundra – Beach Sand Waves (PB 4-8)

It’s another sizzling summer Saturday. Beach day. Ocean day! Sand day-ugh. The average beach has ONE HUNDRED TRILLION GRAINS OF SAND. They scratch, they stick, there are crabs and bugs. But to get to what Morgan loves- quiet floating- first sand.

#2 – Sarah – Crin and Iggy: Friendship Rocks on the Beach (Young Reader Graphic Novel Ages 4 -8)

Three stories, two rock friends, one day. With Iggy’s friendship, Crin’s grumpy morning turns into a swimmingly fun afternoon. Well, except, rocks can’t swim — they sink. What will they do?  To end their day, Iggy puts on a One Rock Band performance. Maybe.

#3 – Debbie & Sophia – Rocky The Christmas Tree Surprise (PB 4-9)

A little owl falls asleep in her tree in the forest and wakes up to find herself in the middle of New York City. Alone and without her family, the tiny owl will have to trust her own courage and the kindness of strangers in order to find her way home.

#4 – Mindy – Just Right For Jack Ambrose (PB 3-8)

Jack Ambrose Kalabash wants everything to be just right; from his name, to his fly swatter collection, to the sounds he hears all day long.  He knows how to make the annoying and loud sounds at school just right, but on the bus ride home and at home, it is never just right. Then, unexpectedly a package arrives to help him through his noisy days.

Now that you’ve read them, which one do you think is best and most deserving of a read and comments by editor Erin Molta? Please vote for your favorite in the poll below by 9 PM Eastern Sunday February 14th (ooh! that’s Valentines Day! ❤️)

All that reading and choosing and voting definitely calls for Something Chocolate, so please help yourself to some French Silk Brownies!

French Silk Brownies

Recipe HERE at Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons

Mmmmm! Chocolate-y, creamy, delicious! Perfect to take with you on your beach picnic for Umbrella Day! 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Ms. T. A NYC native, Ms. T. has been teaching dance for decades across the country. Her past students perform all over the world and all have received countless coloring sheets and daily dance stories as part of class. 

Find her on the web at
www.DANCETRUTH.com/illustrations 

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Gina The Prima Bearina

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

The Pitch: Left overnight in a dance studio, a teddy bear learns, from pliés to pointe shoes, how to become a “prima bearina”, so she can help her little girl pursue her dance dreams. With illustrations closely inspired by Edgar Degas, this informational fiction written by a NYC ballet teacher shows how technique and creativity blend to make great art. The loyalty of TRUMAN and the bravado of OLIVIA meet in a child’s art book. 

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 Ms. T 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 reserve a spot now and you’ll have time for a little polishing before you’re up for helpful feedback on your pitch and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Ms. T is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the Valentiny Contest which opens in less than 2 days at 12 AM Eastern February 12! I absolutely cannot wait to read all the wonderful stories I know you guys will invent!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #361 – Jack’s Crazy Confection (PB)

Howdy, Peeps 😊

For those of you who may not have seen, I truly do live in Wild Animal Kingdom 😊 Allow me to introduce you to my recent visitors (and feel free to use them for an inspirational writing prompt if you’re so inclined! 😊)

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Fancy  (I think this is a female but it’s very hard to tell – it might be Fantastic Mr. Fox )

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Cuddles 😊🐻 (so snuggly with all that fur and just look at his bare bear foot!)

 

It’s difficult to tell since the angles are different, but both of these photos were taken in almost exactly the same place, though almost a week apart.  The fox photo was taken only very slightly to the left of where the bear photo was taken.  So obviously it is like, the place to hang out on Blueberry Hill.  You know, where all the cool kids like to be! 😊

The cool kids here (that would be you guys) are probably about ready for Something Chocolate, am I right?  (I know I’m ready!)  So how about something delicious and fun you can make with your cool kids at home?

S’mores Cookie Cups

Smores-Cookie-Cups-31

 

Yumptious!  Just make sure you don’t leave any of those around where bears can find them because I’m sure they would be irresistibly tempting!!! 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Deborah.   Deborah Foster grew up in the heyday of Disney Princess movies. She was born and has lived all her life in rural Iowa. Deborah’s love of storytelling began when she was very young and in sixth grade one of her Christmas stories won the Holiday Writing Contest. Her writing continued through high school in the form of angsty poetry. But with the birth of her first daughter, her love of writing took hold in the form of picture books. Deborah’s picture books focus on humor and biographies of lesser-known women.

Find her on Twitter at @DeborahClaytonF 

 

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Jack’s Crazy Confection

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

The Pitch: 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.

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 Deborah 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 May – as early as next week! – so you could get your pitch up very soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Deborah is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing what else might wander through my yard!  I would LOVE to see the fox kits (I’m sure they’re out there somewhere not too far away…) but given the ferocity of my perimeter patrol guard

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doubtless no one will dare invade!!!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #346 – Does It Rain? (PB)

Hiya Folks!

It’s Would You Read It Wednesday!

But before we get to Would You Read It, let’s have a go at You Can Write It!

Ready?

Put these three things in a story!

 

My Wednesday gift to you!  Have fun! 🙂

I’m guessing you’ll need a little Something Chocolate to get those writing synapses firing, (also maybe some caffeine because let’s face it, coffee was put on earth to go with chocolate 🙂 ) so how about a little Chocolate Cheesecake?  (Or a lot… no one is judging you here! 🙂 )

This is (supposedly) an easy recipe for those with an Instant Pot. I technically have an Instant Pot… but I’m a little afraid of it 🙂  Nothing like a delicious-looking Something Chocolate, however, to give me the incentive to try something new! 🙂

Easy Instant Pot Chocolate Cheesecake

 

Yum!  Doesn’t that look creamy and chocolate-y?  Let’s just call it Picture Book Pie because it’s sure to give you the energy and creativity you need to write!

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Paul.  Paul Rondema spent his formative years in China and Nigeria before moving to central Indiana (talk about culture shock). He finally settled in Portland, Oregon where he teaches, writes and enjoys life with his wife and daughter. He can be found at: https://paulrondemachildrensauthor.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/paul.rondema.18.

Here is his pitch:

Working Title: Does It Rain?

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-6)

The Pitch: In a whirlwind tour of the world, Does It Rain? makes a persuasive argument for the commonality of us all, for the shared joys and hopes and fears and dreams of each and every person who walks this home we call Earth.

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 Paul improve his 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!

Paul is looking forward to your thoughts on his pitch!  I am looking forward to writing Cupcake Kid Flies A Plane!  Or maybe  Special Delivery For Baby Goat, or Sky High Picnic, or Greedy Goat And The Great Cupcake Heist!  Who knows???!!!  Check in with me after Picture Book Pie and Coffee 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

Would You Read It Wednesday #279 – A Little Witchy (PB)

Greetings, Friends!

I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but things are a bit topsy-turvy in Nature these days.

First (I am not making this up!  I heard it on the radio!) there is a warrant out for Punxsutawney Phil’s arrest because he said 6 more weeks of winter, which expired on March 16, and then we had a blizzard.

Second, we bounce around from 70 degrees to 10 below, sunshine to Nor’easters, like we’re inside a pinball machine.

And the blueberries in the pancakes?

Monday night I had a traumatic experience in which, just past midnight, I heard a frightening sound on my back porch.  My dogs began to growl, low in their throats, and all the fur stood up on their backs.  (And, just let me say, this is highly unusual for them because they need their beauty sleep and generally notice nothing between 9 PM and 5 AM!)

IMG_5096

 

I don’t mind telling you, my overactive imagination (you know, the one that makes me a writer? 🙂 ) went into overdrive and I was thinking up all kinds of terrifying scenarios in which I hoped my brave dogs would rise to my defense and protect me (even though I know they’re more likely to beg for treats from an intruder than pin him to the ground as their fierce ancestors would have done!  Or possibly just sleep through all the high jinx and shenanigans!)

So there I was, creeping around in the dark, the very definition of stealth, trying to catch a glimpse of whoever had made the noise, heart pounding, attempting to convince myself that I had probably only heard snow falling off the roof or something, my fierce protectresses bravely bringing up the rear, when suddenly Scout shot past me barking ferociously at the door!

Out in the shadowy moonlight I saw a dark shape stop moving at the noise!

And then, after a moment, slowly move forward again!

I was just about to think up a Clever Plan For Self Defense when the dark shape picked up speed… a distinctly lumbering type of speed…a familiar lumbering… and I realized . . . it was the bear!

The noise I’d heard was him wrecking and stealing my bird feeder!  Fiend!

IMG_5331

. . . the Scene of the Attack! 🙂 . . .

IMG_5332

But this highlights my point about weirdness in Nature.  I have lived on Blueberry Hill for 25 years and never seen the bears before the third week of April!

So, what, I ask, is going on around here?

Clearly we need Something Chocolate!

And what better in this instance than Bear Paw Cookies???!!!

Bear Paw Cookies

Mmmmmm!  Delish!  And perfect for the occasion 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Jean who says, “I began life with aspirations of being a commercial artist, then changed to journalism before answering my true calling. After getting a scholarship to a Highlights Foundation Workshop Retreat, I’ve come full circle, as a beginning writing children’s lit writer learning the craft, work-shopping, pitching, submitting and trying to break in!”

Find her on the web at https://twitter.com/jrichson2013

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: A Little Witchy

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

The Pitch:  After her mother says Beatrice can be such a little witch at times, while she calls the baby an angel, Beatrice begins doing witchy things in order to make herself into a real witch. But the bad witches tire of her bumbling exploits and warn her to quit—once and for all! And the good witch tells her it would be better if she leave the witching to those who can, and that instead she try to be the best mortal girl she can be.

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 Jean 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!

Jean is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to getting a new bird feeder…and bringing it indoors at night! 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂