July 18, 2012

Would You Read It Wednesday - The 49th Pitch!

Wow!  Do you know what I just realized?  This week's pitch is #49, which means we've been doing Would You Read It for almost a whole entire year!  And week #52 - the WYRI Anniversary - is going to coincide with final week of the Olympics!  I have a feeling this calls for a celebration of some kind... I'm just not sure what :)  Feel free to make suggestions!  Especially if they involve chocolate cake :) and open flame :)
All we need here is a little photoshopping so it says
BLUEBERRY HILL 2012 :)
I actually do have a special Would You Read It announcement today.  Remember that poll I took last week?  Well, some late voters changed the picture a bit.  The results indicated that the majority of you were happy either way, but a fairly large group were in favor of change, while only 3 people felt it should definitely stay the same.

So here's what we're going to try.  Beginning with July (you know, the month we're in right now... last time I checked anyway... :)), any pitcher WHO WOULD LIKE TO (it is not in any way, shape, or form required!) may rewrite their pitch before the pitch pick based on the feedback they received from all you generous and helpful readers.  They will just have to get their rewrites in to me before the last day of the month.  Sound good?  I'm game to give it a try if you are.  If we all decide we hate it, we can always go back to the old system :)  But a lot of people have asked about it and would like the opportunity to improve, and I'm all for encouraging improvement :)

I would also like to take this opportunity to say how much fun I'm having with Summer Short & Sweets!  I've been amazed and gratified at how many people have been participating, and everyone is so creative and talented!  It's such a pleasure to see what you all come up with that I find myself eagerly looking forward to Fridays!  Thank you all for being such great sports :)

But now, onward!  It's time for today's pitch which comes to us from the lovely Vivian whom I'm sure you all remember from last month's incredibly informative guest post for the self-publishing mini-series, but just in case you don't know her, here's a little info:


Vivian Kirkfield has been involved in the care and education of young children for over 50 years.  From babysitting to teaching kindergarten and Head Start to raising her own three children while operating a home daycare, Vivian's passion for picture books encouraged her to write her award-winning book, Show Me How! Build Your Child's Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  She shares her mission to help every young child become a lover of books and reading during her school visits with kindergarteners and her presentations to parent and teacher organizations.  Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12 Challenge was the catalyst that started her writing picture book stories again...and now she can't stop!  Many of her stories are based on her experiences as a teacher, mother and grandmother.  The Tomato Turner is a true story about her own family...and she plans several sequels...Confessions of the Tomato Turner and The Tomato Turner Returns.
Vivian's book/author website:  http://www.positiveparentalparticipation.com


And now, here is her pitch:

Working Title:  The Tomato Turner
Age/Genre:  Picture Book (ages 3-8)
The Pitch:  Stuck in the middle between a brainy older brother and an adorable baby sister, four-year old Peter is determined to do something spectacular that will make everyone proud of him - when he sees the basket of green tomatoes on the kitchen counter, he seizes the opportunity to astonish his family.

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 Vivian 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.  There are openings in August, which is not very far away at all at this point, so we could really use some new pitches!!

Vivian is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!

And before we all go off to our wonderful Wednesdays, I wanted to mention a special upcoming treat!  My friend and fellow author, Tiffany Haber, had her debut picture book release yesterday!!!  Here is her book:
Awesome, no?!  And here's where the special treat part comes in: Tiffany is coming over to visit with us here on Monday July 23 - that's in like 5 days! - and along with what I'm sure will be a fabulously entertaining post, she will be giving away a signed copy of this exceptionally fun-looking brand new book!!!  Mine is on order and due to arrive tomorrow.  I can't wait to read it!

Alrighty.  You're excused.  Have a lovely day :)  Hope to see you Friday for Short & Sweets!


Reactions:

76 comments:

  1. Hooray for Wednesdays!

    Firstly, to Vivian, my answer is a resounding yes. The description of the characters hooked me and the playful tone makes me certain I'd be in for a fun read. The only thing that would strengthen the pitch (IMO) is some other potential reactions from his parents and their consequences.

    Secondly, I'm so glad authors now have the option of refining their pitches before we vote - makes so much more sense to me.

    I'm looking forward to Tiffany's post next week. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. thefeatherednestJuly 18, 2012 at 6:20 AM

    Wow..absolutely I would read it...in fact, now I HAVE to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for your comment for Vivian, Cally! And I'm glad you're enthusiastic about the change in WYRI policy - I like the idea of giving people the option to change and improve!





























    Cally Jackson wrote :


    Hooray for Wednesdays!

    Firstly, to Vivian, my answer is a resounding yes. The description of the characters hooked me and the playful tone makes me certain I'd be in for a fun read. The only thing that would strengthen the pitch (IMO) is some other potential reactions from his parents and their consequences.
    Secondly, I'm so glad authors now have the option of refining their pitches before we vote - makes so much more sense to me.
    I'm looking forward to Tiffany's post next week. :-)


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  4. Thanks for your comment for Vivian, Delores - I'm sure she'll be pleased! :)





























    thefeatherednest (unregistered) wrote :


    Wow..absolutely I would read it...in fact, now I HAVE to read it.


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  5. Yes I would read it! But I think I would need a subtle hint of what will hapen with the tomatoes.

    Susanna your new pitch idea is great

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  6. I am liking the Summer Short and Sweets too :)
    I love the pitch for the Tomato Turner and I want to be astonished by Peter too! :D

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  7. Yes I would read The Tomato Turner. Admittedly, I have a bias toward Peter since he's the middle child...like me :-) But it looks like he's got a plan to make himself stand out. And it would be interesting to read what that is.

    I like that book cover for your friend's release. Using colorful ut-out font was a pretty cool idea. Not to "mean"-tion to the title is cool as well.

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  8. Love the pitch idea and thought it was great! I want to read it!

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  9. I may have commented this before but 3 to 8 seems like an improbably wide age range at which to aim a picture book. Sorry to sound negative but I don't feel that the pitch gave me enough. I think you could hint at the family line up/conflicts and give a little more of the flavour of the story. Hope that helps.

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  10. Vivian,
    Yes! My curiosity is hooked right from the title. What could a tomato turner be?

    Susanna,
    I like the idea people can improve their pitches as well.

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  11. Hmm, I love the idea and I want to read it (I love fried green tomatoes in the summer time) but really, I would love a little more info. Something about the tomatoes mixed into the pitch would be great. But the story and the sequels sound supercalafragalistic, Vivian.

    If I don't win Tiffany's book, I'll have to pop over to Amazon and order it. It looks like my kinda story, Susanna!

    I haven't been very short and sweet this summer. *sigh* I keep saying I will and then I don't. But I will. *promise* (((Hugs)))

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  12. Hi All,
    Thank you, Susanna, for the awesome drumroll intro. :) And I will be back after work :( to respond to everyone...I so appreciate all of the feedback. :)

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  13. Penny KlostermannJuly 18, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    I would read. I want to find out what he does to astonish his family & what that has to do with the title!!!

    As far as the book....that cover is amazing. And for any of you who haven't seen the book trailer, Google it and take a look. It is adorable. Of course, I would be NICE to everyone if I could win The Monster Who Lost His MEAN. (Well, I will probably be nice anyway, but just sayin.....)

    I'm happy with the WYRI decision. You put it well, Susanna....it is all about improvement.

    As far as a celebration for the coinciding of WYRI/52 weeks and the summer olympics....have you seen the logo where the 2012 numbers look like puzzle pieces...it's sooo cool and maybe an option or at least a "get-those-creative-juices-flowing" influence. Check it out!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yes, Vivian, I would read it. I want to know what he did with the basket of tomatoes! The only words I would leave out (they seem redundant) are the last: "to astonish his family", and end with the word "opportunity". Hope this is helpful...
    Susanna, I'm a bit confused about repitching...we rewrite the pitch we began with, using the suggestions we were given. Is that correct?
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I don't know if I would read it. The pitch starts off sounding great, but I think it needs more detail at the end. If you can change "he seizes the opportunity to astonish his family" to something specific I think you have a very solig pitch on your hands.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oops, a typo. Solig was meant to be solid.

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  17. I'd absolutely read it after that pitch! I really want to know what he's going to do with those tomatoes.

    Congrats to Tiffany! Her book looks so cute. What a great title!

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  18. A big yes for me! I'm intrigued and want to know what he's going to do!

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  19. I think the pitch is great- to the point and leaves reader intrigued to find out more about the tomatoes. I would definitely read it!

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  20. I love Vivian's work and I am very interested in her story! I really want to learn from this pitch, as I am always editing for brevity and fearful that my pitches might lose their 'charm' if I cut too much. I would have written this as:

    Four year old Peter, stuck between a brainy older brother and adorable baby sister, is determined make everyone proud of him. When he sees a basket of green tomatoes in the kitchen, he is inspired to do something spectacular that will astonish his entire family.

    But that's just me! Too dry?

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  21. WOW! Almost a whole year! Very exciting!

    And, I like the pitch. I would say "yes" but I want a little more information. Maybe posed in a question... "can he turn the tomatoes red or...."
    This is, of course, me assuming he wants to turn the tomatoes red. :D But you get the point, right? :)

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  22. Thanks for chiming in, Iza!






























    Iza (unregistered) wrote :


    I think the pitch is great- to the point and leaves reader intrigued to find out more about the tomatoes. I would definitely read it!

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  23. Very instructive to see your version, Cathy! Thanks for helping out!






























    Cathy Mealey (unregistered) wrote :


    I love Vivian's work and I am very interested in her story! I really want to learn from this pitch, as I am always editing for brevity and fearful that my pitches might lose their 'charm' if I cut too much. I would have written this as:
    Four year old Peter, stuck between a brainy older brother and adorable baby sister, is determined make everyone proud of him. When he sees a basket of green tomatoes in the kitchen, he is inspired to do something spectacular that will astonish his entire family.
    But that's just me! Too dry?


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  24. Me, too, Coleen!






























    coleen patrick wrote :


    A big yes for me! I'm intrigued and want to know what he's going to do!

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  25. Come back Monday, Laura, and maybe you can win it for those little nieces :)





























    Laura Marcella (unregistered) wrote :


    I'd absolutely read it after that pitch! I really want to know what he's going to do with those tomatoes.
    Congrats to Tiffany! Her book looks so cute. What a great title!


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  26. Ni provlem :)






























    Randy Lindsay (unregistered) wrote , in response to Randy Lindsay:

    Oops, a typo. Solig was meant to be solid.


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  27. Thanks for your help, Randy!






























    Randy Lindsay (unregistered) wrote :


    I don't know if I would read it. The pitch starts off sounding great, but I think it needs more detail at the end. If you can change "he seizes the opportunity to astonish his family" to something specific I think you have a very solig pitch on your hands.

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  28. Congrats to Tiffany! The book cover looks awesome and the title is catchy. I'll definitely check it out.

    Vivian, your pitch is interesting and has me curious. However, I wonder if you could tighten the front and add to the end. I'm NOT wondering why a four year old would be interested in tomatoes. I want to know why Peter is interested in tomatoes (aside from wanting to impress his family.) Something like...

    Peter, Peter middle-seater, wants to impress his Mom. But when you aren't the youngest, and you aren't the oldest, it's hard not to feel like the family's greenest tomato.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Yes, that's it exactly, Jarm, but only if you want to - it is not a requirement that you rewrite. If you're not sure you can improve on the original it's fine to leave it as is. Thanks for your comment for Vivian! :)






























    Jarmila V. Del Boccio wrote :


    Yes, Vivian, I would read it. I want to know what he did with the basket of tomatoes! The only words I would leave out (they seem redundant) are the last: "to astonish his family", and end with the word "opportunity". Hope this is helpful... Susanna, I'm a bit confused about repitching...we rewrite the pitch we began with, using the suggestions we were given. Is that correct? Thanks!


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  30. I know, Leigh, right? It seems like practically yesterday I came up with that particular hair-brained scheme! Thanks for you comment for Vivian!

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  31. I have not seen that logo and now I will have to look for it, but just WAIT til you see what the amazing Renee made me! :) Now all I have to do is think up something REALLY FUN to celebrate! Help! :)





























    Penny Klostermann (unregistered) wrote :

    I would read. I want to find out what he does to astonish his family & what that has to do with the title!!!
    As far as the book....that cover is amazing. And for any of you who haven't seen the book trailer, Google it and take a look. It is adorable. Of course, I would be NICE to everyone if I could win The Monster Who Lost His MEAN. (Well, I will probably be nice anyway, but just sayin.....)
    I'm happy with the WYRI decision. You put it well, Susanna....it is all about improvement.
    As far as a celebration for the coinciding of WYRI/52 weeks and the summer olympics....have you seen the logo where the 2012 numbers look like puzzle pieces...it's sooo cool and maybe an option or at least a "get-those-creative-juices-flowing" influence. Check it out!

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  32. Thanks so much for stopping by, Megan, and thanks for your comment for Vivian! :)






























    Megan McGay wrote :


    Love the pitch idea and thought it was great! I want to read it!


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  33. Thanks for your thoughts for Vivian, Angela. And I can't wait to read Tiffany's book - my copy will be here tomorrow!!! (It's practically like xmas :))





























    Angela Brown wrote :


    Yes I would read The Tomato Turner. Admittedly, I have a bias toward Peter since he's the middle child...like me :-) But it looks like he's got a plan to make himself stand out. And it would be interesting to read what that is.
    I like that book cover for your friend's release. Using colorful ut-out font was a pretty cool idea. Not to "mean"-tion to the title is cool as well.

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  34. Thanks Erik - on both counts! :)






























    This Kid Reviews Bks wrote :


    I am liking the Summer Short and Sweets too :)
    I love the pitch for the Tomato Turner and I want to be astonished by Peter too! :D

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  35. So glad you like it, Rita! You can be in the first group to benefit!































    Rita (unregistered) wrote :


    Yes I would read it! But I think I would need a subtle hint of what will hapen with the tomatoes.
    Susanna your new pitch idea is great


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  36. Thanks for your very helpful comment for Vivian, Hannah! And if you come back Monday, maybe you'll win Tiffany's book and be able to check it out without going farther than your mailbox :)

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  37. I'd read this one for sure! I grew up in tomato country and can imagine what Peter has up his sleeve...I would change just a few words as indicated by CAPS below...(can't do italics or underline, I guess in the poster).

    Stuck in the middle between a brainy older brother and an adorable baby sister, four-year old Peter is determined to do something spectacular that will make everyone NOTICE him - when he sees A basket of green tomatoes on the kitchen counter, he MAKES PLANS to astonish his family.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Penny KlostermannJuly 18, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    There is NO telling what the amazing Renee came up with!!! She's full of surprises and creativity! She should have an exclamation point above her head...in fact she should have an over abundance of exclamation points above her head :-)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thank you so much, Cally...I really appreciate your "resounding yes" :) and I'm especially happy the characters hooked you (they've hooked me as well for over 30 years)! I'm grateful for your constructive feedback also...it really helps for others to look at it objectively. :)

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  40. Double WOW! So glad you liked it, Delores...when we write something, it is definitely uplifting to have others want to read it. :) :) Thanks so much for commenting.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi Rita...thank you for your comment...and I appreciate the suggestion...that's what this is all about...I've never been part of a critique group (except the infrequent meetings at our local SCBWI)...I know it would be so very helopful. :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Isn't Summer Short and Sweets great? Thank you so much, Erik, for your enthusiasm for The Tomato Turner...I appreciate your comments. :)

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  43. I guess each child, depending on his family placement, has a "cross to bear"...but I do believe that the middle child often struggles the most to be noticed. Glad the pitch struck a chord with you, Angela...thank you for your wonderful comment. :)

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  44. Hi Megan...so glad you would want to read it. :) It's actually a true story...as the sequels will be. I never lacked from story material when Peter was around. :) Thank you so much for commenting.

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  45. Thank you for your lovely comment, Tina! And I'm thrilled you like the title. :)
    I agree about improving the pitches...I'm so happy we will be able to!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Supercalafragalistic...oh my, Robyn...that is definitely a spoonful of sugar for me tonight. :)
    Thank you for the helpful feedback...I glanced at some of the other comments and it seems that you are not
    alone in wanting a little more info...we'll see what I can do.

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  47. Thanks for the heads up about the book trailer...I will check it out.
    And I really appreciate your comment about the pitch, Penny...thank you so much. :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi Jarm...so lovely of you to comment...glad you liked the pitch...and I do appreciate your helpful suggestion...I'm so happy Susanna will let us rewrite the pitch if we want to...the feedback is really great!

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  49. Perfect feedback, Randy...I really appreciate your taking the time to think about what would make it better...that's what this is all about. :)

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  50. Laura...I'm really thrilled with the comments here on the pitch...I'll have to share them with the real Peter...he will be so happy! Glad you are curious about what will happen to the tomatoes. :)

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  51. Yay!!!! So glad I've intrigued you, Coleen...I'm really tickled pink after reading all of these comments...it is quite humbling. :) It's great to think well of what you have written...but when others say so...that makes it real!

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  52. Oh Iza, this means a lot to me...I tend to be quite wordy and it is difficult for me to keep things to the point...so glad you feel I succeeded. :) :)

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  53. Hi Cathy,
    Yes, this is such a wonderful learning experience for us all...I am so grateful to Susanna for providing this
    opportunity. Thank you so much for your suggestion...I'm definitely going to make a few changes before the end of the month. :)

    ReplyDelete
  54. I know, Leigh...I LOVE a question in the pitch...but I am stuck on the advice I read somewhere that one should NEVER put a question in the pitch...but I see so many people who do...and I think it heightens the interest of the pitch. Thank you so much for your insights. :)

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  55. Hannah, Hannah...love the Peter, Peter middle-seater...you are SO CREATIVE! Thank you for your input...I really appreciate your time and effort..."it's hard not to feel like the family's greenest tomato"...priceless. :)

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  56. What amazes me always is how generous so many people are in this kid lit community...thank you for taking the time to help make the pitch better. :) So glad you liked the story idea...each time I read the story, I fall in love with it more. :)

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  57. I wholeheartedly agree, Penny! :) She is amazing :)






























    Penny Klostermann (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    There is NO telling what the amazing Renee came up with!!! She's full of surprises and creativity! She should have an exclamation point above her head...in fact she should have an over abundance of exclamation points above her head :-)

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  58. Great pitch Vivian. Definitely would read your story. Creative and fun. You told just enough!

    Congratulations Tiffany.

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  59. Thanks for your comment for Vivian, Pat. And I just read Tiffany's book and it's GREAT! Can't wait to share her with you on Monday :)

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  60. Thanks so much for your very helpful comment for Vivian :)

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  61. Thank you so much, Pat...with so many positive comments on the pitch, I really need to get some critique regarding the story itself so I can proceed with getting it out there. :)

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  62. Thanks for the input, Rosalind! That's what this is all about...so I do appreciate your thoughts...personally, I love picture books BECAUSE the age range is so wide...the youngest ones enjoy hearing it and looking at the pictures...the older ones relish being able to read it themselves (or to the younger ones). But I know there are many schools of thought on that.
    When we try to help one another be the best they can be, we are doing a great service...so I am grateful for your comments. :)

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  63. Yes, I would read it to my grandchildren. I am intrigued at the last of the pitch. What will he do with the tomatoes??

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  64. Yes, I would read the book as pitched. I would, though, like to see a hint about turning in the pitch, perhaps by ending with "turning the tomatoes..." instead of "astonish his family". I'm also very curious as to what Peter does to the tomatoes that will enable the Tomato Turner to become a series.

    The Monster who lost his Mean looks wonderful, Susanna. Looking forward to reading about it on Monday.

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  65. ok, so the image is supposed to be an avatar, which seems to appear like magic when I post to other blogs. Hints? Many thanks!

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  66. Thanks so much for your comment for Vivian, Patricia! And I hope you'll enjoy Monday's post - I certainly enjoyed the book! :)

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  67. Alas, I have NO idea! Some people's avatars seem to show up, but a lot of people are blank. I'm not sure if that's because they don't have avatars or because something is wrong... but I don't know how to fix it...

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  68. Yes, I would read it. I like books that have realistic plot lines for very young kids, and it sounds like this one does.

    I thought the title could maybe have a little more kid-appeal. Maybe "The Tomato Magician" or the "Kitchen Magician" or something like that?

    I think the pitch could be a bit shorter. For example -- does it really matter that the tomatoes are on the counter? Details like that could be taken out.

    Stuck in the middle between a brainy older brother and an adorable baby sister, four-year old Peter IS SEARCHING FOR A WAY TO BE spectacular. A basket of green tomatoes GIVES HIM THE PERFECT CHANCE TO astonish his family.

    I also liked Hannah's rewrite. I think making the language a bit snappier would make the pitch stand out a bit more.

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  69. Thanks so much for your very thoughtful and helpful comment for Vivian, Carrie!

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  70. I'd read the book. I'm intrigued.
    And Hannah's advice was great.

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  71. Thanks for chiming in, Tracy :)






























    Tracy Campbell wrote, in response to Vivian Kirkfield:


    I'd read the book. I'm intrigued.
    And Hannah's advice was great.


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  72. Hi Carrie F...don't know why I missed replying to several comments here...so sorry! Thank you so much for your input...I love your suggestions...and may incorporate some of them in my rewrite. :)

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  73. Hi Patricia...your comment seems to have been missed by me. :( I do thank you for your feedback...and agree that I may have to add a little something about the tomatoes at the end...quite a few people concurred. :) Peter learned many life lessons in the tomato patch and I learned many lesson about parenting from Peter. :) Those will be the meat of future Tomato Turner books. :)

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  74. Hi Anna...it seems I missed responding to the last few comments here...I am so sorry...better late than never, I hope. :) I'm so very happy you would read it to your grandchildren...I can't wait to read it to mine. :)

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  75. Hi Tracy...I am finally getting to respond to the last few comments...which I didn't realize were there until luckily I checked this evening! Thank you so much your encouragement...I agree that Hannah had some stellar ideas. :)

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