March 5, 2014

Would You Read It Wednesday #124 - Puddles And Rainbows (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor

Ola petitos!

(For those of you who don't speak my version of Spanish, that means hi little ones!  It's a term of endearment :))

For starters today, we've got a Straight From The Editor.  You will recall that the December/January Pitch Pick was won by Beth with her pitch for Tomboy Rules: Blossoms Are Always Prepared (MG Realistic Fiction).

Here is her pitch:

Mabel is so close to playing baseball she can almost see her spitting distance improving.Mabel'smom thinks she should work on sitting still instead. So they make a deal: Mabel can play baseball in the spring, but only if she learns to fit in with the local Blossoms Troop first. But that isn’t easy. Mabel turns square dancing into a contact sport, saves a spider like she’s sliding into second base, and wolfs down the entire cookie sale stash. That’s three strikes and she’s out of Blossoms, but Mabel is not about to let that stop her. She sneaks to the campsite to make amends and discovers she isn’t the only intruder crashing the camp-out. With the Blossoms trapped between a smelly skunk and a sizzling fire, Mabel realizes that she’s the only one who can save the Blossoms from the stinky situation.

And here are editor Erin Molta's comments:

This looks appealing! The only thing I would suggest is reworking the first sentence because it’s a little confusing because she can be close physically, too and the reader will have to go back and re-read it to figure out what you mean—especially with the spitting distance image. I suggest something a little more straightforward and perhaps more baseball-oriented. Maybe something like: baseball season is almost here and Mabel can hear the crack of the bat and the sound of the ball hitting her glove in her sleep . . . But Mom wants Mabel to make friends with more girls her own age (or something like that)

Insightful as always, I think!

Now that we've been enlightened, I think this would be an excellent time for Something Chocolate.  (Of course, I always think that... :))  How do you feel about cookies today?  I personally think I could be very comfortable with the idea :)

Aren't these beautiful? So Yin and Yang!
You may be excused for one minute to get a cup of coffee or a glass of milk to go with the cookies, but come right back for Would You Read It!

Today's pitch comes to us from Karen who says, "I enjoy writing for children, specifically, PBs, and have been working to both hone my craft and connect with other writers. I recently completed Tara Lazar's PiBoIdMo and now am onto my first 12x12 challenge with Julie Hedland! I am a mompreneur of sorts and a bit of a daydreamer, journeying however fast or slow towards my goal of publication."
Come visit her at:
Twitter @kmaewrite
FB as Karen Mae Zoccoli.
Wish I could say I have a website, but not yet (it is on my to do list!)

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Puddles And Rainbows
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-6)
The Pitch: Little Cloud desperately wants to play with the bigger clouds, but he needs to prove himself first by learning to rain. Raining takes patience and hard work. As Little Cloud figures out the science of rain, he soon makes a colorful discovery.

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 Karen 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 May 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!

Karen is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to Spring.  Have I mentioned that before?  Is it starting to sound repetitive?  I can't help myself.  It's because of the robins.  Even though we've still got a good foot and a half of snow on the ground (with a nasty icy crust, no less) and the temperature this morning was a whopping 4 degrees, the brave, cheery little robins are back.  I don't know what they're eating (though we've been doling out birdseed by the ton to all the local winter residents, so the robins are welcome to get in on that action if it helps), or how they're managing the cold, but it's so uplifting to see them.  They are harbingers of spring.  When the robins come, there is hope!


Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone, filled with the kind of upliftingness the robins bring :)

Reactions:

63 comments:

  1. I'd definitely read this! It's kind of like my story, The Raindrop Who Couldn't Fall, which was just published. So there's definitely a market for some water cycle stories!!! It sounds darling.

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  2. Ooh, science, I would definitely read it. I think Karen crafted a cute, appealing pitch. :0)

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  3. *Scarfing down cookies* I hope I don't get chocolate all over my iPhone. ;)

    Great point from Erin about the distance thing being confusing!

    And, yes! I'd read this book because it's an adorable mix of fantastical elements and science. The pitch itself is pithy and perfect too. :) Best of luck with it, Karen!

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  4. I'd read it because the characters are something different than the usual animals you see.

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  5. I agree with the others--the pitch is clear and concise, appealing to a young science-curious audience. I would read it!

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  6. Refreshingly straightforward! My first impression was that this is a fantasy. The last sentence makes me wonder if this is creative nonfiction. Is that just because it's for such a young audience? Do you think you need to make it more clear to the editor which genre they can expect? Either way, great pitch, Karen. Thanks, Erin and Susanna!

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  7. Cookies check. Pitch yes. I just re-read Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld, so I would totally read another one. Is it a challenge for Little Cloud to be patient and do hard work? Might be fun to show some of that - is it a challenge due to his size or is there something about his personality that makes this difficult.

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  8. Beautiful Robin, come on Spring! Great feedback as always. I love that pitch about the cloud story, what a cutie! I have a special green cake for you next week if you don't mind using that one. I wish it was real!

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  9. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Thanks everyone for stopping in to read my pitch and provide your feedback, very much appreciated! And thanks again Susanna for some awesome desserts... great to kick off the morning with a little sweetness :)

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  10. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Thanks, Kirsti, and congrats on your recent publication! I have seen several other stories related to clouds and rain so hopefully there is room for one more :)

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  11. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Thanks Teresa, and I can so relate to chocolate on my iPhone ;)

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  12. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Hi Joanne, thanks for the feedback, that's a great way to put it "creative nonfiction". I was thinking I would highlight the genre more in the query letter. It touches on the topics of growing up and friendship against a 'soft' backdrop of the science of rain and rainbows.

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  13. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Hi Stacy,, his challenge is he's in a bit of a hurry to grow up so he can play with the bigger clouds, which makes him a bit impatient. Thanks for the feedback!

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  14. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Thanks Catherine, and I saw a whole flock of robins yesterday. I think they were taking a stance against Old Man Winter telling him it's time to start packing up! Let's hope spring comes soon. Thanks for the feedback :)

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  15. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    Thanks Donna I appreciate your comments!

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  16. I am so looking forward to spring. Like, a lot. I agree with Erin about Beth's pitch. So fun! And Karen, sounds like a great pitch for the age group. Sounds like a fun book. Best of luck with it!

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  17. Yes, I would read it. It reminds me of Cloudette. The pitch is concise.

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  18. Yes! I would read this book. The line about "it takes patience to learn to rain" is what seals the deal for me.

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  19. We have robins too! And turkey vultures, which are kind of fun...in an Addams family way.

    Karen, I like the pitch! It is very concise, and I love the rainbow end. My advice would be to make the pitch as unique as your book. You could do this with voice, making Little Cloud shine. Or you could do this with the conflict/science angle:

    Once he figured out science problem X, Y, and Z, Little Cloud not only made a friend--he made a colorful discovery.

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  20. I'm thinking GREAT! There's a thousand books for kids on the rain cycle but they're all very ... serious and some are as dry as toast. And it's such an interesting topic for 1st graders. Soon as I saw your pitch, I wanted to buy it.

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  21. Just to clarify ... I'm not expecting this book to be all-about-the-rain-cycle. I'm expecting that it will be a cute story that I could read during that topic, which touches on part of the rain cycle and could be used as a discussion starter. And as a cool story to read!

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  22. Yes I would read this, my 2year old would love it. Interesting someone suggested it could be creative non fict. That might be a great pitch angle actually, but I am not expert so best of luck with this...

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  23. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    Hi Linda - thanks for your feedback and encouragement! I can only hope one day my story would be one that is read two zillion times! Thanks for the tip on CLOUDETTE.

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  24. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    Thanks so much Janet!

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  25. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    Thank you Patricia, I have heard several other comments about CLOUDETTE as well. Thanks for your feedback!

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  26. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    Thanks Julie!

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  27. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Thanks, Ann, for the feedback and vote of confidence!

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  28. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Thank you Kimberly I appreciate your feedback!

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  29. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    With all this cloud talk, I'm getting a little light headed! More cookies please Susanna! Thanks again everyone for your comments, they are very helpful!

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  30. Little readers love puddles and rainbows - a winning combination! If there's a lesson to be learned about patience...along with some little person science thrown in...all the better. Also, small children would definitely relate to the idea of little cloud wanting to play with the bigger (kids) clouds. Your pitch includes it all- WELL DONE, Karen!

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  31. Hola, Susanna. Just a quick, yes, I would read it! Nice work, Karen!

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  32. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    Hi Charlotte, thank you so much for feedback and stopping by to read my pitch! Much appreciated :)

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  33. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    Hi Pam, thank you for your feedback!

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  34. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    Thank you for your feedback and taking the time to read my pitch, I so appreciate your point of view and comments!

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  35. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 5, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    Thank you Julie, much appreciated!

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  36. You're so self-disciplined, Julie! I will have a cookie for you. Or two :) Glad you found Erin's thoughts helpful, and thanks for your comments for Karen - big praise!

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  37. Thanks for your thoughts on the pitch, Erik, and I'm glad you enjoyed the cookies :)

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  38. Ooh, such high praise! Thanks for your thoughts, Charlotte! :)

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  39. There are always plenty of cookies around here, Karen :)

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  40. Thanks so much for your thoughts for Karen, Julie!

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  41. Thanks for your thoughts and enthusiasm, Steve :)

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  42. Thanks so much for your suggestions for Karen, Stacy! And turkey vultures? That makes me worry you've got something else lying around nearby...!

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  43. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts for Karen, Kimberly! I agree - that is a good line!

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  44. Thanks so much for pitching your two cents in Pat! :)

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  45. Thanks for your comments for Karen, Janet. And yes indeedy... I would be very happy for a few more signs of spring... it's still zero here!

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  46. Thanks so much for your perspective, Linda. You are right - there is always room for another book if it has a different voice, or twist, or something to set it apart.

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  47. Thank YOU for bravely stepping forth to share your pitch, Karen! A few cookies just sweeten the deal :)

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  48. Green cake... hmmm... I hope it's still chocolate! :)

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  49. Thanks for your insightful comments for Karen, Stacy - good thinking points!

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  50. Thank you for sharing your reaction to the pitch, Joanne - very helpful to get fresh perspective. And glad you enjoyed Erin's thoughts and the cookies :)

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  51. Thanks so much for chiming in, Ann! :)

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  52. God point, Kimberly, thanks for sharing! It's true - Cloudette aside - you don't see so many books about clouds!

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  53. Glad you found Erin's thoughts interesting, Teresa, and don't worry - these cookies aren't too sticky or gooey - I think your iPhone will be okay :)

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  54. Thanks so much for your encouraging two cents, Donna :)

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  55. Ooh, I haven't read that one, Kirsti - I'll have to check it out! Thanks so much for your thoughts for Karen!

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  56. Hi, Karen! This sounds very cute! I have a question. Will you be sharing the science of rain with your readers? I would definitely read it and think it would work well if you are teaching your readers about how it rains and what makes a rainbow in addition to teaching Little Cloud about hard work and patience.


    Susanna, I loved your line "When the robins come, there is hope!" Doesn't "When the Robins Come" sound like a great book title?


    (And man, do those cookies look good! I am not going to ask for the recipe this time. Nope! Not doing it!)

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  57. Thanks so much for your thoughts for Karen, Debbie. And yes, that does sound like a book title :) I think you should make cookies. Especially if the banana bread is all gone...! :)

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  58. I published with Character Publishing...and just had my first school visit...so MUCH fun!

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  59. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 7, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    Thanks for the feedback Debbie, and yes it does teach about the science of rain and rainbows, alongside themes of growing up and friendship. And yes, "When the Robins Come" does sound like a great title!

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  60. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 7, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    Thanks Rosi!

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