April 10, 2013

Would You Read It Wednesday #83 - Giant At The Gym (PB) AND The March Pitch Pick


Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Let's start with the really important stuff, shall we?

Cake!  It's what's for breakfast :)

Because I decided (based on the fact that someone we all know and love is having a birthday within the next few days :)) that we should celebrate by having chocolate birthday cake for our Something Chocolate this morning.  So let's just throw caution to the wind, forget pretending that chocolate cake is good for you, and just go hog wild! :)

Help yourself to multiple slices and feel free to have a cup of coffee or a glass of milk to go with :)

Now that we have attended to our blood sugar levels, which I know were dangerously low before I came along with the cake, we can focus on the March Pitch Pick which, due to the In Just Spring Contest has only 3 contenders.  Here are the revised pitches ready for you to choose which one you think is best and deserves a read by editor Erin Molta:

#1 Linda
Twitch (MG)
After his father disappears, Twitch Taylor is forced to live with his uncle, reviving an old-time Cherokee custom where uncles teach nephews the ways of men. Twitch soon learns how important the traditional ways are: an ancient curse is attacking his family, something only he can control; should he fail, the curse will return to life with no one able to stop it. Can Twitch learn fast enough to become a Cherokee warrior? Can a kid save the world?

#2 Denise
Phewie Hughie (Picture Book ages 4-8)
Hughie loves his toots. The louder the better, but because Hughie thought everyone should love his toots, he had a hard time understanding why no one appreciated his wonderful ability until two children come to an important dinner and Hughie’s dad reminds to remember his manners.  Mayhem happens after Hughie realizes he just can’t hold it in.   Will Hughie find a way to control his engine’s noise and find friends along the way?

#3 Erik
The Adventures Of Tomato And Pea (Chapter Book ages 7 and up)
In a plan gone wrong, the evil villain Wintergreen tangles with super crime-stopper Tomato and his sidekick Pea in a runaway rocket ship that crashes on a strange planet called EAR-TH. Now these perennial enemies must learn to work together to survive the dangers on this strange world and find a way home to planet Oarg.

Please vote for your favorite in the poll below by 11:59 PM EDT on Saturday April 13.

Today's pitch comes to us from Elaine, who is a Mom of two, wife of one, mom to three furry kids and second grade school teacher. :)

Working Title: Giant At The Gym
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 3-7)
The Pitch: When a burly Giant enters the gym for a workout, he discovers that the weights are just too light. Too fix this problem he grabs unsuspecting gym goers, who are animals, to help him. The story gets funnier as the pile grows, finally ending with an unexpected surprise.


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 Elaine 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 June so you have time to polish for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Elaine is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to what may be the last college revisit for #4 (or we may have one more... you never know :)) and to more CAKE! :)

Have a wonderful day, everyone! :)

Reactions:

94 comments:

  1. Voted!

    And I'd have to say that I would read today's pitched story, mostly to see the ensuing pictures of this giant piling animals for weights :-)

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  2. I would read it! The story is a very funny idea. Does the story take place in a fairytale land? I don't like how the third sentence tells you the story gets funnier. I think it should be more like "As the wobbly pile of exercising animals grows, mayhem breaks out and it all crashes in an unexpected ending." Okay that's not the best either, but I hope you get what I mean.

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  3. Interesting idea. Why are the gym-goers animals? Is there something specific to them that is critical to the story? If so, it may be helpful to hint at that.

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  4. For me it's a maybe. I like the idea of the humor, but I wanted to know if there was more to the story, maybe about respecting others. Something subtle but a little deeper.

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  5. Thank you Andrea, I'll try to work that in!

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  6. YES! Thank you This Kid Reviews Bks! You're absolutely right- I will fix it, pronto! Thanks for your feedback! :D

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  7. Thank you, Angela! I appreciate it! :D

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  8. Yes, I certainly would read this book! Giants are always a good humor element, I think, and little kids (and me...LOL!) love the cumulative aspects of stories. I agree with Erik's (This Kid Reviews Books) assessment of the third sentence - never tell when you can show, even in a pitch! :)


    Voted and I can't wait to see who wins this pitch contest!

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  9. Hey, it's your birthday this month isn't it? Tell me when :)
    That was hard to choose btw.
    I like the pitch, has someone mentioned too/to yet? I'm finding it interesting how many people are asking rhetorical questions at the end, I thought that was a no, no. I want to put one in my query so i was wondering if it's okay. The end seems a little vague, I would hint more about what happens. I love the storyline, how original!

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  10. Happy early birthday!

    For me it's also a maybe, for the main reason that I'm not sure how the story gets funnier. As already suggested, give us a hint and then I think it would be a yes for me. I also suggest a couple tweaks to the second sentence. Something like, "To fix this problem, he grabs unsuspecting animal gym-goers to help him." Good luck with your story. It does sound funny. :)

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  11. Thanks, Angela! I think it would have great illustration potential! :)

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  12. That is an excellent suggestion, Erik! Thanks for chiming in!

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  13. Thanks for sharing your thoughts for Elaine, Katie - very helpful :)

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  14. Good point, Andrea - it would probably help the pitch to give an idea of that. Thanks for your comments for Elaine!

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  15. Thanks for your comments for Elaine, Teresa, and thanks for voting. I can't wait to see who wins either! :)

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  16. Thanks for your helpful comments for Elaine, Catherine. We do always seem to go back and forth over the question/no question aspect of pitches and queries... And yes, it is my birthday on Sunday... I will be VERY OLD :)

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  17. Thanks for the early birthday wishes, Pam - I hope you got some cake :) And thanks for your helpful comments for Elaine!

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  18. Deborah Holt WilliamsApril 10, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    I think this story would be fun for an artist to illustrate! I like the unusual setting of a gym, too.

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  19. It's a clever idea that would make a cute picture book. I would probably read it.

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  20. I would definitely read this, and I love the pitch. It feels polished and ready. The line "who are animals" stopped the action for a minute for me, though. I wonder if you need it? In fact, I wonder if you need even decide this at all, or if it can be an illustrator decision? (But maybe it's part of the story.) Either way, I love it. Nice idea!

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  21. Thank you, Wendy. You're right, I don't need it!

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  22. Hi Pam, Thanks! It's a cumulative picture book, and I really like the way you tweaked that sentence! :D

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  23. Thank you Catherine, I missed the to/too- so thank you! It looks like I have an awful lot of work to do on this pitch! Thanks for your helpful comments.

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  24. I like the concept of the story, but I still would only maybe read it (sorry, Elaine!). I know how difficult pitches are, but the advice I'd give is that if the story is funny, choose some details to include in the pitch to make it funny, too. A good place to do that might be in place of the adjectives that may or may not match the language of the story (burly, unsuspecting, unexpected). Good luck!

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  25. YES Elaine! I love the Giant! I do agree with the observation that the phrase 'who are animals' read a little forced.
    And maybe you could change the 'funnier' sentence to something like: 'A the pile grows, the fun mounts up, ending with an unexpected surprise.'

    Happy Birthday and thanks for the coffee and cake Susanna!

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  26. I would read it because that pile has made mme curious, but I do wonder about the setting - why the gym? Maybe it's the 'who are animals' line that is throwing me. I would expect them in a jungle (jungle gym!!!) or a zoo. Yeah, it is the setting - I need to know more.

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  27. Yes, I would read it. It sounds hilarious. I like the beginning of the pitch better than the ending. Some of the suggestions already in the comments will help. But YES. Super cute idea.

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  28. Happy Chocolaty-a-little-early birthday! Yum!

    I would say "yes" because I was hooked at the word "giant". You've received suggestions for tightening your pitch. Erik's wording is really good. I agree with him that you can't say "the story gets funnier" because that's telling and not showing. Also, I think you can cut "who are animals" and include it another way.You capitalized Giant, but didn't use it as a proper name because you said "a" giant. So either delete the "a" or give Mr. Giant a name :-)

    Another thing would be to add in as much gym wordplay as possible. This is just a quick jotting down of a revision, but I hope it will give you an idea of what I mean:

    Name, a burly giant, tramps into the gym for workout. When he discovers that the weights are just too light, he power lifts gym-goers for beastly bulk. As the squawking, growling, howling pile grows, Name sees that he’s going to have to do something quick or he’s going to look like a dumbbell.

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  29. Sounds like it could be funny or terrifying.

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  30. I'm a maybe, but I think it's an easy path to get me to yes. The use of "the story gets funnier" throws me off. I wouldn't tell this info, but show it as Erik suggests. Sounds like there's growing tension in the story with the piling of animals, but I'm confused about the conflict here. I like Pam's suggestions too. Why animals in the gym? Good luck with this.

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  31. Thanks Julie! He's in a gym- yep and working out building those giant muscles with a bunch of animals. I promise it works! Thanks again for commenting! :D

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  32. Thanks Yvonne, my pitch needs work! :D

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  33. Thank you Beth (and that's okay, you're helping me!) I will try to rework this pitch!

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  34. Thank you, Elaine! I still have a few days to go before I'm officially even more ancient :)

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  35. You're very welcome, Elaine! And while the pitch may still need some work, having read the story, I know it's a fun one :)

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  36. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with Elaine, Deborah! :)

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  37. Thanks so much for chiming in for Elaine, Rosi! :)

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  38. Thanks so much for your helpful thoughts for Elaine, Wendy! :)

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  39. Thanks so much for your thoughtful suggestions for Elaine, Beth! :)

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  40. Thanks for your helpful comments for Elaine, Yvonne, and thanks also for the birthday wishes... just a few more days and I'll be another year older... 29 already... how time flies! :)

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  41. Happy birthday, Susanna! Your cake looks delish. Mmmmm...

    I'm a maybe for this story based on the pitch, but could be converted to a 'yes' because it does sound funny. The problem for me is that this sounds like a funny episode or scene from a story, and not a whole story. I'm not sure what the giant's problem is -- it needs to be something beyond simply not having the right workout equipment. WHY is he working out? Does he want to impress someone? Or win a contest? Something needs to be at stake for him emotionally, and whatever that is needs to be clear in the pitch.



    The ending also needs to have more of a hint about how the giant's problem gets solved -- but without knowing what the real problem is, it's hard to make a good suggestion.


    Good luck with this, Elaine! It sounds like a funny story.

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  42. Thanks so much for your comments for Elaine, Julie. And "jungle gym"! I LOVE it! :)

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  43. Thanks so much for chipping in your two cents, Genevieve - very helpful! :)

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  44. Thanks for the bday wishes, Penny, and for your very helpful suggestions for Elaine. I love the last line... "look like a dumbbell" - very funny :)

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  45. I so need that cake right now!

    I would definitely read it. I like the idea of the pile getting bigger for the poor giant to lift lol

    I think everyone has everything mentioned. I feel like the story gets funnier should be changed, though.

    I voted too. Thanks so much, Susanna :)

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  46. Thanks for chiming in, Theresa! It's so great to get different opinions - I've read it so I know it's supposed to be funny, and I hadn't even thought of it as terrifying!

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  47. Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Elaine, Stacy!

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  48. Thanks so much for your very helpful and thoughtful comments for Elaine, Carrie. I think you've really identified something that will be useful for her to work on. And thanks for the bday wishes - I hope you got plenty of cake :)

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  49. Help yourself to as much cakes as you like, Denise! Thanks for your comments for Elaine and for voting! :)

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  50. Good luck to Linda, Denise and Erik -- all good pitches.

    Yes, I would read it because it does sound like it could be a fun story. I like giants. Picked up on the same sentences as Erik and thought he gave you good advice. You got a lot of great suggestions from others. Good luck.

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  51. Thanks for the cake, Susanna...Happy Birthday...you get the biggest piece!!!

    It was a hard choice...I love all three stories...but finally picked what I thought was the best pitch.

    Elaine...what a creative unique story...I love it! The comments won't load for me, so perhaps others have said similar things. In the second sentence, if you use the word 'too' in this context, you need to spell it 'to'...maybe it was a typo. :)

    When Giant (does he have a name?) works out at the 24-hour Animal Fitness Gym, he discovers that the weights are too light. Grabbing treadmill runners, stationary bike riders and bench pressers, Giant soon has monkeys and opossum hanging on the barbell with their tails and parrots and toucans with their beaks. Will Giant find the right balance before he runs out of gym-goers?


    I don't know if I made it better, Elaine...but at least it is an alternate idea.:)
    So yes, I would definitely read this story. :)

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  52. Thanks for your comments for Elaine, Pat, and thanks for voting! :)

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  53. Glad you enjoyed the cake, Vivian, and thanks (again!) for the bday wishes... has that baby arrived yet or are you still waiting??? Thanks for your very helpful comments for Elaine, and for voting!

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  54. Oh, THANK YOU!!! Vivian you definitely made it better- thank you, from the bottom of my heart! You really grabbed the heart of the ms. You're the best! xx :)

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  55. Thank you Patricia! I love Giants too! :D

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  56. Thank you Denise! The "funnier" line is gone!

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  57. Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Carrie! I appreciate it!

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  58. Thank you, Stacy! Due to popular demand, "funnier" is gone. :D

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  59. Thanks Theresa! It's funny, not terrifying. Well, at least I think so. :)

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  60. Perfect! I love the way you added sounds to describe the animal pile. Thanks for that, I'm going to use it! :)

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  61. Voted!

    As for The Gym Giant pitch, I can't help but wonder whether or not the gym-goers are willing recruits or terrified innocents.

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  62. Yes. I think it's funny just to think of a giant in the gym. I already want to know what happens. :)
    And thanks, Susanna, for always looking out for our sugar levels. :)

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  63. Hi Mike, they are frightened and surprised to find a Giant in their gym! :)

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  64. any chocolaty crumbs left? How could I have left my calendar turned to Tuesday all day yesterday....
    oh well. Story about a giant in a gym - this is funny but it almost sounds like a chapter in an early chapter book.... because we would want to know this giant. And there's prolly a reason for him to go to a gym (wants to be on a team?)
    Still, put me down in the "maybe" column. Maybe if I knew why he was at the gym. And maybe if weights were just one of the things - does he also need to work on endurance? jump in the pool and do some laps? run on a treadmill or around a track? I can see all kinds of devastation happening!

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  65. There is always cake left for you, Sue - I saved you some :) Thanks for your helpful comments for Elaine!

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  66. Thanks for your comments for Elaine, Coleen, and you know, someone needs to look after you and make sure you get enough cake. I'm glad to do the job :)

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  67. Thanks for chiming in for Elaine, Mike. I think her story is meant to be funny, but you are the second person who saw potential for terror... which is why it's good to have lots of opinions!

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  68. Sorry I've got to this so late. Yes, I would definitely read it but I think there are things you can do to make the pitch better. I think you've had lots of good advice that I would agree with. Take out the line about it getting funnier and I like the suggestion to use animal noises rather than saying the characters are animals. Good luck!

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  69. Thanks so much for sharing your two cents with Elaine, Sian - very helpful! :)

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  70. Elaine, yes I would read it. I think the story has some strong potential. :) Rather than telling us the other gym members are animals, I wonder if you could show us. [My comments are in the brackets] Something like,

    "When Giant [I would assume he is burly, no adjective needed] enters the gym [again we would assume for a workout, so strike that part], he discovers ["that" is a filler word, also strike] the weights are ["just" is another filler, strike] too light. To ["too" is a typo here] fix this problem he grabs cow from off the elliptical machine and starts lifting her. She is also too light, so he grabs goat and duck. The number of animals he lifts grows and grows until... [go ahead and tell us this part or give us one juicy detail.]

    Nice work. I really like your story idea. Getting enough healthy activity and eating right are important topics for kids (and everyone really).

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  71. Thank you, Hannah! It really was kind of you to take all of that time to rework my pitch. I really appreciate it!! :)

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  72. Agreed, Sain. Such wonderful, helpful people on this blog! Thanks so much!

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  73. Thank you, Sue! I hadn't thought about an early chapter book!

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  74. Thanks for your wonderful, thoughtful comments for Elaine, Hannah! And I agree - books that model healthy activity and eating right are great choices for kids!

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  75. I know I'm late to this party, but I really wanted to put my two cents in. I like it I really like it and I would love to read it to young kids. Here is my two cents worth. I hope it helps- Cynthia
    When a burly Giant enters the gym for a workout, he discovers that the weights are just too light. ( I like this simple and clean).
    Too fix this problem he grabs unsuspecting gym goers, who are animals, to help him. (This part confuses me: Does he actually pick them up and use them as weights? Funny, but I wonder how the animals feel about being used this way? I'm interested to read about that.)
    The story gets funnier as the pile grows, finally ending with an unexpected surprise. (I don't need this line, I'm already hooked.) :-)

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  76. Hi Cynthia! Thank you so much for your insightful comments. To answer your question, yes the Giant adds animals to the barbells to make them heavier. The animals are unwilling "helpers" but they are not terrified or anything because they understand he's just trying to make the weights heavier and get a good workout. It's a cumulative pb. So when he finally puts the elephant on the barbells, everything comes crashing down. Thanks again for your comments!

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  77. I voted.
    I like the pitch with This Kid Review Bks recommended change. We would read this book.
    Christine M.

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  78. That's an adorable story, I would definitely read it. Intrigued already!

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  79. I like the pitch for giant at the gym, but would suggest not specifying the gym goers be animals - leave that to the illustrator.

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  80. We are still waiting. :) The due date was April 12 (yesterday) so I'm sure it will be any day now. :) We are having so much fun...my daughter-in-law is helping me with my Power Point presentation for Singapore...she is fantastic!!!!

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  81. Oops! Somehow I missed this! And I'm so late responding that I already know your granddaughter has arrived. Congratulations :)



























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  82. Thanks for chiming in, Lauri! :)




























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  83. I'm glad you like it, Alison, and it's so nice to see you here! I'm sorry I'm so behind with commenting on this post - I was away when it went up and am just catching up the far backlog! :)



























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  84. Thanks so much for voting, Christine, and glad you like his pitch :)



























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  85. Thank you so much for your helpful suggestions, Cynthia, and although I am extremely late responding to your comment, I don't think your comment was too late to be helpful :)


























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