Would You Read It Wednesday #379 – The Story of Citronella (Please Hold Your Nose) (PB)

It’s Would You Read It Wednesday! Woo hoo!

But that’s not all!

Yesterday was Dr. Seuss’s birthday, Read Across America Day, and opening day of Vivian Kirkfield’s #50preciouswords contest!

If you enjoy my writing contests and may somehow have managed to miss this, quick! Rush over!

There are 50 truly amazing prizes on offer with everything from critiques by editors, agents, and picture book authors, to seats in classes, to bundles of books – definitely worth writing an entry for! So don’t miss it!

If you’re not up to writing an entry on such short notice, you can still go over and read all the wonderful entries that are posted!

So enjoy!

And to fuel your writing and/or help you enjoy your reading and/or energize you for helping today’s pitcher polish her pitch, how about a little Something Chocolate? I’m thinking Chocolate Cream Puffs because, YUM!

Chocolate Cream Puffs

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Bru who says, “I’m a respiratory therapist of 33+ years, now retired, who over the past covid months, revisited my files of story ideas and manuscripts to revise for today’s audience. Since the libraries were mostly closed during the past year, I built and set up a Little Free Library #91063 so children could continue to read books.  When I first started writing stories for my children in 1985, I wrote articles for trade journals but never published any of my children’s PB stories in book form. As the saying goes, you are never too old to learn new tricks, so I rejoined SCBWI and my hometown RACWI (Rochester Area Children’s Writers and Illustrators) groups. I have placed in The Writer’s Digest Children’s Writers annual contest as an Honorable Mention for many years. I hope to give everyone some smiles this year.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Story of Citronella (Please Hold Your Nose)

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

The Pitch:

In the Stinkbug Kingdom, everything changes in a single moment for Citronella. She realizes she smells different from everyone else which starts trouble.
When an announcement for the prince’s ball arrives Citronella isn’t invited. Is it the work of the stepsisters who smelled like burnt bacon and rotten eggs or the stepmother who’s odor was like a dirty diaper. Or Both. Citronella has choices; go incognito to the ball to try to marry the prince, seek out who she really is, or stay with the smelly stepsisters and their mother forever; um, wait, no way for the last one.
With the help of a wisecracking fairy godfather, Citronella has her one chance to attend the ball. After seeing the prince in his undergarments, she has more in common with him than she realized. Citronella’s bright yellow with black stripes outer skin is not solid brown like the stinkbugs and either is the prince’s. She really does fit into both the Stinkbug and the Bee Kingdom after all. Both the prince and Citronella lived happily, in a hive downwind from everybody else that smelled not just pleasant but Bee-utiful. This smelly insect kingdom re-creation of a favorite fairy tale comes with instructional (Bees & Stinkbugs) backmatter for classroom use.

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 Bru 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!

Bru is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to heading on over to Vivian’s and reading some of the wonderful entries posted there!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #378 – The Bitter Tastebud (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor X 4!!!

Woo hoo!

What a Would You Read It Straight From The Editor line up we have today!

Fun times for all!

It’s always such a great learning experience to hear what editor Erin Molta has to say!

Let’s jump right in, shall we?!

First off, we have such a treat! Straight From The Editor for FOUR (count them! 4!) pitches: April 2020, May/September 2020, October 2020, and November/December 2020!

You will recall Sierra’s winning pitch from April:

Title: The Bug Battle Circus
Audience: Children ages 3-8
Genre: Narrative Nonfiction/Humor

Pitch: 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.

Here’s what Erin had to say:

I can see the potential for this and understand why you’re comparing it to already published books but that shouldn’t be in the pitch. That’s in the query letter. The pitch is your sell line. What makes your book special—apart from Crash Splash Moo or Who Would Win? It would be great to get at least one example of a competition in the pitch. Even a wild interactive story is telling us, not showing us and an example from the story would have more impact on an editor. Perhaps something more like: Household pests go head to head in the Bug Battle Circus—ants and mice compete to see who can hoist the most crumbs. Which crawly critters will be victorious in this interactive story? Nonfiction backmatter included.

Lindsey’s winning pitch from May/September was:

The Wind Keeper
PB ages 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.

And Erin said:

This seems almost perfect. I would suggest one tweak—just to have slightly more impact. Rather than “her world becomes still” because it’s everybody’s world and no wind affects everybody, I’d say “the world becomes still.”

Nicole’s winning pitch from October was:

Dear Duchess
(PB 4-8)
When her octopus stuffie, Duchess, moves to the ocean to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a mermaid, Charley isn’t sure she’s brave enough to face the first day of school alone. Duchess and Charley comfort and cheer each other through letters until Duchess realizes that some things are even more precious than her magnifique new tail.

And Erin said:

This sounds adorable—so much going on between a pretend animal moving away to become a fantasy creature of a whole different type in a whole different place and then to write letters to her friend/owner. So much suspension of belief needs to be unpacked here. Not saying that can’t be done but maybe Duchess goes back to the sea because of her lifelong dream to become a real octopus but realizes life in the ocean is dangerous and scary and lonely without her friend Charley. Just a thought. At the very least, I think you need to add “beloved” before octopus stuffie (as shown below)—just to make it clear that Duchess is a well-loved longtime companion of Charley’s.

When her beloved octopus stuffie, Duchess, moves to the ocean to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a mermaid, Charley isn’t sure she’s brave enough to face the first day of school alone. Duchess and Charley comfort and cheer each other through letters until Duchess realizes that some things are even more precious than her magnifique new tail.

Last but not least, Patricia’s winning post from November/December was:

Working Title: Back to the Sea (PB 4-8)

The Pitch: At sunrise on a lush, tropical island, an inquisitive child accompanies a huge cast of terrestrial hermit crabs as they scritchedy-scratch and clickety-clack on their annual journey to spawn in the sea. They face rocky terrain, hungry gulls, and larger animals that could crush them, but the crabs remain focused on their instinctive goal. This lyrical STEM manuscript is Hawk Rising set in the Caribbean.

Erin had this to say:

This seems very interesting. However, I would encourage you to get more of your lyrical language into the pitch—show an editor, don’t tell an editor that your text is lyrical. The scritchedy-scratch clickety-clack are great and I think that you’d be better off using another line to mention the dangers a hermit crab faces on its trek from the trees to the ocean. No need to mention another book (Hawk Rising) in the pitch. That goes in the query letter.

I am always so interested to hear Erin’s thoughts, and she is so helpful and generous to share them with us! I hope you all found this as educational as I did!

After all that learning, I think we need Something Chocolate, don’t you? Packed with vegetables (from the cocoa BEAN) and protein (from the peaNUT butter) and calcium (because I just dare you to eat these without a glass of milk!), let’s start the day off right with this healthy breakfast!

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Cupcakes

Arrrnthosejusssdulischosss?

I told you you’d need some milk 😊

Now that you (surely!) feel totally energized (from all the nutrients of course, not the sugar surge 😊) I think we’re ready to direct our full attention to today’s pitch which comes to us from Deborah. Deborah Foster is a home designer, mother, and a fantastic cook. Her CRAV-O-METER tends to have a “sweet” outcome and her all-time favorite food is cherry pie. She is a master at writing while cooking supper and, thankfully, her husband doesn’t mind eating burnt casseroles every now and then. Deborah is a member of 12×12, Inked Voices, and SavvyAuthors. She is always looking for more writing friends on Twitter. Follow her @DeborahClaytonF. A

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Bitter Tastebud

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

The Pitch: Amargo is a bitter tastebud who can’t stand to take another sweet, salty, or lip-puckering bite. But he is outnumbered and so is his vote on the CRAV-O-METER. Amargo must figure out how to change the vote or continue eating the food he detests.

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 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!

Deborah is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I usually say something I’m looking forward to here, but today I have something for YOU to look forward to! I know I’m a little bit Mars-crazy, having written a book about Mars and the rovers, but if you haven’t seen this official video from NASA of Perseverance landing on Mars you’re in for a treat. It is, to put it plainly, absolutely incredible! Watch the video, share it with your kids and/or students, maybe read MARS’ FIRST FRIENDS along with it… 😊 but don’t miss the video!

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 #376 – Hairy Bigfoot Believes In Humans (PB) PLUS The October and November/December Pitch Winners!

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all enjoyed Groundhog Day yesterday!

Phyllis and I certainly did. We had to dig out of our burrow which was buried under 16+ inches of snow in order for Phyllis to determine that Punxsutawney Phil was nuts to claim he could see his shadow! There were no shadows on Blueberry Hill – only more snow! As far as we’re concerned, it’s going to be an early spring! 😊🌷 (Which reminds me of the plot of a certain picture book I know. . . 😊)

With that in mind to cheer us on, let’s get down to business! First off, the pitch winners!

The winner of the October 2020 Pitch Pick was Nicole with her PB pitch for Dear Duchess!

And the winner of the November/December Pitch Pick was Patricia with her PB pitch for Back To The Sea!

Congratulations to both of you on terrific pitches that made people want to read your stories, and for making good use of the feedback you received to improve your originals! Great job! Your pitches have been sent to editor Erin Molta and I’m sure you’ll hear from her as soon as she is able!

And congratulations also to all our other pitchers! You also did a great job! It is no easy thing to put your work out in the world for evaluation. But not only do you get the opportunity to learn from the experience, all of us do, too. So thank you for your bravery and generosity!

Let’s all celebrate with Something Chocolate! This morning, we will be indulging in Cheesecake Brownies because why not?! 😊

Doesn’t the day look better already with breakfast like that? Scrumptious!!! 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Corey who says, “Hey there!! My name is Corey King (C.E. King) and I have been writing for a few years now. Just turning to Kidlit last year, I have enjoyed learning new ways of communicating through the power of words! I have an awesome 7 year old to judge my stories and give me daily inspiration. I hope to see you all in print someday!! To see current titles in progress, visit my website: http://www.scribblebuddy.com/ceking or look my up on Twitter @ckinginator”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Hairy Bigfoot Believes In Humans

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

The Pitch: Hairy Bigfoot has spent years writing books & hosting weekly podcasts proving that humans exist.
After a gang of non-believing bigfeet vandalized his storefront, Humans-R-Real, INC., he sets out to disprove the naysayers. BRAVE READERS ONLY! #pbpitch #ha

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 Corey 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 early 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!

Corey is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to trying out 1 or 6 of those brownies! (writing fuel – it’s allowed!) 😊😊😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #375 – Just Right For Jack Ambrose (PB) PLUS Pitch Winners And More Pitch Picks!

Howdy, Friends!

We’ve got a busy Would You Read It schedule today!

First, in the closest vote we’e ever had, with the winner one point ahead of second, and second one point ahead of third!, the winner of the April Pitch Pick was Sierra with her PB pitch for The Bug Battle Circus.

The winner of the April/May/September Pitch Pick was Lindsey with her PB pitch for The Wind Keeper.

Congratulations Sierra and Lindsey on your stellar pitching! Your pitches have been sent to editor Erin Molta for her thoughts and comments and I’m sure she’ll respond as soon as she is able!

Congratulations also to all our other pitchers! You all did a great job writing and revising your pitches, and you were brave to share your work for evaluation from your peers and so that we could all learn!

Thanks so much to all the talented, generous readers who take the time to read and comment on the pitches and help our pitchers out! And thanks to all of you for reading and voting!

I hope all of you feel that you ended up with stronger pitches than you started with!

Now, let’s do some more Pitch Picking so we catch up to where we should be!

First, the October 2020 Pitch Pick:

Please read and think over the pitches below and then vote for the one you think is best and most deserving of a read and comments from editor Erin Molta in the October 2020 Pitch Pick Poll below by Sunday January 31 at 9PM.

1 – Eileen – Tree Monster Tea Party (PB 4-8)

With the BFF tea party any minute, a broken chair could mean disaster! Never fear, good-natured Bear is off to the rescue until he trips, and gets his head stuck a log! As more forest friends stop to help, the problem grows and grows to epic proportions! In this action-packed cumulative comedy, the kooky cast of characters learn that teamwork makes the dream work and, there’s more than one way to solve a problem

2 – Sandy – Little Blue (PB 3-6)

Pfffft!  Normally, the sound of flatulence is associated with a balloon deflating, but it might be just the right thing to lift Little Blue’s spirits.  Little Blue is down, dejected, and downhearted which is distressing when you’re a balloon!  Little Blue’s buddies display real friendship when he’s dragging the ground.   Green and Orange wedge Blue between them as they skip over the jump rope. Pink pulls him onto a swing to help him remember how to fly through the sky.  Yellow pounds the ground with the teeter-totter, propelling Blue into the air. Friends and a bit of flatulence buoy him along as he struggles to get his float back.

3 – Katie – Imagine That: The Lion, Maria, and Brindy (PB 4-8)

Brindy’s never lonely thanks to the amazing characters she meets in books. Trouble is, Brindy can’t hide in the pages of books in class, at church, or during swim practice. But making real friends seems impossible amid all the talking, teasing, tiring activity. Then some lively characters appear and encourage Brindy to sing with confidence and speechify with courage. The unimaginable becomes possible and Brindy finally makes a true friend.

4 – Nicole – Dear Duchess (PB 4-8)

When her octopus stuffie, Duchess, moves to the ocean to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a mermaid, Charley isn’t sure she’s brave enough to face the first day of school alone. Duchess and Charley comfort and cheer each other through letters until Duchess realizes that some things are even more precious than her magnifique new tail.

Finally, the November/December 2020 Pitch Pick:

Please read and think over the pitches below and then vote for the one you think is best and most deserving of a read and comments from editor Erin Molta in the November/December 2020 Pitch Pick Poll below by Sunday January 31 at 9PM.

1 – Patricia – Back To The Sea (Informational PB 4-8)

At sunrise on a lush, tropical island, an inquisitive child accompanies a huge cast of terrestrial hermit crabs as they scritchedy-scratch and clickety-clack on their annual journey to spawn in the sea. They face rocky terrain, hungry gulls, and larger animals that could crush them, but the crabs remain focused on their instinctive goal. This lyrical STEM manuscript is Hawk Rising set in the Caribbean.

2 – Diana – Little Witch Zooming Broom (PB 4-8)

Look up! There she zips again. Now she’s off to Grandma’s house with her basket of Trick-or-Treat goodies. But when Werewolf tries to trick Little Witch Zooming Broom, he finds she has tricks of her own under her hat.

3 – Aundra – Gregory The Garbage Truck (PB 3-9)

 GREGORY THE GARBAGE TRUCK loves his daily routine: Drive around/Clamp the bin/Lift it up/Dump it in. But his stench becomes too much and making friends is impossible. He tries washing and bouncing the trash off but he’s left smelling like old socks sprayed by a skunk and washed in dirty diapers. One evening at the dump his crusty clamper catches the eye of two rifling raccoons. They are excited to help Gregory clean up!

4 – Sarah – My Antler Is Missing (PB 4-8)

“MY ANTLER IS MISSING” Moose cries when he wakes and scratches his head. A mystery is afoot. Moose and his bestie Mouse head off on an adventure discovering clues and track prints. They romp through the winter forest chasing down possible thieves as they search for Moose’s missing antler.

Wow! Such hard choices! Thank you all for reading and voting! You have earned. . .

. . . your reward!

Something Chocolate!

Here you go. Some DELICIOUS Frosted Peanut Butter Cookie Cups!

Frosted Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

Aren’t they just making your mouth water? Yum! Grab a glass of milk and help yourself to 2 or 3 or 5 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Mindy who says, “Due to the pandemic, I retired after 35 years working with developmentally delayed young children and their families. Writing children’s books is my next chapter.”

Find her on the web at:
Facebook: Mindy Meyer
Instagram: mjmeyer06
Twitter: @MindyJ06

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Just Right For Jack Ambrose

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-8)

The Pitch: Jack Ambrose Kalabash wants everything to be just right, from his fly swatter collection hanging on the wall, to the seat he chooses on the bus, to even the sounds he hears or doesn’t hear throughout 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 Mindy 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 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!

Mindy is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to Groundhog Day which is right around the corner! Phyllis and I are hoping for an early spring! (Mostly because we’ve had a week of very cold weather which is normal for January in New York but we still don’t like it! 😊)

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

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 #373 – Kindness Rocks (GN)

So. . . I had this great plan that I was going to start catching up on last year’s pitch picks, but the pitchers turned out to be not quite ready.

No worries! Gives us something to look forward to next week 😊

And all the more time to dig into Something Chocolate this week! I’m thinking German Chocolate Cheesecake because. . . why not?!

German Chocolate Cheesecake

Doesn’t that look delicious?! And I know you can appreciate all the calcium, protein, and vegetable of the cocoa bean therein! 😊

Also, it’s a good day for cake because it’s Scouty’s birthday (not that she can have German Chocolate Cheesecake, but there will be a little plain yellow cupcake for her later – it’s not everyday you turn 14!)

Please may I have some cake? 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Sarah whom you will remember from last month with her pitch for My Antler Is Missing. Sarah grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan. She loves rocks and has collected many. She loves the Kindness Rocks project and leaves rock treasures for others to find on beaches, trails, and in neighbor’s trees.

Find her on the web at:
sarahatobias.com
Twitter: @peacefulheart63
Insta: @sarahpeaceandsmile

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Kindness Rocks

Age/Genre: Graphic Novel (ages 4-8)

The Pitch: Even Kindness Rocks have their struggles. After Crin wakes up on the wrong side of the bedrock, his day feels like it’s going from bad to worse until his best friend Iggy arrives with a little gift. With the day turned around, Crin and Iggy plunge into the water for a swim and rock and roll into the evening as summer vacation begins. 

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 Sarah 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 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!

Sarah is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to Scouty’s birthday cake! 😊 (which I have to go bake 😊)

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #372 – Beach Sand Waves (PB)

Darlings!

Here we are in a whole brand new year!

Happy, happy to you all!

Let’s just dive right into Something Chocolate and start things off with a decadently delicious glass of Whipped Hot Chocolate to celebrate!

Whipped Hot Chocolate

Divine, isn’t it?! Slurp, slurp! 😊

I hope you’ll indulge me for one moment to share my new book with you since it had it’s birthday yesterday 😊

written by Susanna Leonard Hill, illustrated by John Joseph, published by Sourcebooks

I enjoyed writing this book to celebrate grandmas of every kind in every place – each one so special to her grandchildren in her own unique way. And John did such an amazing job with the illustrations! I hope you’ll like it if you get a chance to take a look at it.

Here’s a sneak peek at a couple of the pictures 😊

text copyright Susanna Leonard Hill 2021, illustration copyright John Joseph 2021, Sourcebooks Wonderland
text copyright Susanna Leonard Hill 2021, illustration copyright John Joseph 2021, Sourcebooks Wonderland

Can’t everyone appreciate a grandma who helps her defeat dragons? 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Aundra whom you will remember from November with her pitch for Gregory The Garbage Truck. Aundra says, “I am a middle school special education teacher and mother to a 4 year old and 2.5 year old.”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Beach Sand Waves

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

The Pitch: BEACH SAND WAVES is a 600 word picture book about a child who is willing to endure the thing they hate most to get to be with what they love.

Everyone loves the beach, but Morgan. Sand: It’s like glue. It’s everywhere. And there are bugs. Morgan’s day at the beach is nothing like a day at the beach, but to get to what Morgan loves more, first SAND. #wndb #nonfiction #pb

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

Aundra is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to actually getting a copy of DEAR GRANDMA to hold in my hot little hands! I think my copies might come today. . . fingers crossed!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #371 – My Antler Is Missing (PB)

Seasons Greetings, my friends!

I think I can say that now that Thanksgiving is over and it’s December 😊❄️🎄

At some point in the not-too-distant future, I’m going to plug in all my holiday lights and see how many bulbs need replacing – always a fun job – which promises to be even more fun with Violet’s help! (Apparently there is no dog-tangled-in-Christmas-lights emoji, but there should be! 😊)

Since we’re embracing the Holiday Spirit, for today’s Something Chocolate let’s have some Candy Cane Pie! Doesn’t that sound delicious? And festive?!

Look at that chocolate-y crust, the little chocolate chips, and that lovely chocolate drizzle! Yum! And so pretty with the candy canes sprinkled in! I know I don’t even need to remind you of the health benefits of eating vegetables for breakfast (peppermint is a leafy green, and chocolate is a bean!) 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Sarah. Sarah Tobias is a, writer, artist, master naturalist, and retired librarian. She loves rescuing worms from puddles, has a collection of dead insects, and found bones. She would rather be outside than inside even on a bad weather day. She discovered on the playground during recess, that the kids at school couldn’t remember if worms had eyes, she thought she should clear things up.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: My Antler Is Missing

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

The Pitch: “MY ANTLER IS MISSING” Moose cries when he wakes and scratches his head. A mystery is afoot. Moose and his bestie Mouse head off on an adventure discovering clues and track prints. They romp through the winter forest chasing down possible thieves as they search for Moose’s missing antler.

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

Sarah is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to untangling miles of Christmas lights – so sparkly! 😊

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 😊

Would You Read It Wednesday #370 – Gregory The Garbage Truck (PB)

Welcome to Would You Read It Wednesday, Everyone!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so it seems an appropriate moment to say

It would be no fun at all around here without you guys, so thanks for hanging around and participating in the high jinx and shenanigans and general tomfoolery! 😊

And since it’s almost Thanksgiving, let’s have something Thanksgiving-y for Something Chocolate today! I was going to go with chocolate-covered strawberry turkeys, (I added the link in case any of you wish to check them out) but this Chocolate Pecan Piecaken looked too good to miss 😊

Chocolate Pecan Piecaken

Doesn’t that look scrumptious?!

And everyone knows that pecans are really good for you because of some reason or other 😊 so you don’t even have to feel guilty having seconds! 😊

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Aundra who says, “I am a middle school special education teacher and mother to a 4 year old and 2.5 year old. This book was inspired by my 4 year old son who has loved garbage cans and trucks for more than half his life.”

Find her on the web at:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JasperSammyand

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Gregory The Garbage Truck

Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-9)

The Pitch: GREGORY THE GARBAGE TRUCK is a 548-word picture book for the 3-9 year old range, especially those who wake up early to watch the garbage trucks come by.
Gregory is a lonely garbage truck who putters through his daily routine: Drive around/Clamp the bin/Lift it up/ Dump it in. Day after day, his boredom, loneliness, and stench grows until he meets some clever and unexpected friends.
This whimsical, humorous story shows the struggle of making friends when you smell like old socks sprayed by a skunk and washed in dirty diapers. GREGORY THE GARBAGE TRUCK combines the refrain of TRASHY TOWN (1999) by Andrea Zimmerman with the desire for friendship in THE INVISIBLE BOY (2013) by Trudy Ludwig and the symbiotic relationship modeled in AMAZING ANIMAL FRIENDSHIPS (2017) by Pavla Hanackova.

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 Aundra 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!

Aundra is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow. It’s going to be a little weird – not the big family get-together of other years because we’re all trying to be cautious and maintain small, same-household gatherings with appropriate social distance, for everyone’s benefit but especially because my parents are 91 and 90 – but still a moment to give thanks for all that we have, most especially each other.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone, and a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!!! 😊