April 8, 2015

Would You Read It Wednesday #169 The Princess And The Pee (PB) PLUS The March Pitch Pick

Howdy boys and girls!

I'm going to be so succinct today you won't even recognize me!

(That is because my sister is visiting from Georgia and I barely ever get to see her, so I'm taking advantage of the time :))

So straight down to business!

First off, the March Pitch Pick.

Our March pitchers have taken all your good advice to heart and revised their pitches for your consideration.  Please read through them and then vote below for the pitch you like best.  Hopefully we will not get a three-way tie this time! :)

#1 Donna - The Chocolate Train Wreck - ER - ages 6-9

Nine–year-old Abigail must do an essay about one of her favorite things. But train whistles or chocolate-chip-cookies don’t seem big enough for her paper and nothing new ever happens in Hamilton. That is, until an airborne diesel engine and 50 tons of chocolate create a delicious mystery still unsolved more than fifty years later.

#2 Maria - A Pup Called Freelance - PB ages 5-8

My dad and the other firefighters were just doing their job when they rescued the two tiny puppies. Back at the firehouse, one was quickly adopted, while "Freelance," who chewed on fire boots and hid under the ladder truck​, was headed for the pound. But all that would change during his overnight visit to my house. Despite his mischievous nature, Freelance had a "nose for danger." His heroic efforts to save us earned him a place in our home forever!
#3 Pam - Freedom's Eve - PB ages 5-8

Eight-year-old Eve-Lynn groans about attending Watch Night service. A night commemorating the vigil of December 31st, 1862, when her ancestors watched and waited for the dawn of a new day. Freedom from slavery. But it is 1962. Gathering in an old barn, with a bunch of old relatives holds little excitement for Eve-Lynn. She dislikes her old-timey name. A hush interrupts Eve-Lynn’s grumbling. Eve-Lynn comes face to face with her one-hundred-eight- year old aunt, Lil’ Eve, an former-slave for whom she was named. The old aunt's voice rings out with an ancestral song, signaling the start of Watch Night. It is a song Eve-Lynn loves but has never understand the words, until tonight. Will Eve-Lynn learn to honor the Watch Night tradition? Will she learn to appreciate the significance of her name, and its link to her rich heritage?


#4 Carrie - Stepping Into Adventure: The Magic Rocks - PB ages 4-8

Stepping Into Adventure: The Magic Rocks is the story of Jude, a boy who is on a quest to find adventure because boredom has captured him.  He discovers he cannot escape his suddenly dull days without the help of his step-mom.  This results in high-flying adventure and a discovery that they are even better together.  

Please vote for the pitch you think most deserves a read and comments from editor Erin Molta by Sunday April 12 at 5 PM.

Today's pitcher is sharing her own favorite Something Chocolate with us: Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream with thawed frozen raspberries on top!



YUM!!!  Help yourselves :)

Now then, today's pitch comes to us from Amelia who says, "I am a former teacher - preschool, elementary, and middle school, both general education and Spanish, and now I'm staying at home with two boys who love to roar at each other.  I've been a writer my entire life, and have my eyes set on a second career as an author, so I've committed to saying yes to every writing opportunity that arises in 2015, to see where that takes me!

Links:

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Princess And The Pee
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 2-5)
The Pitch: When little Addy discovers an unexplored room in the family castle, her sister informs her that it holds The Royal Throne - a special seat only true princesses can use.  True princesses who are so sensitive they just can't play one second in a dirty diaper.  True princesses who are so clever they can sense wiggles and tinkles moving around even before they come out.  Addy knows she's a princess, but if she ever wants to see The Royal Throne for herself, she'll have to find a way to prove it!

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 Amelia 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 September 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!

Amelia is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to hanging out with my sister!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!!! :)


Reactions:

65 comments:

  1. I read the pitch to my son and he thought it was very cute.

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  2. I cast my vote. Good luck to the pitchers.


    As for today's pitch, I couldn't help giggling when I read the title. I'm not sure if it is a plus or minus that it's so closely titled to the original The Princess and the Pea, where the minus is that people would expect that original story when hearing it, but the plus being people would "get it" when reading it.


    It sounds like a really fun read about potty training, something every parent could use a little help with, and every princess could use some encouragement with. So yes, I would read it.

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  3. Voted and best of luck to all the pitchers! As for today's pitch, it's a Maybe for me though it is a clever concept, I wonder if it's a bit too sophisticated for the age group. As I recall potty training is done by 3 years old and would kids five and older relate to the issue? Just wondering.

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  4. Aw, that's so sweet! I always love hearing kids' thoughts! :-)

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  5. Thanks for the feedback, Linda! That's definitely something I have worried about with this idea - trying to keep the concept young enough for the 2-5 age group, but clever enough that the connection to the fairy tale works. It's really helpful to hear other people's reactions to that! :-)

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  6. Thanks for sharing your reaction, Angela! As the mom of two very un-princess-y boys, I'm hoping I can make this type of character relatable to that group of kids who live on tutus and tiaras! :-)

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  7. Voted!

    Great dessert choice from Amelia! Her pitch is hilarious and I would read the story, for sure. I think its a fun idea to help kids want to use the potty. But I did think the same thing as Linda about the age appropriateness of it. Pretty much all the little girls I knew were potty trained by 2 (my boys took until the age of 4) so I don't see a huge market for this in ages 4 and up. Still, it is so funny and clever, I hate to discourage you from it, Amelia.

    Ooh, maybe if you wrote it from the perspective of an older (5 or 6 yr old) MC who is trying to get her younger sister to use the throne - is her sister's potty mentor, so to speak - that might work! There are a lot of books for older siblings to help younger sibs in a variety of tasks so why not this?

    Best of luck, Amelia!

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  8. Have a fun visit with your sister, Susanna!

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  9. I would read The Princess and the Pee. Though I agree with the other commentators who were thinking the age limit was too old, I don't know that the concept wouldn't work as a 1 year-3/4 year book. If kept simple it could be a larger board book which would work for both very young princesses and their slightly older sisters.

    The very young wouldn't understand the humor in the title not being familiar with the fairy tale, but their parents and grandparents who do the purchasing would. Some very young girls are obsessed with all things princess too, especially if they have an older sibling modeling that obsession.

    I think parents and caregivers would appreciate a book that had princesses, some humor, and helped teach their possibly reluctant little ones about the "royal throne!"

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  10. Teresa, thanks so much for your feedback! Wow - my first born was potty trained by 2, but he was definitely the odd one out among his friends and the kids we know. Great idea about shifting the perspective of the MC ... I will have to mull that over for a while! The original is a prince looking for a real princess to marry, so maybe it could be an older sister looking for a real princess to be her playmate. Hmm ...

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  11. I think this would be an adorable story for very young children. I agree with previous commenters that a board book would be the perfect venue for this story.

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  12. Agree, Teresa, and another thing: once I got this useful advice when I had a PB idea about twin sisters. "Don't forget about the boys. Id they're both girls, you'll narrow your readership." Don't know if this would work for you. Just food for thought.

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  13. Kirsten Peavy BockApril 8, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    I think this is very clever and cute! I agree with the other commentators that this is a bit too sophisticated for the target age. I love Teresa's idea of making the main character the older sibling.

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  14. Thanks, Amanda! :-)


    I think you are right that the 1 yr-3/4 yr range might be more where I need to gear this. There is one Princess/Pee related book on the market now, but it is definitely for the older crowd - a girl who wets the bed at night - and I think little Addy's story is more finding that early motivation to get out of diapers and into the realm of 'big girls'. Great feedback!

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  15. Thanks for your input, Rosi!

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  16. Thanks, Kirsten! I am kind of looking forward to trying a few rewrites to see how the story can work from the sibling's point of view, as well as gearing it younger as a board book, to see which works best!

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  17. I simply love this idea (and the chocolate peanut butter ice cream)! You've got some amazing suggestions. I love the idea of this because I can see myself reading, The Princess and the Pea first to my class, then Reading your story. Even though they're over the age of needing potty training, I think they would get the humor, get the take on words. They would get it. And think of how they could share this with a younger sibling. It happens all the time in my class. I love it. It is a YES for me.

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  18. Thanks so much for your positivity for Amelia, Pam! Help yourself to the ice cream :)

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  19. Thanks so much for sharing your reactions with Amelia, Kirsten! Very helpful!

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

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  21. Hahaha - the royal throne :) Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments for Amelia, Amanda!

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  22. Thank you for voting, and for your very helpful comments and suggestions for Amelia, Teresa!

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  23. Thanks so much for voting, Linda, and for your helpful input for Amelia!

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  24. Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Amelia, Angela! :)

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  25. Going straight to a kid audience - what could be better? Thanks, Robin :)

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  26. I think this is a great twist on the standard potty training book. I'm not a huge fan of bathroom books, but potty training happens, so yes - I would read it. I don't even think the age range is too far off. 5 year olds aren't too far away from their own training to remember it. Good luck with it!

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  27. Thanks so much for your thoughtful input for Amelia, Genevieve! And maybe there's a niche in the market for Cupcake to write a book about puppy potty training :)

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  28. Nice pitches, guys! And Amelia, I think it's a clever concept, and 4-5yos will love the princess/potty humor. Teresa's suggestion to add an older sibling may entail revision...but it could help breach the gap between the potty-training 2yo and the humor for the 5yo. And Princess and the Pea could appeal to all those kids. :)

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  29. What a wonderful, original retelling of the princess and pea story!! I could have used it when my daughter was potty training :) I think your actual pitch is great - you set up the characters, story and tone perfectly. I agree with the suggestion about changing the POV to an older sister since the story does sound a bit for older kids out of potty training but it's hard to tell without seeing the actual text :)

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  30. This is SO incredibly clever - but I also think the age thing is a problem. I like Teresa's idea - a LOT. I would absolutely read it.


    Love chocolate peanut butter ice cream too - AND the pitches. Was a hard pick as usual :)

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  31. I can totally picture a rather stubborn little Addy! Sure, I want to read it! I agree that it would really be meant for the younger end of the age range given, so I imagine the text would have to be kept rather simple for them, but it sounds like a hoot!

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  32. Thanks for your enthusiasm for Amelia, Julie - I'm sure she'll be thrilled :)

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  33. Thanks for voting, Stacy :) And thanks for your helpful comments for Amelia!

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  34. Aw, Pamela, thanks so much! Do you mind my asking what grade your class is? And yay for another fan of pb chocolate ice cream! :-)

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  35. Good to hear your take - I definitely know parents who struggle with potty training well past age 3, and even age 4, but I was a preschool teacher, so we had all different ranges! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  36. Thanks, Stacy! Luckily revision is not a problem on this one - I purposely chose a manuscript that is at a pretty rough rough draft stage, hoping this would help give me a little focus, and it certainly is! :-)

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  37. Thanks for that feedback, Ariel! I am relatively new to writing pitches, so it's great to hear you felt the story, character, etc. were conveyed in the short space of a few sentences.

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  38. I'm starting to see a pattern, perhaps? ;-) I am so glad everyone has had the same thought on the age issue!! Definitely gives me clear direction!

    Joanne, adding raspberries on top makes chocolate pb ice cream even better! (How is that even possible, right??) The perfect writing treat!

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  39. Personally, I prefer strawberries - but I get your drift ;). Really, really hope you can find a way to make this work - cuz, at least in my opinion, the idea is GOLDEN. :)

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  40. Julie, thanks so much! :-) The idea made me chuckle when I thought of it during PiBoIdMo, so I knew I had to do something with it! Just have to rework this age issue - so thankful for this forum to get feedback on it!

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  41. :-) So encouraging to hear!! Thanks so much!

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  42. I would read it! Brilliant title. I haven't read a ton of potty books, but I've never seen one with the "throne" angle; this sounds fun and different. I'm guessing from the pitch that the plot is at least as important as the issue in this book -- if that's the case, I can certainly see it being appealing even for those who have already earned the right to sit on the throne.

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  43. Yes! The potty target audience is younger but it doesn't mean they don't deserve a good story. I'm interested in a sibling taking a role in the throne guidance since older siblings can be good models and teachers. It doesn't bother me that the toilet training audience may not know the original fairy tale, it's funny for older readers and it could be fun for the youngest audience members to connect the dots as they grow up.

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  44. What a clever idea. I certainly knew a lot of kids that succeeded in potty training around 3 or 4, especially when attending pre-school with your best friend was the prize. So I am not sure it has to be written for a two-year old. In between, and it won't be too old for parent guidance of the younger ones or too babyish for the older ones (who may already feel embarrassed at that age). I also chuckled through the pitch. :-)

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  45. Thanks for coming by to read it, Shauna! You always have great insight! :-)

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  46. Thanks, Anna! It's been interesting to hear so many comments on the sister's role, because I had struggled with how much I should include her in the story as well as the pitch. I think she's about to get a lot more influence in my rewrite! :-) Thanks for your input on the age issue!

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  47. I am now working with Kindergarten and 1st graders. Although my first graders love the "Monster High" books (had no idea about this book before this year), they would love the humor as well as the Kinders.

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  48. Mike Allegra writerApril 9, 2015 at 2:51 PM

    That is the most brilliant potty training book ever.

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  49. Love it. I can't think of a way to change. I'd read it.

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  50. I'm sure Amelia will be thrilled to know it, Mike! :)

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  51. Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Amelia, Maria!

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  52. Thanks so much for chiming in for Amelia, Johnell!

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  53. Thanks so much for your input for Amelia, Anna - very helpful! :)

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  54. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with Amelia, Shauna!

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  55. Thanks, Maria! Good point about some older kids maybe feeing a little embarrassed about needing a 'potty book'. Glad to have your feedback!

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  56. Aww! Thanks, Mike!! Someday when it's published I'll be in touch to use that quote for the book jacket ;-)

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  57. Thanks, Johnell!! So glad people are responding well to the concept! :-)

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  58. Lidia Varesco RacomaApril 9, 2015 at 11:28 PM

    As a mom of a 3 YO boy who has read lots of potty training books, I love the idea. I do agree with Linda's advice not to exclude the boys. I have seen several potty training books that have separate boy/girl versions, so maybe you can add "the prince and the pee" ;)

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  59. A whole 'nother level of fun :) Thanks so much for your thoughts for Amelia, Lidia!

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  60. That's a great idea, Lidia, to have two versions ready! Thanks for your input! :-)

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  61. Voted! Ameila's book sounds fun and encouraging for tots in the potty training phase. Enjoy your sister, Susanna. Sisters are the best!

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  62. Thanks for reading!

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  63. I'm late to this party but I wanted to add that I would read this!


    If anything I wish there were more books for boys ~ I find that there are so many books about girls/a "princess" that boys get left out but I love the play on the "Royal Throne" and her curiousity ~ I think this is a fun idea.


    Sidenote: I've noticed a growing trend in people suggesting that the mc be the older sibling who guides the younger one ~ isn't this just substituting the parents? (as in: don't have the parent solve the issue)


    Good luck with this one! :)

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  64. That's a good point about the MC, Tracy! I think in this case, people's suggestion is that my target reader wouldn't actually be the same age as a child in need of potty training, so I should either change my age range for the pitch or shift my MC older. But I do think your point is a really good one - I have noticed a few books lately with even 'wiser' animals guiding the MC, and that seems like a replacement for the parent figure too!


    Thanks for the feedback on my pitch! I agree about more books for boys - it's so funny that I even came up with this concept, since my two monster-loving boys keep me playing cars and Handy Manny all day!! :-) But I liked a previous commenters suggestion to maybe do a boy version as well - The Prince and the Pee!


    Thanks for reading!!

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