April 16, 2014

Would You Read It Wednesday #129 - Roy G. Biv And The Amazing Castle Moat (PB)

Sometimes a box arrives on your doorstep.

If it looks like this


you know it is a very very good kind of box!!!

When you open it, you'll see this

and then this

and then this

and finally - squeeeeeeee! -

SOMETHING CHOCOLATE!!!

Please, help yourselves!

And thank you, Kirsten, for your very thoughtful gift!  I'd like to say there were some left, but that would just be lying :)  I can say in complete truthfulness, however, that they were delicious!!! :)

Now that we are all happily munching on the proverbial bonbons, let's have a round of applause (because it would be impolite to yell "Congratulations!" with a mouth full of Godiva chocolate truffles!) for the winner of the March Pitch Pick which is. . .

Ann!
with her pitch for Sk8r Boy!!!

Congratulations, Ann!  Your pitch has been sent to editor Erin Molta for her thoughts.  I'm sure you'll hear from her shortly.

And congratulations to our other brave pitchers who also did a terrific job!  I hope you all gained from the Would You Read It experience, and I also hope you'll take a few extra congratulatory truffles :)  Best of luck with your stories!

Now then.  Onward!

Today's pitch comes to us from Charlotte who says, "When I was a little girl, a childless older couple who lived across the street gave me an oversized picture book, written in wonderful rhyming couplets.  More than a half century later, I can still recite the entire story of “The Children That Lived in a Shoe” from memory, as I visualize the pictures of the cherub-like little ones going about their daily routines. I still love this book.  Twenty-first century children deserve access to their own favorite stories that will endure for them throughout their lifetimes. I keep this in mind when I work on my PB manuscripts."

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Roy G. Biv And The Amazing Castle Moat
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 5-8)
The Pitch: Sophie senses there’s magic in the world of nature, while Sam is more of a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of kid. She likes building fairy houses but agrees to help her brother construct his sand fortress.  When a sudden summer rainstorm spares their beach castle, the overflowing moat delivers a surprise visitor, Roy G. Biv.  Sam thinks someone is playing a trick on him when he hears the guest’s voice share a rhyming, rhythmic poem about the rainbow’s colors. Sophie is delighted at how Sam finds out that Roy G. Biv is not only rather magical, but is also real.

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

Charlotte is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the upcoming Illustrators Contest which is barely a week away now!  It will open on Thursday April 24th!  I am really, really hoping that at least a few people will enter, because I would so love to see how they bring the amazing March Madness Writing Contest winners' ideas to life!  Please feel free to spread the word to all your illustrator friends and join me in looking forward to visiting some new blogs, getting to know some fabulously talented new people, and seeing some amazing art!!!

In the hope that you CAN actually teach an old dog new tricks, let's try this and see if it works.  At all.  For anyone! :)

Tweet: Children's illustrator contest opens April 24! Great prizes! @SusannaLHill #illustration #kidlitart


Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! :)


Reactions:

66 comments:

  1. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikApril 16, 2014 at 7:32 AM

    BONBONS!!! WOO!!! ;)
    Congrats to Miss Ann!
    I would read the book. I like the pitch. It is well done - maybe a bit long, but I love the sound of it. :)

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  2. I am very intrigued by Charlottes pitch and it is well written. I especially love the opening line. I think she could condense it just a little bit and maybe explain the surprise guest. Is he a boy or a man? I was thinking it might be a fish overflowing into the moat and that there's a ventriloquist nearby reciting the couplets! I am curious but also confused, so a bit of clarification would help. Sounds like a great story!

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  3. Perhaps I'm especially dense this morning but I was confused by the pitch. Since Sam is a "unisex" name, I wasn't sure if he is Sophie's brother, or someone else because the she in the second sentence appears to refer back to Sam. I love the use of mnemonics to remember facts and I'm intrigued but also confused as to whether the rainbow is anthropomorphized or if there is another character sharing some poetry. I'm a maybe. (Maybe still half asleep lol)

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  4. Those chocolates look divine! You're a lucky duck!! :)

    Congratulations to Ann for her pitch win!

    I like Charlotte's story idea but think that it's too long and also tries to cover too much territory. Maybe shortening it to "Brother and sister, Sam and Sophie, have different outlooks on the world: she believes in magic and he doesn't. When their sandcastle developes a moat after a sudden storm, they discover a magical creature, Roy G Biv, who may convince Sam of the realism of magic." or something. Just a suggestion. ;)

    Good luck, Charlotte! It's a very cute story!

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  5. I'm glad you (and your family) enjoyed the chocolates. :) This looks like an interesting story, Charlotte, but I agree that it can be shortened. The first line, for example, seems to tell about the characters' personalities, and I think you could show it through the actions in the pitch. I would challenge you to get it down to two lines at maximum -- one for the setup and one revealing the major obstacle. Teresa's suggestions are good, I think. Great work!

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  6. Sweet present, Susanna!


    Congrats to my critique buddy, Ann!


    Sure, I'd read it, but maybe open with "...while her brother, Sam..." Then just streamline it a bit. Sounds like a great story Charlotte! ;0)

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  7. Congrats to Ann! And yes, I would read this story, but as with the other comments, believe it could and should be shortened up a bit. I love the beach and building sand castles, so it definitely tugged at my heart! :)

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  8. Thanks for your feedback, Donna. As is often the case, with less being more, streamlining sounds like a good idea.

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  9. Challenge accepted, Kirsten! (How could I forget "show, don't tell" when writing my pitch!)
    Thanks for your comments.

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  10. Teresa, your suggestions are very helpful. Thanks so much for taking the time to offer ideas for revision.

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  11. Good morning, Wendy! Thanks for the heads up on creating confusion with Sam's name. The mneumonic, ROY G BIV, is one that has been with me for decades, since an elementary school art teacher introduced it in class. It doesn't seem to be such a widely-known "trick" among children these days (including my 5 and 8 year old grandkids!), so I thought it would make a fun centerpiece for a PB.

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  12. *mumbles Congrats with a mouth full of chocolate Godiva bonbons*
    And not to echo what has already been said, I'll simply say I would read it, yes, I would.

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  13. Iza, you definitely are on the right track picking up the ventriloquist idea!
    Roy G. Biv actually is a voice emanating from a rainbow swirl of colors that floats in the moat. Many thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!

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  14. Congratulations Ann. I know you're over the moon about the great advice you'll receive. Oh what a thing to find at your front door. Oh somebody loves you Susanna__we do! Kirsten did a really good thing, yum.

    When I saw Roy G. Biv in the title, I knew it was something I wanted to read. However, there is a lot going on in the pitch. Yet, It isn't until a long second sentence that we understand that Sam is Sophie's brother. Now take this next observation with a grain of salt. You offer a lot of info on Sam. So it reads as if there are two mc's in your story. It reads as if Sam is the one with an obstacle and he's the one who solves it. Does Sam realize the magic of nature through Sophie's eyes? Or is it the Rainbow that saves the day? I am sleep deprived, so I may not have a good grasp on what I read. What I am certain about is that this sounds like a majorly fun book to read outloud. I'm definitely intrigued. I KNOW I WOULD READ THIS BOOK!!

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  15. TKRB_Erik----Your positive feedback, and suggestion to cut back the wordiness, is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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  16. Thanks for your positive encouragement for Ms. Sheer, Erik! Did you get a snow day? We have 3 inches and it's 20 degrees! Where is spring???

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  17. Thank you so much for your helpful comments for Charlotte, Iza!

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  18. Thank you for sharing your impressions with Charlotte, Wendy - they are very helpful! Now go back to bed for another hour of sleep. Maybe when you wake up it won't be SNOWY!!

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  19. I admit it - I am a lucky duck! :) Thanks so much for your helpful suggestions for Charlotte, Teresa! :)

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  20. I thank you, Pamela, for taking the time to write such a detailed response to my pitch and for your enthusiastic interest in reading my PB.
    You definitely got the gist of the story, sleep deprived or not!
    Though Sam is being edged towards seeing the magic in nature through Sophie's eyes, it is the timely appearance of a Rainbow (with the colors in exactly the order presented in ROY G BIV's poem) that brings him around to accepting the magic himself.

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  21. Angela, thanks for your interest in my PB idea!

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  22. Thank you, Karen, for your vote of confidence on my story!
    A week at the beach watching my two grandkids build those sandcastles was the secret behind the setting.

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  23. Mmmm....chocolate. *Drools......


    Love the Roy G. Biv as part of the title. Makes me instantly think of rainbows. :) In my honest opinion, I think the pitch is too long. I would shorten it down to 2-3 sentences. Maybe start off with "when a sudden...", something with a little action to get the reader hooked. Other than that it sounds like a good read aloud. )

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  24. We sure dud, Kirsten, thank you :) And thanks so much for your comments for Charlotte!

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  25. I know, Donna, wasn't it nice???!!! Thanks for your comments for Charlotte :)

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  26. Thanks so much of your thoughts for Charlotte, Karen. I am longing for the beach right now since we have the *S* word again. Sheesh! When will it be spring already?!

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  27. Thank you, Angela! Enjoy the bonbons :)

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  28. Thank you for your very helpful comments for Charlotte, Pam! Now, have some delicious chocolate and go get some sleep. Everyone is sleep-deprived today. I think we all need a vacation :)

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  29. Yes. I'd definitely read it. Roy G. Biv is a genius idea for a character's name! I absolutely love it! I say def keep that name in the title. But the rest of the title is a bit long and dry for me. I would cut down the length of your pitch. You have some GREAT stuff in there, but I think the word count is a bit high. I've been taught, present what the problem is immediately. Is Sophie frustrated that Sam doesn't see all the magic in the world of nature? That might wrap up your first two sentences. And you might skip the part of telling WHERE Roy G. Biv came from, they can find that out when they read the manuscript.


    I LOVE the rhythmic poem! I want to hear it! (Lucky agent!)


    My only other question, and I guess it does depend on what you're using the pitch for, but I thought I'd just point out that the name of the book and the word count doesn't seem to be there. That's usually in my pitch.


    Sounds like a great story!! *applause!*

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  30. I would read it!
    Also, I do agree with most of what is already stated.
    Just for thought...Maybe you could start the story out like: Sophie believes in magic, but her brother Sam is an I have to see it to believe it kind of kid.

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  31. I'm late (as usual). I agree with the suggestions about beginning later like around the When a sudden (then briefly explain siblings). Good luck. (Thanks for the chocolate.)

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  32. The choices above include funny, awesome and cool...how about YUMMY? :)

    How lovely of Kirsten to send you chocolates...she's definitely got your number, Susanna.:)

    I'm clapping for Ann and Sk8ter Boy...hope Erin has some great suggestions for what sounds like a great story. :)

    And I would certainly read Charlotte's story...sounds magical and exciting. As the others also suggested, I'm for tightening the pitch.
    Here's my go at it. :)

    When a sudden summer rainstorm spares their beach castle, fairy-loving Sophie and her what-you-see-is-what-you-get brother Sam fish a surprise visitor out of the overflowing moat and discover that Roy G. Biv has plenty of magic up his sleeve.

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  33. I would read it. The relationship between the siblings sounds fun and I like the premise of ROY G. BIV!

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  34. Yay on both comments- thank you, Kirsti. The story ends with a very special interaction between the siblings (awwwwwww.......)

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  35. Vivian, many thanks for the time you took to make comments and create such a succinct pitch-tightening suggestion. "Magical and exciting" is EXACTLY how I want the story to come across---yahoo!!!

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  36. Thanks for teasing us with so many pics of the Godiva chocolates. Made me hungrier! Charlotte's pitch has lovely aspects which have been mentioned by so many. I do want to meet all 3 characters, especially Roy. Great kid appeal. Just tighten the pitch which is an easy fix. Best of luck, Charlotte!

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  37. Thank you, Stacy, for reinforcing the need for a more active intro. in my pitch.

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  38. (Smiling....) Made me happy that you'd read my story, Kathy! I'll take your suggestion into consideration as I revise my pitch before the "pitch-pick" at the end of April.

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  39. (Taking a bow to your applause....) Erika, great feedback. THANKS so much, especially for your interest in the ROY G BIV poem. I had lots of fun writing it to be not only fun, but also easy enough for kids to remember and access its content for future reference.

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  40. "I'm Roy G. Biv, your special friend, I am the rainbow start to end..." There you go, Linda! I thought your supportive comments deserved my responding with your own personal intro to Roy:)

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  41. Would that be the gold in the pot at the end of the rainbow??????

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  42. Yes, I'd read it, after a few more of those chocolates - hahaha! Didn't work, huh?

    So yes, I would, because I love word play, and teaching/learning anything about colors. I grew up very near the beach, so one thing strikes me as odd - no sand sculpture would last after any storm. But, I'll let that thought go and concentrate on the pitch itself.

    At 98 words it is too long. The opening describes the characters only, not the story/conflict, so that can be cut. Here is a tightened suggestion, but I wouldn't mind a clue as to what Roy is, or why he is there:



    "When a sudden summer rainstorm spares their beach castle, Sam and Sophie discover a surprise visitor in the moat, Roy G. Biv. And he speaks. In rhyme! Sam insists it's a trick. Sophie is delighted. They both find out that Roy G. Biv is not only magical, but real."

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  43. I love castles and moats so I would read it. And I remember Roy G. Biv from elementary school. I think I would delete the first sentence and just start in with the second--"Sophie prefers building fairy houses, but she agrees to help her brother Sam with his sand fortress."

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  44. Your tightened wording of my pitch is wonderful, Julie. Many thanks! (It's looking like after all the manuscript tightening I did - when is it ever enough? - I didn't give enough attention to doing a better job with my WYRI pitch- oops!)...The sand castle surviving the storm is intended to add a sense of magic, setting the stage, if you will, for Roy G. Biv to enter the story, as a "voice whispering" from a swirl of rainbow colors that appears in the moat. Don't worry- no oil spills nearby----just more imaginative fun for the reader/listener.

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  45. Deborah, your suggestion might work well. Thanks. Roy G. Biv has been an "art companion" of mine for a very long time, though I often have had to look up info to find if the red was at the top or on the bottom. So R is a "ruby red crown" in Roy G. Biv's poem- I'm hoping an illustrator would capitalize on that!

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  46. I, too, think the pitch is too long, but I would read it. There is a lot going on and sister/brother conflicts are always of interest. This one sounds fun.

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  47. Yes I would read it. It sounds great. I think Julie Rowan-Zoch has tightened your pitch wonderfully so I won't add anymore.

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  48. I would read it. An adventure in a sand castle sounds great. Agree with Deborah below about the fairy houses part.

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  49. Thank you so much for your helpful comments for Charlotte, Rebecca!

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  50. Thanks so much for your helpful suggestions for Charlotte, Deborah! :)

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  51. Hahaha! You know you can always have as many chocolates as you like at my house, Julie :) Thank you very much for your thoughtful suggestions and helpful pitch re-wording for Charlotte!

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  52. You're welcome, Linda :) Thank you for your positive comments for Charlotte! Lucky you - you rated an personal intro to Roy :)

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  53. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts for Charlotte, Kirsti!

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  54. Yes, I would read it. I want to read it right now...*stamping foot* Sounds too cute to miss. AAAARGH! How long will I have to wait? :O

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  55. Great Scott! How could I have forgotten YUMMY, clearly the most important adjective for any of my blog posts??? Kirsten is very lovely, AND she has excellent taste in gifts :) Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Charlotte and for your nice re-wording of the pitch, Vivian!

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  56. You are not late, Stacy! There is no such thing around here. Whenever you show up is exactly the perfect time :) Thanks for your thoughts for Charlotte, and I hope you enjoyed the chocolate :)

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  57. Thank you for your helpful and supportive comments for Charlotte, Kathy! :)

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  58. Thank you for your very thoughtful and helpful suggestions for Charlotte, Erika! :)

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  59. Thanks for chiming in, Rene! I'm betting your comment might turn out to be Charlotte's favorite :)

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  60. Thank you so much for your helpful thoughts for Charlotte, Julie! I'm sorry your comment didn't come through properly, but I tried to fix it my posting it for you!

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  61. CONGRATULATIONS, Ann! Looking forward to any future news about Sk8tr Boy! Glad you were able to join us here.
    Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to read and comment on my book pitch. Your suggestions are terrific...off I go to write now!

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  62. I agree with many comments below, especially the tightened pitch by Vivian. I just attended an SCBWI conference this weekend where a literary agent stressed not including too much information. Rather put in just enough to entice them to read more!

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  63. Thanks so much for the advice, Kimberly!

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  64. I hope Erin has helpful comments for you, Ann - I'm sure she will :)

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