January 29, 2014

Would You Read It Wednesday #119 - Simon Wants To Be A Helper (PB)

I hope you are all keeping up with Phyllis's Fun Fashion Show which began with Monday's post and will continue through Groundhog Day.  (And if you'd care to join in the hilarity haute couture, hop on over and see the instructions HERE.  I hope you will because there are prizes, and also because it is more fun with more people :))

So far we have two - count 'em, 2! - fabulous entries!

Done With Glum Phyllis was brought to you by Linda, and Steampunk Phyllis was decked out by Stacy.  Yes, that's right!  The very same Stacy whose pitch we will get to in two shakes of a groundhog's tail!

But first, you know what time it is :)

Since Groundhog Day is almost here, I thought we should celebrate with Something Chocolate that groundhogs AND chocolate-lovers would appreciate :)  Isn't this amazing?  It is actual cake!  And the fur is all piped on buttercream frosting (and no I did not make it!)
From Cake Central
It ALMOST looks too good to eat...  :)

Alrighty, then.  Now that we all have our mouths full of cake, today's pitch comes to us from Stacy who says, I write {picture books and memoir}. I design {websites}. I eat {chocolate}.

Stacy can be found online at her website http://stacysjensen.com on Twitter @StacySJensen on Facebook   http://facebook.com/StacySJensen  and lurking around Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/stacysjensen/.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Simon Wants To Be A Helper
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: When Simon wakes up he decides to help his mother around the house, but his idea of helping isn’t the same as his mother’s. Just when Simon feels his assistance isn’t needed, one turn of a knob gives him a chance to make things better.  

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 Stacy 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 March so you've got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Stacy is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing more Phyllis models in stylish and creative outfits!!!  I am pretty interested to see what I'll dress her in, since so far I haven't the foggiest notion what it will be or how I will do it!  That is almost definitely because I am up to my eyebrows in inventing new, fun, doable crafts for my 2 library visits this weekend and not because I am totally unprepared :)

Ooh!  And this just in!  A new entry for the fashion show!

Olympic Phyllis by Katie Hill!
She looks totally ready, doesn't she?  Foam finger and everything! :)


Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone! :)

Reactions:

58 comments:

  1. I would definitely read it! I think every kid can relate to the desire of helping out mom, but doing things just a little differently! Great idea, Stacy!


    Susanna, I am sorry, but that groundhog cake is too cute to eat! :)

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  2. Thanks so much for your comments for Stacy, Elaine! And I know - isn't that cake amazing??? That is an artist at work!

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  3. I would read this, Stacy! As a mom, I was immediately drawn in by Simon's desire to help his mom, but that his ideas of "helping" are not the same as his mother's. I can relate! :) I was also interested in knowing what this "turn of a knob" was that changed things. Your pitch is succinct and does a good job of piquing my interest in reading this story. Great job!

    Susanna - the cake is delightful! Yum! Unfortunately, I am far too artistically challenged to try to dress up Phyllis, but I will enjoy seeing all of the other creative entries! :)

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  4. Stacy, I would read this story! It's definitely relatable for kids and parents and I'm curious about what "turn of the knob" is going to change things! Great job.


    Susanna! That cake is phenomenal! Wow!

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  5. That IS an awesome cake, and I like Olympic Phyllis! Stacy, your pitch is good, especially with only two sentences. If you want to spice it up more, maybe you could add a little of the pandemonium that we might encounter in the story. Yes, I'd read the book.

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  6. Great pitch, Stacy. I think it's something children and parents can definitely relate to, and you got me on the "turn of the knob" line!

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  7. Whoa...that cake...is incredible!! Now that I'm totally distracted...what were we talking about?

    Oh yes! I would definitely read Stacy's story...and not just because I adore her. ;) Her story is a very relevant topic because there isn't parent (or adult who deals with little kids) who hasn't been pestered by a child to "help" -- the kind of help that ends up taking you four times as long to complete a task!

    That said, I think I would change the opening line a bit. Instead of just "When Simon wakes up..." which, to me, sounded like he does it every morning when he wakes up (though that could be entirely the case, in which case, just ignore me!), maybe you could somehow specify that it was just this one morning (you know how in a lot of books, they start with "one day" or "one morning"?).

    Best of luck with this, Stacy! I foresee a great future for it!

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  8. What fun, Susanna! I so want to be a part of this, but, being away last week, and on the committee at church planning a retreat this weekend, my plate is full. Even PPBF must wait another week. Sorry! I'm enjoying the costumes . . . and what a fabulous cake!

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  9. Fab cake yummy! Great pitch from Stacy. I would maybe give an example of the help he has given.
    Now I must crack on with a Phyllis

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  10. Great cake and love Olympic Phyllis! The topic of the book sounds wonderful and I imagine everything going wrong before going right. But the pitch would only have me taking a peek. There isn't enough there. The hints are so subtle. Don't need the waking up part take us to the action and then give us a few actual hints of the chaos that I think takes place. Simon's idea of helping isn’t the same as his mother’s especially ... but one turn of a knob has .... dust bunnies hopping? has Simon ...? With spiced up words and having the action pull us in, we identify with both Simon and his mom. No one will want to miss what Simon does wrong or what he does right :)

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  11. I would read--you know I would, Stacy! But I think the pitch would be improved with some more meat to it. Simon's attempts to help Mom by Xing and Ying fall short. Or Mom isn't impressed by Simon's attempts to help by X and Y. Some specific that shows your story's special spark!

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  12. YaY, I'm in! WHOOP WHOOP! Hey Sus, Stacy, Phyll. :-)


    Of COURSE I would read it. It sounds delightful. But Stac, I wonder if the pitch is too long. Maybe cut some of the stuff that isn't needed. What is causing Simon to feel that way? Add some fun words/verbs and tell what's the problem. As it stands now, I just don't know. I'd like to have a taste of it. But whatever you do, leave the turning of the knob part in. I imagine all kinds of stuff with that. Help me narrow my focus. I wonder if that opening line needs to have more bite to it.


    Whatever you do, it sounds great, Stac! xoxo

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  13. Stacy - You've hooked me! I'm intrigued to know how one turn of a knob allows Simon to help his mother.

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  14. What a super pitch!!! Stacy, I would DEFINITELY read this...and want to find out RIGHT NOW, what is behind the knob-turn.:) I honestly don't know what I would change...I think it is pretty perfect just like this. The concept reminds me a bit of an oldie... 'The Do-Something Day' by Joe Lasker...might be a good comp.:)
    Susanna...thanks for the cake...I'm making some tea right now.:)

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  15. The days of my kids wanting to help me are sooooo long gone but your pitch brought them right back...can't remember which I enjoyed more -- faking enthusiasm over my Hanna helping with the laundry or cleaning the windows. I think the title would be stronger if it were simply "Simon Wants to Help." And I do think something more direct would be good "Simon wants to help but every time he tries it backfires. Convinced that he's nothing but trouble and his Mom doesn't need him..."

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  16. I would probably read this, but I feel there needs to be more to the pitch -- some specifics of how Simon and his mother's ideas differ. One or two specifics. I like the mystery of what's behind the door, but I'm told pitches shouldn't have mysteries to them. Good luck with what sounds like a very cute idea.

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  17. Great cake! Yes, I would definitely read your story Stacy. I agree when the others say to lose the waking up part. Good luck! :0)

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  18. Thank you so much for chiming in for Stacy, Donna! And you should probably have extra cake to help you recover from your recent illness! :)

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  19. Thanks so much for your helpful thoughts for Stacy, Rosi!

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  20. Thank you for your helpful suggestions for Stacy, Michele! And, yeah... those days of the kids wanting to help are hard to remember :)

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  21. Thanks for your enthusiasm for Stacy, Vivian - I'm sure she'll be pleased :) And there's plenty of cake, and it is lunchtime, so make sure you properly fortify yourself :)

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  22. Thanks for your thoughts for Stacy, Melanie! I'm sure she'll be glad to know you're hooked!

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  23. Thanks for all your helpful thoughts for Stacy, Robyn! And I'm glad my #%^&%# blog finally let you comment. I apologize sincerely on its behalf!

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  24. Thanks for your helpful advice for Stacy, Wendy! :)

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  25. Thank you for your very helpful suggestions for Stacy, Kim! And I'm so glad someone besides me loves Olympic Phyllis! She knocks my socks off :)

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  26. Thanks for your thoughts for Stacy, Catherine! And oh yes please do get a crack on with Phyllis! I'm dying to see what you create!!!!!!!

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  27. I'm glad you at least have time to enjoy the costumes, Jarm - I'm hoping for a few more entries at least, and there should be some more fun ones! No worries - I totally understand being busy! Good luck with your plate :)

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  28. I think I could eat the flower pot :) And I'm so glad you like Olympic and Steampunk Phyllis! I think they are fab - as fab as Done With Glum Phyllis! :) Thanks so much for your comments for Stacy!

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  29. I know, Teresa! I have no idea how someone even begins to create a cake like this. I'm lucky if I can successfully manage a Bundt :) Thanks for your very helpful comments for Stacy! :)

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  30. That is a great line, isn't it, Pat? I admit I'm curious about it too! Thanks for your two cents for Stacy! :)

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  31. So glad you like the cake and Olympic Phyllis! I am quite taken with her foam finger :) And thanks so much for your helpful suggestions for Stacy :)

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  32. Thanks for your thoughts for Stacy, Kirsti! And boy, I wish I could take credit for a cake like that, but it's WAY out of my baking league! :)

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  33. Thank you for your nice comments for Stacy, Martha! And I know... I am artistically challenged too. But I have to try. After all, Phyllis is my own sweet groundhog :)

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  34. Yes, some of those words tumbled through my mind. *wink*

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  35. Good morning, and thanks for that fun cake idea!


    I would read it, but my first impression tells me the story is meant for the pre-school set. That said, I love mommy's helper stories! I also question whether 'wakes up' has any relevance. If it does, we need to hear that. The kind of help he is offering could tell me if is this is a quiet gentle story - or chaos on wheels! The voice seems quiet as is, so I would imagine to pick this one up it will need more of a hook. What's beyond that (door?)knob?

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  36. Yep, I want to turn that knob too so I guess if I'm an agent, you've done your job. Things have clearly gone wrong with the 'helping' though - and presumably in a humorous way. Perhaps a reference to your most humorous misadventure would make it even more enticing?

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  37. Cute Phyllis pic's! But Susanna, that groundhog looks far too sweet to eat.
    This sounds like such a sweet story, Stacy, with plenty of room for fun. I too would love more details about Simon's mishaps and what happens with the doorknob. And I love what Julie said about voice. Simon may be "chaos on wheels"--in funny, specific ways--until he turns a doorknob and...finds a chatty vacuum, or a dust-gulping aardvark? I know you've hidden something great behind that door--don't be afraid to tell me what!

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  38. Is this story humorous or more emotional. If it is more humorous then try to convey that in the pitch, just a simple active verb for one or two of the obstacles is enough. In the last line you mention "him a chance to make things better", this leaves me with the feeling he is having to "make-up to his mother" for whatever happened earlier. Instead what do you think of hinting to how Simon has changed or what he has learned instead. just my 2 cents. best of luck with it.

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  39. Yes, I would read it! It sounds like a sweet story. But Julie stated it well. I'm wondering if this is a quiet story or a story full of fun chaos. :-) And I'm also curious about the knob. :-)

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  40. I would read this, for sure. So much potential for FUN. I think you can open with, "Simon's idea of helping around the house isn't the same as Mom's." and get right into it. Maybe an example or two and then the mysterious doorknob. Cool idea.

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  41. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikJanuary 29, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Ooooh! I love comic swearing! I remember in a Get Fuzzy comic strip (yes, I love comics - especially Pearls Before Swine, Get Fuzzy, Garfield, Hagar the Horrible, etc.), Satchel was saying "asterisk!" "dollar sign!" "ampersand!" in place of the symbols (because he didn't understand it ;) ) :P

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  42. Thanks for your very helpful thoughts for Stacy, Stacy :) And I know - that groundhog does look too sweet to eat. But I have no problem with the flowerpot part :)

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  43. Thank you for your helpful insights for Stacy, Darshana!

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  44. Thanks so much for sharing your impressions with Stacy, Cheryl - I know she'll find them helpful :)

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  45. Thanks for your helpful thoughts for Stacy, Pat! And I KNOW! isn't everyone so creative? I love seeing Phyllis in all her get-ups! :)

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  46. Thanks so much for your two cents for Stacy, Genevieve!

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  47. Good evening! I love that cute little bear cake, and well, just about anything chocolate (confession, I am baking choc chip cookies, for my kids of course ;)


    Yes, I would definitely read this story. It hooked me in and actually liked the idea of him waking up to help mother (most mother's are already up and about pretty early). The second line was okay but I think I ended up asking myself, I wonder what happens? Similar to other comments, do things go awry and the house gets turned upside down? Or is this a more gentle story of a little one helping with chores. I think it could use just a few more words of information to really get a feel as to the overall tone of the book. But I'm definitely in!

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  48. Thank you so much for your thoughts and suggestions for Stacy, Karen! And oh my! I could go for a homemade chocolate chip cookie right now! :)

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  49. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikJanuary 29, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    Great pitch Ms. Jensen! :D
    I think the title could be "Simon the Helper" because it sounds less revealing, but still gets the point out that he is a "helper". Plus, I agree with what the past commenters have said. Good luck! I can't wait to see this in print! :D

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  50. Thanks so much for chiming in for Ms. Jensen, Erik! :)

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  51. That sounds like a picture book story Erik!

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  52. Thanks everyone. I appreciate all the feedback. I enjoyed reading it all.

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  53. Susanna, I am enjoying all the groundhog entries being posted on MPBM FB. She'll be the best dressed groundhog. Stacey, I like the premise of your pitch. Have you thought about introducing a character trait and the age of Simon in the pitch? :-)

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  54. Hi, there were too many comments to read, so I'm probably repeating what others might have said: there should be a comma after wakes up, think title could be a little snappier. Is this story more on the straight-forward or the silly side? Maybe that could be better conveyed. I would read it...my son loved to help, and he's in medical school now!

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  55. Thank you so much for your thoughtful suggestions for Stacy, Belinda! I know she'll appreciate them. And I guess if your son is in medical school he certainly turned out to be a helper! :)

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  56. Thanks so much for your thoughts for Stacy, Tracy! And I'm glad you're enjoying the Fashion Show! A bunch more entries came in today and they're all so fun! :)

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