February 22, 2012

Would You Read It Wednesday - The 28th Pitch

Well, folks, today's the day I head out for the Reach Out And Read Event!  Pretty exciting!  To those of you who donated books, thank you so very much - the kids will be thrilled.  I'm hoping to get a picture or two today, but you never know...  If I get any, I'll be sure to post them :)

Since I'm off and running today, we'll cut right to the chase!

Today's Would You Read It pitch comes to us from Jennifer.  Jennifer loves to read, write, and spend time with her husband and two boys.  She also writes a terrific blog and participates frequently in Perfect Picture Book Fridays :)

So without further ado...

Working Title:  The Birthday Bash
Age/Genre: PB (ages 6-8)
The Pitch:  It's Sylvia's birthday tomorrow and Stan and Louie have a big surprise party planned. With hilarity and hi-jinks the two raccoons search for Sylvia's favorite foods in the forest, garages and backyard patios. Will they find what they're looking for or will the birthday party be a bust?


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 Jennifer improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  Go ahead and send your pitch for a chance for it to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Jennifer is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!

And I'm looking forward to seeing you all Friday for Perfect Picture Books! :)
Reactions:

67 comments:

  1. I'd read it! I'd read it! :) It sounds like a funny book that all people with a good sense of humor would like it! :)
    Ms. Hill - Any luck with your raccoon? Have a great time at the event (or if you read this after you come home, I hope you had a great time)! :)

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  2. Yes, I would read this! I can't recall too many books about raccoons, and birthday books are always fun because they make especially great birthday gifts for the little ones.

    Hope you're having a great week, Susanna!

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  3. Absolutely that sounds fabulous! Not many raccoon stories out there either. Have a great time at the book event!

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  4. I hope the event goes very well. I'll be looking forward to hearing all about it.

    Yes—The book sounds really cute...who can resist raccoons? (Well...maybe Susanna....since I'm pretty sure it's either Stan or Louie has been frequenting her garage :•)
    The story sounds very appealing. I believe you could tighten the pitch.
    Stan and Louie have a big surprise planned for Sylvia's birthday. With Hilarity and hi-jinks the two raccoons search the forest, garages and patios for Sylvia's favorite foods. Will they find what they're looking for or will the party be a bust?

    Also, I see more hilarity and hi-jinks in garages and patios....since the forest is more of their natural habitat I can't picture how things would be as funny. If I were you, I'd try to find a different setting that lends to the humor.

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  5. Have fun today! And I know you will.

    I would read this story. It sounds fun. I especially love the description hi-jinks. That tells me a lot in that one word. I have it in my Quacker story, Susanna. But I don't believe it needs the dash. Hijinks or hi jinks.

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  6. YES, because I love raccoons! However, I do think the pitch lacks oomph in terms of vibrant word choices. I'd also like to know that we're dealing with raccoons right from the start. Birthday party books sans raccoons are much less interesting to me.

    Maybe something like:
    Rascally raccoons Stan and Louie have a surprise party planned for their pal Sylvia, but they still need to dig up her favorite foods for the buffet. Hijinks ensue as the raccoons take a rollicking romp through garages and backyard patios. Will they find the right goodies or will the birthday party be a bust?

    I don't know if your raccoons are rascally or if there will be a buffet offered, but that's the gist.

    I see what Penny is saying about the forest having fewer possibilities for hilarity, but that all depends on who the raccoons are bothering. :)

    Hope the event was awesome, Susanna!

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  7. Yes, I would read it to find out what kinds of hi-jinks the little guys get into. My only suggestion would be to remove the question at the end. It's a given that the story will have some tension that needs to be resolved (it's what keeps the story ticking) so the last bit isn't necessary.

    I love the story concept!

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  8. This sounds like great fun, and I would read it. This pitch immediately throws the reader into the action, which works. However, I am wondering if there is a way you can work in an example of their hilarity and hijinks in this short amount of space. As we say "show, don't tell." Depending upon what's in the manuscript, maybe something like: will they find turnips in the trash and potatoes on the porch or will the family dog run them off?

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  9. Yes, I would read it. (Actually I would read it to Susanna!). I have to thoroughly agree with Renee here, the raccoons are a big attraction to me, so get them in at the beginning!

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  10. I'd read it. I love raccoons, they're so cute. (Okay, maybe not when they're lurking in your garage. Sorry Susanna.) I can imagine all the trouble the little bandits could get into on their search.

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  11. I would read it but the pitch does sound a tad dull.

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  12. I'm a yes. I can picture the raccoons searching everywhere and (presumably) making a mess wherever they go. Sounds like it could be pretty funny.
    A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

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  13. Yes, I would read it. he racoons scavenging for food sounds fun. But the pitch needs a little sprucing up. Right now it is a bit more telling. I do like some of Renee's suggestions.

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  14. Hope you enjoyed the Reach Out and Read event today! Expect a report.

    Pitch - Yes, I'd read the book. Sounds like it is full of mischief and fun!

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  15. hi miss susanna and miss jennifer! for sure i would read it because i love raccoons. but not just cause of that. i love the title and stuff that had to do with a surprise party has just gotta be always fun. i love the words hilarity and hi-jinks . they sound rel fun too.
    ...smiles from lenny

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  16. Yes, I would read it. I like the comments about moving the raccoon information to the beginning and adding a few more specific details. Rather than tell us "hilarity and hi-jinks" ensue, I wonder if you could give us a little taste of what they might do.

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  17. The idea of raccoons searching around for items for the party just seems so funny-so yes!

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  18. Thanks Eric! Yes, it is definitely meant to be a funny story!

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  19. Thanks, Laura. We have "issues" with raccoons in our backyard, so I was pulling from real experiences. I hadn't thought about the birthday idea as a present for the book. That would be a great pr strategy!

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  20. Thanks, Penny. Actually, I've taken the forest part out recently, since there isn't much activity there, so removing it from the pitch would be easy! :) I love how you tightened it for me!

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  21. Thanks, Robyn. I wasn't sure if hijinks would be a good word or not. And thanks for the spell check, it does look better as "hijinks."

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  22. Thanks, Renee. I love your word choices!

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  23. Thanks, Heather! I'm glad you like it!

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  24. Thanks, Kirsten. I will have to work with that, but I like your concept. I wasn't sure if giving a specific example would give too much information. I will have to try it out.

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  25. Thanks, Joanna. It shouldn't be too hard to get the raccoon image in the beginning.

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  26. Thanks, Tracy. They definitely cause some issues! :)

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  27. Thanks, Darshana. I am going to try out Renee's thoughts and see what I come up with.

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  28. Thanks Hannah. I'm definitely going to get those thoughts added in to the pitch.

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  29. For all of you, thanks for commenting and giving me some great ideas. I'm sorry I didn't get in earlier to start commenting. I remembered this morning that today was my pitch day, but work was busy and I totally forgot. I really appreciate your help and support! : :)

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  30. It sounds like a cute story, Jennifer! I would be more apt to read it if the places to find Sylvia's food were a mystery. I do love a mystery! Don't give away more than you need to in a pitch...that is a challenge for me as well!

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  31. I would read it. I agree with Jarm's comment though. Don't give away too much of the story in the pitch.

    Susanna - I hope you take pictures at Reach Out and Read. Good luck! :-)

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  32. Thanks, Jarm. Mysteries are always good, and I love a good mystery too! That's why I thought maybe I shouldn't say what the exact situations were, just that they were "full of hijinks and hilarity."

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  33. Thanks, Julie, for your thoughts. I'm guessing my pitch looked familiar! :)

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  34. I would read it. I love animals and coons are especially fun - when they're not in my garbage cans!

    Hilarity and hijinks are 'putter offers' for me. Too cliched. Seems you're trying to shove your opinion down my throat.

    Per Renee - make sure you put the raccoons first. When I read the first part, I thought of all the other birthday books I'd read.

    If you put the coons first, you say, my story is different.

    Good luck!

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  35. I just realized I didn't send you a "the pitch is up" email - sorry about that! I'm glad you remembered and checked in - lots of great comments!

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  36. Yes. I would read it. I think raccoons should be mentioned earlier. I really like the last sentence/question.

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  37. I didn't take any, but there was a photographer there so I'm hoping to get some of the kids (me I can do without :))

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  38. Thanks for your input, Lenny! I figured you might like this one :)

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  39. I'll be happy to tell you about it - better with pictures though and I'll probably have to wait for them...! SO not sure when I'll post about it...

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  40. Thanks, Robyn! :) And hijinx happens to be one of my favorite words :)

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  41. Thanks, Penny! I'm looking forward to sharing, but hoping to get some pictures first!

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  42. Well, Erik, I am currently ahead in the Hill vs. Raccoon war due to new garbage cans with tight-fitting lids further secured with multiple bungee cords - figure that one out, rascally raccoon! :)

    And thank you - I'm actually reading this the next day, but the event was wonderful and the kids and I had a great time!

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  43. Thanks Sharron for your thoughts. I'm definitely going to get the raccoons in first!

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  44. Yes. Sounds like a fun adventure.

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  45. Yes. I think the raccoons will make it more fun. Maybe give one example for each of the "hilarity" and "hi-jinks" part instead of telling.

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  46. I like it and would read it with my children. My only feedback, and this is just my personal opinion, is that the names strike me as not modern, though I suppose they are raccoons and it doesn't matter...I don't have any experience naming anthropomorphic animals!

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  47. Yes. I love the use of alliteration and the promise of hi-jinks.

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  48. Cute idea. I'd like to read it. Wonder what she likes to eat.

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  49. I would read it - the raccoons and the image of them digging through the garbage is a great one and what hooks me. I don't really like the phrase "...will the birthday party be a bust" because it seems like we're setting up for failure instead of a cute ending. I think I would just leave it at "Will they find what they're looking for?"

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  50. Interesting thoughts, Jackie! For some reason the names just feel like the characters, but I will play around with the names.

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