May 22, 2013

Would You Read It Wednesday #89 - Bonjour Remy! (PB)

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

First I just have to show you who appeared under the tree in the horse pasture.



Isn't that just the sweetest little cutie-pie?  First one of the year, and thankfully the dogs were nowhere around.  Time for collars and leashes until these little ones are better able to fend for themselves! :)

Next I will entertain you with the fact that I've entered into a brave new world.  With my track record it will probably only last about 14 seconds, but I'll pass it along to you in case anyone is interested and has more self-dicipline than I do :)

You know how we all have so much to do these days and it can feel a bit overwhelming?  And how we seem to find ourselves often working through the weekends even though that's supposed to be family time?

Well, Katie Davis happened to mention a (relatively) new system called Simpleology.  I read about it and thought it sounded interesting... and tempting... and then Pat Miller said she was trying it.  So I thought, what the hey?  I'll try it too.

If you'd like to find out about it, go HERE.  It claims it will organize you and make you more productive.  I don't know if there's any realistic hope for me, but many of you might benefit.  (On the other hand, many of you might not even need it because you're already organized! :))  And it's FREE.  (At least the basic level is... :))

It's going to require some discipline: no turning on the computer in the morning and reading intriguing-looking blog posts or checking email or Face Book.  No sirree Bob!  Straight to Morning Brainstorming!  But, since it's free, I'm willing to give it a try for 14 seconds and see if I like it.  Check with me on Friday and see if I've thrown it over yet :)

Now.  I don't know about you, but where I am, it's breakfast time and that means...
...health food!  YUM! :)

In case you are somehow not familiar with my line of reasoning, let me explain: chocolate chip cookies are comprised of crucial nutritional elements: dairy, protein, and vegetables (I'm sure I don't need to remind you that chocolate comes from a bean! :))

Ah, that's better.  I'm sure you're feeling much stronger now.  Breakfast, after all, is the most important meal of the day!

Ready for Would You Read It?

Today's pitch comes to us from Kimberly.  Kimberly says, "I'm a 23-year-old student at the University of North Texas who is just now starting to really explore the world of publishing. I'm discovering a fantastic group of well connected children's authors and trying to learn all that I can from their experience."

Working Title: Bonjour Remy!
Age/Genre: Picture Book (age 6-8)
The Pitch: Six-year-old Remy loves adventure—just so long as it never leaves the garden. So she hesitates when her parents surprise her with a trip to Paris. How can she leave all of her favorite things? It might take some convincing, but if Remy will leap into the new and wonderful Parisian culture she might just learn that beauty and her favorite things can be found in many places. They just might have different names.

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 Kimberly 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 July so polish up those pitches for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Kimberly is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing if Simpleology can help me be more organized and productive.  Really, if it can work for me, it can work for anyone!  I'm full of optimism :)

Have a great day, everyone! :)

Reactions:

81 comments:

  1. My comment just got erased

    And it was good

    I'l try and recover a little of it. I would read it! I think it's great! However I wouldn't limit Remy's age to six it may discourage eight year olds. So I'd rewrite it without mentioning the age. And tighten it a bit like this.

    Remy loves adventure- Just so she doesn't leave her garden. And when her parents surprise her with a trip to Paris she hesitates. It takes some convincing, but Remy realizes if she leaps into the new and wonderful Parisian culture she might just learn that beauty and her favorite things can be found in many places. They just might have different names.



    Or something like that. I had it better the first time.


    Thanks so much for Simpleology's link, Susanna. I haven't been brave enough to leap into it. But after some convincing I might discover that it is worth it.

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  2. What a cute baby fawn! How exciting! And you've taken great pictures of it. I'm guessing it's mommy wasn't around while you were taking them?


    Kimberly, I am a recent college graduate and also new to the world of publishing. It looks like you are starting out with a great story! I would definitely take that off the book shelf to read. I also love the name Remy. Good luck!

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  3. Thanks so much for your comments for Kimberly, Heather! And no, the mama wasn't around. Newborn fawns have no scent, so the the mothers leave the babies for hours at a time and just check in and let them nurse now and again until they're big enough and strong enough to keep up. I would not mess with a mama deer - they can be very dangerous! This baby was just curled up under the tree napping - really brand new. you don't realize how incredibly tiny a fawn is when it's just born!


























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  4. Yes, I agree with Clarike that leaving the age out might be a good idea. Also, the line about never leaving the garden suggests that gardening is involved, and yet the rest of the pitch doesn't indicate that. Otherwise i am sure it is a wonderful story and would read it!

    Susanna, I love the fawn. What a nice surprise!

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  5. Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Kimberly, Clar! I'm sorry they got lost the first time! :( I'm on Day 2 of Simpleology and I haven't quit yet, so that's good :) You should try it with me and Pat - after all, it's free and you can always stop if you don't like it :)


























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  6. Thanks so much for your helpful thoughts for Kimberly, Iza! And yes, it was a lovely surprise! Such a sweet brand new baby :)


























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  7. aliciafinnnoack.comMay 22, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    Yes, I would read it. I like the idea of a child's view of Paris.

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  8. I saw this. I started to sign up and then it asked if I wanted reminders in my inbox. I said, "another email? I thought it was simplifying."
    Would like to read it, but I noticed the same thing Iza did about the garden. It talks about Paris and what about her things having different names? Could that be left out?

    #bepositive day was such a success some folks wanted it extended through today. Nice, huh? So we are.

    That fawn in the pasture is beautiful! We have that too. Isn't it exciting?

    Hugs and I KNOW you are NOT on right now since you are simplifying. *wink*

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  9. Baby fawn is adorable! Just think how many garden plants it will eat while growing . . . .
    I would read. I love Paris and Remy's Parisian name. What stopped me a bit is the way the pitch is written it sounds as if Remy has a choice. (she hesitates). While Remy may or may not enjoy it, Remy's parents are in the driver's seat as far as going or not going.

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  10. Thanks for chiming in, Alicia! :)



























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  11. Thanks for your comments for Kimberly, Robyn! And yes, of course I am on! My day started hours ago - I'm already well into it :) Except I really do have to take my dogs for a run... hopefully before it rains!



























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  12. Thanks for your thought for Kimberly, Wendy! And I'm not worried about the fawn eating garden plants - it has plenty of horse pasture :)



























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  13. Baby fawn = today's "Aww" moment!

    For Kimberly's pitch, Yes, I would read it.There are some lovely elements: Remy's name, the love she has for her garden, then a trip to Paris. I checked on Amazon (I do for all my works in progress) to see what's already out there involving Paris. Sadly, there is a lot: Madeleine, Eloise has one in Paris, Henri's Walk to Paris, Adele and Simon, A Giraffe in Paris, to name a few, besides many nonfiction picture books. Please think of this only as a heads-up. Not trying to discourage this delightful picture book concept.

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  14. I know, isn't it so so sweet? Thanks for your very helpful comments for Kimberly, Linda. As she said, she is new to this, so you may have told her something very helpful she didn't know. Thanks for thinking of it!


























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  15. I love this idea and would definitely read the book. I think I was unclear if this is more of a travel book (something you buy your kids before taking them on a trip) or a more general adventure book. (If there was a sequel, would it be Remy goes to Greece or Remy goes to kindergarten?) :) I do think there are other things out there about Paris, but presumably there is a demand for that. You just need to make yours unique, which I think it might be. I really love this idea!

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  16. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with Kimberly, Wendy! :)



























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  17. I totally agree. I'm interested, but not sure where it's going. I'd like to know more. :-)

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  18. I would read it. I like the idea of introducing kids to the idea of different languages.

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  19. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Rosi! You picked up on the main purpose of the PB, which is to introduce the french language. It might be too vague.

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  20. Yes, Wendy, ideally this would be series in which Remy learns the culture of many countries as well as some beginning foreign vocabulary words.

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  21. Thank you for the insight Linda. I agree that there are so many culture infused books out there for children. My hope that would be that the educational addition of learning vocabulary would set Bonjour Remy! apart.

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  22. That's so true! It does seem as though she has a choice. I'll definitely try and re-word that part. Thank you!!

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  23. There isn't much about gardening so thank you for the insight that it might be slightly deceptive in that way.

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  24. Thank you for your encouragement Heather! It started out as a simple present for my neice Remy, and has become something I'm really passionate about.

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  25. Darn! I hate when my work gets erased! But thank you extra for taking the time to write a comment twice! I agree that the age does limit the audience and I'll be sure to address that issue. Thank you again!

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  26. Yes, Wendy, ideally this would be series in which Remy learns the culture of many countries as well as some beginning foreign vocabulary words.

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  27. First I must comment on the deer:



    Awwww!

    Ahem. As for Kimberly's story pitch, yes, I would read it. But I would suggest changing Remy's name. To me, Remy + Paris = Pixar's Ratatouille. I found it a little distracting.

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  28. Yes, I would read this. Having read the comments though I do think if its aimed at the educational market you should try and get that it somewhere. Just saying things have 'different names' doesn't make it clear that the language will be a large focus of the book.
    Good luck, it sounds like a lovely idea!

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  29. Thanks for the suggestion Mike!

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  30. I agree. In retrospect I'm not highlighting what's most important. I'm definitely going to edit it to reflect the educational purposes. Thanks Sian!

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  31. Yes I would read bonjour bunny. It addresses the fears children have in exploring outside their little world

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  32. OK, Susanna
    I've signed up to start tomorrow. I do hope there's no fee for cancelling and that they'll give me notice when it's time. Do you like it so far?

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  33. pennyklostermannMay 22, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    The fawn! The fawn! The fawn! Cuteness plus! I've never gotten to see one so small in real life. I would love to see one, but in the meantime, thanks for sharing the photos.

    I went over and signed up for Simpleology. I watched part of the video and am definitely relating to Bob, so far. Before I simplify, my life thought, I thought I'd come back over here and comment.

    I would read the pitch and don't have any suggestions to add. I agree that you shouldn't limit the age for the reason Clar said.
    Well, maybe one suggestion...I think the last sentence should be cut from the pitch.

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  34. Thank you for your input Penny!

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  35. Yes to the pitch--I think it sounds cute, and love the idea of finding the silver lining. :) And that fawn is so, so sweet.

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  36. Thanks for chiming in for Kimberly, Coleen! And I know - isn't it just the cutest? I don't know if you've ever seen a newborn fawn in real life, but they are so TINY!


























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  37. Thanks for your comments for Kimberly, Penny! I felt so lucky to see that tiny little fawn (and so happy my dogs were home in the house because they do not know how to play nicely with baby animals - they are a little overenthusiastic!) And yay! We can be Simple Buddies :) I like it so far, but the one thing I haven't figured out is how to add things to the daily target list after you've started your day. I often think of things that must be added - today, not tomorrow!


























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  38. I really do like it so far. I'm doing the free version... I figured I could upgrade if I liked it and needed the space. Penny signed up too :)


























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  39. Thanks so much for chiming in for Kimberly, Debbie! :)



























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  40. Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Kimberly, Sian! :)



























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  41. Awwww! is indeed the correct response, Mike :) Thanks so much for your helpful suggestion for Kimberly. Apparently my kids are getting older... I don't remember Ratatouille well enough!


























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



























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  43. Thanks for sharing your thoughts for Kimberly, Cynthia! :)



























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  44. I saw your conversation about Simpleology and am tempted, but things like that never work for me (I bought the Teux Deux app to keep a to-do list on me at all times and I just stopped using it after a few months).


    I love your reasoning about chocolate chip cookies! I think that is why I made some yesterday. ;)


    The baby deer may be cute now, but wait until it's grown and eating all the plants in your yard. Grrrr. LOL!


    I would definitely read Bonjour Remy! because j'aime la France. ;) But I feel like the pitch needs to have a bit more about what's actually in the story. It seems like most of the pitch deals with Remy's fears about leaving her home, which I think should be confined to one sentence. I would like a couple of sentences about actual scenes in Paris. The story sounds super cute though!

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  45. I would read Bonjour Remy! It is scary for many 6 yr. olds to leave their familiar comforts of their own little world. My curiosity wants to know how the parents deal with Remy's hesitations to go with them and once in Paris what wonderful adventures await. My younger students would probably be guessing whether or not Remy even ends up going to Paris. Does she have a good time when she gets there? Will she be eager to go on the next trip? From a teacher's point of view I could definitely use a story like this in the classroom. Without even reading the story, I can imagine just how many different discussions this book could provide and all the answers a teacher could give to a child during some important events in his life.

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  46. Love the name Remy! I also love the idea of traveling to Paris with Remy and her parents. My family won't be traveling around the world anytime soon, so hopefully the book will become a series and my grandchildren and I can travel the globe with Remy and her parents. This book stands out as something different and new. I could see my grandkids enjoying the adventure and learning about other countries at the same time. Great concept!

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  47. Those things never work for me either, Teresa, but it's free and I'm an eternal optimist :) I'll probably be done with it by tomorrow :) My garden is safe from the baby deer for 2 reasons: 1) the baby deer isn't anywhere near my house - it's up at the barn :) and 2) I don't currently have a garden... I have a black thumb :) Thanks for your comments for Kimberly!


























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  48. Hi "C" - I don't recognize your name/email, so welcome! (And if you're someone who's always here just using a different account, forgive me!) Thanks so much for your enthusiastic comments for Kimberly. It's great to have a teacher's perspective!



























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  49. Hi Louretta, and welcome! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with Kimberly (who I'm guessing you know :))


























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  50. Oh Mother.... *blush*

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  51. Thanks for the thoughtful input C! It's so encouraging to hear that you would enjoy using this in the classroom!

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  52. I am new to this site. This is a site I could easily get carried away on. I will be back.

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  53. Kimberly, You could write another book about Remy's Garden Adventures which lead up to this story. Then other books on other places she now enjoys with her family and expose some other fears she conquers on her travels.... bed wetting, getting lost, taking public transportation, etc. You have my mind going in so many different directions and I haven't even read the book. I'm your first customer and want a signed copy.

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  54. oops... did not mean to say, "NOT made" but rather only "made"

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  55. My first thoughts of "garden" was one of a beautiful backyard where Remy feels safe and has lots of adventures in her mind or in with her own toys.

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  56. I also meant to add that stating Remy's age is important for several reasons: 6 yr. olds have to overcome many fears one being separation from "their world" and another would be to let readers know you can begin learning a new language at an early age.

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  57. I love a heroine who's up for adventure. It's a Yes, I'd read it from me. I think maybe Remy worries more than she hesitates (since the decision to go isn't left up to her). I'd also like to suggest (for what it's worth) that since adventure is what holds her to her garden, adventure (instead of using the word beauty) and her favorite thing are found in different places just with different names. I'm pretty psyched about turning kids on to different languages in a pb. Much success with this, Kimberly.

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  58. By the way, double smiles for sharing that adorable fawn Susanna! Please update us on your progress with the Simpleology activity. And oh my goodness, that cookie has the biggest chip in it! Mouth watering. I think I may have even shed a tear. So yummy!

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  59. Thanks for all your helpful thoughts for Kimberly "C" - and I think editors will assume an age for a PB submission and when it's an actual book it will be clear from the illustrations what her approximate age is.


























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  60. Lovely :) Are you a writer as well as a teacher?



























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  61. Thanks so much for your thoughts for Kimberly, Pam! :)



























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  62. I know - isn't it just the sweetest? And we'll see how Simpleology goes... Clar and Penny have joined - maybe we can keep each other motivated :)


























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  63. Yes I would read it. I love French and this idea. I like adventure stories too. :)

    I LOVE that fawn! Cute! :D

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  64. Thanks for your comments for Ms. Whittle, Erik! And I know - isn't that fawn just the cutest? :)

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  65. That fawn is one of the cutest photos I've seen all year. I would read the story, but feel it could be shortened. i think you could leave out the following sentences: How can she leave all of her favorite things? and They just might have different names. Love the title.

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  66. Please stop sending me emails. Take me off you list.

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  67. Thanks Joanna. I'm so glad to have gotten all this helpful advice. I'm definitely looking forward to reworking the pitch now!

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  68. Thanks Pamela! I'm passionate about turning kids on to languages too! :) (and worries is a perfect replacement for hesitates! Thank you!)

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  69. Thanks so much for your comments for Kimberly, Joanna! And I wish you could have seen the fawn - so sweet and tiny and new - it was such a treat :)


























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  70. it sure is

    Susanna Leonard HillChildren's AuthorWebsiteBlogFace Book PageTwitter

    Subject: Re: New comment posted on Susanna Leonard Hill: Would You Read It Wednesday #89 - Bonjour Remy! (PB)

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  71. Yes. Cute story idea. Is Remy a rabbit/animal? I don't know why the garden makes me think she's an animal and not a girl. (I'm likely the only one with this idea, but I was also trying to read the blog post and have the simpleology video in the background. ... Still haven't figure out a way to leap back into PPBFs as I'm revising a manuscript request, beginning a summer school class and well, it's supposed to be summer. :) I don't know how everyone "does it all." I guess simpleology may tell me they don't. hee hee). I can do without the last line. Does a six-year-old have a choice on whether to go or not "hesitates"? Good luck and thanks for sharing this. (Totally thought you had a pix of Bambi.)

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  72. Thanks for your comments for Kimberly, Stacy! And hey! You're doing Simpleology too? How do you like it so far? Good luck with your ms request - so exciting!


























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  73. Julie Rowan-ZochMay 24, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    What a sweet surprise under the tree! Thank you for sharing that! The only surprises I get in my grass are from neighborhood pets! I would read it, and I love the opening hook. I want to know a little about why she is afraid to leave her surroundings in the first place. As the pitch stands, I would tighten that long 4th sentence: It might take some convincing, but if Remy will take a leap she might learn that favorite things can be found in many places.

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  74. Thanks so much for your comments for Kimberly, Julie! And I know - this is really the best kind of surprise under a tree :)

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  75. Awww. That fawn is adorable. What a sweetie pie. Also, I'm not sure why but your blog always makes me hungry. ;)

    Kimberly, your story sounds like a wonderful life transition story. The others suggestions have provided great suggestions for tightening it up a bit. Also from the first word I was thinking about the movie Ratatouille. I know your story isn't anything like Ratatouille, but to have a main character named the same as recent Disney movie and overcoming fears and Paris is a little too much overlap. Remy is a great name, but for this reason I recommend renaming your main character.

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  76. Nicole SnitselaarJuly 16, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    Remy in France is a boy's name... ;)

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