February 26, 2014

Would You Read It Wednesday #123 - Silly Tilly (PB)

WWWHHHIIIRRRRRR!

Do you hear it?

The wheels are turning!

And you know what that means.

I'm probably - almost definitely - well maybe - hatching a plan!

I'm on the fence.

I haven't quite decided.

I shall mull for another day or so and if I decide to go ahead with it, I'll tell you on Friday :)

But don't ask me anything because I won't say another word.

Here.  Put something in your mouth.  That'll stop those questions :)

Since it's technically breakfast time, I thought we should go traditional today and have (Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter) Banana (Bread) for our Something Chocolate.  See how that's mostly banana, which is, in fact, a breakfast food?  That's how it works around here :)

From OMG Chocolate Desserts
Today's pitch comes to us from Steve whom we met in November with his pitch for Rashad Saves The World, (WYRI #111) and who says, "I spent 20 years as a teacher of small children in London. Reading aloud was my favourite part of teaching. This means that I absolutely know what a PB, Lower MG should sound like. The challenge is to make my own writing sound right!"
Here is his pitch:

Working Title: Silly Tilly
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Tilly dreams of having a baby and her dream comes true when a hatching egg presents her with a fluffy bundle of … crocodile! Everything is bliss until Charlie starts to grow. AND grow. When her friends start disappearing, Tilly worries that she’s next on the menu. But when Charlie invites her down to his cave, she’s in for a big surprise … party!

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 Steve improve his 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 April 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!

Steve is looking forward to your thoughts on his pitch!  I am looking forward to making my decision and telling you or not telling you :)

Have a wonderful, writing-filled Wednesday everyone!!! :)


Reactions:

83 comments:

  1. The breakfast bread looks yummy and will taste wonderful with my cup of tea. Thank you Susanna! And yes I would read this but I would like to have a bit more sense about Tilly. Is this an animal that lays their own eggs or a different animal? Is she a bird? A squirrel? A rabbit? A snake? I love the friends disappearing all leading to a surprise party. Overall though, we know fun is going to happen.

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  2. I'd read it! The pitch is clear, intriguing and full of surprises. Good job Steve and best of luck!

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  3. The breakfast bread looks like what I need! Very nicely done, Susanna. Silly Tilly sounds like a fun and lively read so it's a definite YES for me. I'm envisioning that Tilly is a hen. Regardless sounds like a kid-pleaser.

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  4. Guess what? I'm having chocolate chip banana bread for breakfast already!

    I love the pitch today and so it's a definite Yes! It's well written and funny. The only thing I suggest is to tell us what Tilly is in the opening sentence (Tilly, a toucan, dreams of...). Otherwise, when I read the first sentence, I thought "Tilly, a 5 year old kid, wants a baby?? What?!" LOL! It's terrific otherwise. Great job, Steve!

    (oh and I just scrolled down and saw that Kim mentioned the same issue!)

    I'll bet we can bribe the secret out of you with chocolate, Susanna!

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  5. I would love to read this story. But I also wondered about Tilly...is she an adult, an animal? The story seems clever and delightful.

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  6. I definitely would read it but was confused about who's friends were disappearing. Tilly's or Charlie's? Could you make that a little more clear?

    Thanks so much! :)

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  7. That bread looks so yummy. Mmmmm... *burp* excuse me, please *blush lol!*
    Now on the the WYRI. The pitch is actually very cute and entices me to read it, so great on the writer for that. The only thing that would give me pause is understanding how old Tilly is. This would help in better understanding her speculations about her disappearing friends.

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  8. That yummy bread only kept me quite for a minute! What are you hatching??? I really don't expect you to answer that until Friday but I had to ask just because I like to be nosy.
    The book sounds fun and I would read it. I would ask you, Steve, if you're aware that Eileen Spinelli has book titled Silly Tilly? It came out in 2012 and is about a goose. When I come up with a title I usually do a Google search just to check. You can't always avoid a repeat but since hers is so recent you may want to rethink your title.
    I actually liked that you didn't tell us exactly who/what Tilly is. The only thing I would change is I would delete the word "party". It gives too much away in my opinion and I think having just the word "surprise" leaves me wondering and would make me want to read the book. As it stands now, I know the story without reading it. I know why the friends are disappearing. I would rather be left in the dark.

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  9. Yes, I would read it. sounds like a cute story.

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  10. I'd give this one an almost yes. I agree that not knowing what Tilly is (or her approximate age) was a bit distracting. I also wasn't crazy about the exclamation points - but that could just be personal preference. I would also leave off the "party" at the very end. Feel like it maybe gives too much away. Sounds like a fun story, though!

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  11. Hi Steve! Cute pitch, but I have the same comment as the others - who and what is Tilly and why is she dreaming of having a baby? It's probably clear in the text of the story, but it is a little confusing in your pitch. The middle part of your pitch is enticing and it does make me want to read your story. I'm on the fence about whether or not you should mention "party" at the end. I think it might be enough to say that Tilly is in for a big surprise and then leave it at that. Anyway, good job - I hope I get to read this! :)

    Susanna - I am on a diet, so I do enjoy your virtual goodies. Mmmmm... :)

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  12. I do agree with the why does a kid want a baby issue, but I loved the pitch and would love to read it. Excellent! Too bad about the title but I'm sure you can come up with another cute name for your character. Is she a toucan or a bird? You could find a girl's name from wherever toucans are from, or something like that. Good luck!

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  13. I love the title and the excitement in your pitch, but I have no idea who Tilly is. A hen? Croc? child? After knowing that fact, the rest of the pitch will make sense. Yes, I'd read it.
    I just made banana muffins a couple of hours ago, but hmmm, maybe I should add chocolate chips! Looks delicious, Susanna!

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  14. Steve, you definitely have my attention with this pitch. I agree with the comments below. We need to know who and what Tilly is. Other than that I love this pitch! I can see the illustrations in my head right now!

    Susanna, it's been a while since I've visited you blog. I just want to say that I really appreciate that you've continued to comment on my blog even though I haven't been as good at keeping up with yours. You are a wonderful person.

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  15. Another great breakfast dessert and pitch! Perhaps you shouldn't give away the ending? And I wondered why Charlie has a "cave" if he's living with Tilly as her pet. Is Tilly a creature that also lives in a cave? Good luck with this. :)

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  16. Hmm...I wonder if this might be a little too scary, thinking about a crocodile eating up your friends? Even though the title indicates Tilly's being silly, I'm not so sure a kid would agree! :-) (And I'd leave off "party." You want to entice, not give it away.)

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  17. I think the pitch is fabulous and I'm on the fence about it being too scary. I have an arm sticking out of an alligator's mouth in my next book so I might pitch it 7+
    Sometimes the words can be scary but the illustrator might be able to put enough humor in to make it okay. Can't wait for your surprise Susanna!

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  18. I would definitely read it, but I would leave off the word "party" at the end of the pitch, it gives away too much! :)


    Susanna, once again, I am dying for something chocolatey!

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  19. I would read it - but want to know what/who Tilly is.... and wondering if having a baby is too far removed from kid's world. Maybe she's an only chick and wants a sibling and decides to hatch an egg? I love the whole croc part... and the ending. And I like knowing that it's a party. How wonderfully creative.

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  20. Yes, I would definitely read it; it sound like fun. The pitch is great (lose 'party').

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  21. Absolutely. I love the idea of this. The pitch it nice and tight.

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  22. Though I love the twist in the story of a frightened Tilly expecting to be eaten when she's actually about to be surprised in a GOOD way, the idea of one's child ("Charlie the croc) potentially planning to eat Mom might be kind of scary for little readers. Also, I'm wondering what makes Tilly so "silly"...

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  23. Good morning everyone, and thank you as usual for your kind and helpful comments. I'm very grateful. Tilly ... is a small forest animal. I'm working hard on training myself to trust-the-illustrator and leaving maximum scope, so I have! In my mind Tilly is just a cute, probably furry, little girl animal that dreams of having a baby as all little girls do but because forest rules are different, she gets one! But if readers decide she's a bird, that's fine with me.

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  24. The 'scariness' isn't perhaps as scary as I've made it sound in the pitch but I have definitely built Charlie up to be a serial friend-muncher, in order to make the twist at the end more unexpected.

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  25. I'm intrigued that y'all have advised that I should cut the party out of the pitch. I never actually wanted to put it in because I love making my pitches sound mysterious (I loooove rhetorical questions) but ... every single bit of advice I read about pitches says that you should put everything in, that agents/editors want to know what happens (and that they haaaate rhetorical questions). I'd welcome any further comments on this.

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  26. The reason that Tilly is 'Silly' is because firstly she has an antagonist that calls her that throughout the story (and who is subject to a twist-on-the-twist, lol) and secondly because she didn't trust Charlie and really thought he was munching her friends - it's a Never-judge-a-book-by-it's-cover story. I didn't realise there was already a Silly Tilly out there and have made a mental note to Google titles hereafter ... will have to think that one through.

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  27. Yummy looking cake!

    I would read this! You could let an agen/editor know what Tilly is in the opening query paragraph, or try and work it into the pitch paragraph. Just a few more things to think about:

    The opening is a GREAT hook, but you could shorten it a tad:
    "Tilly's dream of having a baby comes true when a hatching egg presents her with a fluffy bundle of … crocodile!"
    I like the next bit, but you could add suspense by playing with the phrasing:
    "Everything is bliss until Charlie starts to grow. AND grow. And her friends begin to disappear! Yikes!"
    I'd also suggest not giving away the ending:
    "But when he lures her down to his cave, she’s in for a big surprise!"

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  28. Yay, Charlotte! You got the comments to work :) Thanks so much for your thoughts for Steve - I'm sure he'll find them helpful!

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  29. Thanks, Rosi - I'm sure Steve will be thrilled :)

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  30. Thanks so much for sharing your reaction with Steve, Donna! :)

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  31. Love the way you've tightened the first line, and I love the thought about the second line too. Thanks!

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  32. Thank you so much for your helpful thoughts for Steve, Sue!

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  33. I'm sure McKinney & Doyle could accommodate us... :)

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  34. Hahaha, Catherine! LOVE that you have an arm sticking out of an alligator's mouth! :) Thanks for your thoughts for Steve. And what surprise? Who said anything about a surprise. Have more cake :)

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  35. Thanks so much for sharing your impressions with Steve, Cathy. I'm sure he will find them helpful!

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  36. Thank you for your thoughtful comments for Steve, Wendy, and please, have more banana bread :)

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  37. Thanks so much for your thoughts for Steve, Heather! And you're being way too nice - we all do what we can :)

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  38. Thank you for your helpful thoughts for Steve, Tina! And you are welcome to bring me muffins at any time - I will be happy to sample them for you and let you know if they need more chocolate :)

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  39. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts for Steve, Beverly. I guess a lot of people are wondering who Tilly is!

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  40. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments for Steve, Martha! And I would be on a diet if I could stop eating dessert :)

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  41. Thank you for sharing your thoughts for Steve, Joanne! I'm afraid I'm guilty of overusing exclamation points!! I do it all the time!!! I can't seem help myself!!!! STOP!!!!! :)

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  42. Thanks so much for chiming in for Steve, Rene!

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  43. I should have known, Penny! But you won't get a word out of me! I know how to keep my mouth full of banana bread :) Thanks so much for your thoughts for Steve - and bummer about the title!

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  44. Good luck - it really sounds like fun. I can picture well!

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  45. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective with Steve, Angela! And no worries - what's a burp or two between friends? :)

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  46. Thank you for sharing your reaction with Steve, Clar. It's so helpful to know what might be confusing!

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  47. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts for Steve, Kirsti! :)

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  48. I'm glad you have such good taste in breakfast food, Teresa :) Thanks for your helpful comments for Steve. And nosirreebob! You won't get nuthin' outta me! :)

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  49. Thank you for your thoughts for Steve, Linda! And so glad you like the bread! Have some more :)

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  50. Thanks so much for chiming in for Steve, Doris!

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  51. Thank you for sharing your impressions with Steve, Kim! I know he'll find them helpful! Feel free to help yourself to seconds of bread - there's MIK as my grandma used to say (more in kitchen :))

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  52. I totally have an exclamation point personality. But I TRY to keep it out of my writing.I am definitely better at advising than following that advice!! :)

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  53. YES, I'd read it! I'd cut/condense the pitch, but absolutely. Sounds like it has a great story and humor to boot. Great job, Steve!

    P.S. What a fantabulous banana bread, Susanna!

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  54. This sounds cute. I would definitely read it, but I was also thrown at the start because I thought Tilly was a little girl. Yikes! She dreams of WHAAAAT? Yeah. That happened. So you'll need to put out there what kind of a critter she is right away. Good luck with it.

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  55. By the time I show up for these "Would You Read Its," every possible thing I would have said has already been said.

    So, Steve, do me a favor and do what they say, OK?

    And yes, I would read it.

    A Friday surprise, eh? I think I smell something besides banana bread. Hmm.... Are you cooking up a St. Patrick's Day contest?

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  56. Hi, I guess, like Steve, I've shown up a bit late for the party. My thoughts have already been voiced by the others: lose the party and leave some suspense, explain who or what Tilly is, and just say her friends are disappearing, don't assume they've been eaten. The way it is now, she doesn't seem so concerned with her friends' fate, just her own. And yes, I would read it, especially with a cup of tea and a hunk of that banana bread.

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  57. Thank you so much for chiming in for Steve, Belinda. The more opinions the better! Glad you liked the banana bread :)

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  58. Thanks so much for your thoughts for Steve, Keila! And I'm chuckling because you're the second person today to mention that you had a PB about an alligator eating somebody :)

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  59. I believe one is supposed to eat corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day, Mike. I have heard anything about cooking up contests!

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  60. That place has our name written all over it! :)

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  61. Thanks so much for sharing your impressions with Steve, Genevieve! It's so helpful to hear how something that's obvious to you might be hitting other people!

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  62. Thanks for your helpful suggestions for Steve, Miranda! And I'm glad you like the banana bread. I think chocolate is an important ingredient for any type of bread :)

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  63. Thanks so much for your very helpful pitch rewording, Julie! Usually we get a few of those but so far today yours is the only one - and very helpful!

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  64. You name the day and time and I'm there! :)

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  65. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikFebruary 26, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    I'm siding with Mr. Allegra on this. ;) I can't add anything else! Great sounding book! :) And, also agreeing with Mr. Allegra, I can hear your husband working on an Irish jig for your upcoming contest (can you tell him to turn it down a bit? ;) )! ;)

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  66. You're wrong, Dr. Weibel! It's not St. Patrick's Day! It can't be! I've already got WYRIs scheduled through that week!

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  67. Thanks for that Teresa, someone mentioned below as well so I checked it out. It's a very different story, just has the same name. Sigh, I'll probably have to change to Silly Milly or something similar. Should have checked first!

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  68. Your lovely folk at RYS liked it a lot, and gave me a wonderful suggestion which has made it a great deal better. Can't tell you how much I value RYS.

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  69. Thanks for your help and good wishes!

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  70. I was never a little girl, but I'm reliably informed that they all dream of having their own babies, every last one. 8~)

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  71. Thanks very much for your help.

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  72. Hatching plans and hatching crocodiles - Oh my!

    I'm in, but am confused about the main character. Is it Tilly or is it Charlie? Love the first surprise that it's a crocodile instead of a baby.
    Since you use the term "baby," I did a double take on why Charlie is living in a cave. I was thinking mom's and babies live together.
    The grows and grows makes me think maybe the story is about a child growing up, but "when her friends" line takes my attention to a mystery. And, then I wonder if Tilly worries she'll be next on the menu ... does she have proof he's the reason her friends are disappearing? So why would she go to the cave (Sorry, but I question that from American horror films too. I'm terrible).
    I wonder why the having a baby part is important if the heart of the story is about Silly Tilly dealing with this growing, unwieldy crocodile Charlie, who eats her friends. Good luck with this and thanks for sharing.

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  73. I'd agree with the many other comments on: who is Tilly? I thought she was a human and that her human friends were going to be eaten. I know what you mean about keeping the ending a surprise - we're mostly advised not to do that - but I think that it will really hook the reader. Best of luck - sorry for late comment. I slept too late today - and am still up now :)

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  74. I would definitely read this, Steve, now that I have the recipe for that chocolate banana bread. I immediately thought Tilly was a chicken, but then again, I'm partial to chickens, especially ones named Reggie. Your pitch brought to mind the fox and the hen fable. Or was it a goose? But now I'm wondering if Charlie is a party animal and not a friend eater after all?!

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  75. Thank you for all your helpful thoughts for Steve, Stacy - I'm sure they'll get him thinking!

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  76. Thanks so much for your thoughts for Steve, Beth! And no worries about the timing - he's on the other side of the world so I'm sure he's up! :)

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  77. Thanks so much for your comments for Steve, Debbie! How is Reggie? :) And I hop you enjoy the banana bread!

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  78. Oh good! I thought someone might mention it too...but it's really hard to scroll down all the comments on the iPhone and I'm pressed for time so the dilemma was whether to just insert my comment here and not bother reading down farther or not comment at all, hoping that someone else may have mentioned it. :)

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  79. I am resisting the banana bread but it won't be long now. Probably Sunday. I'll post a picture. As for Reggie, thanks for asking about him. I'm going to post a picture of his latest escapade in MPBM.

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  80. Glad to see so much feedback here! Just wanted to mention that there is a book called "Silly Tilly" from Two Lions Publishing (which is Amazon) from 2012. Also, maybe look up "Guji Guji" by Chih-Yuan Chen; it's similar in subject and maybe the jacket copy could help with the pitch.

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