June 19, 2013

Would You Read It #93 - The Chase (PB) PLUS Straight From The Editor and The May Pitch Pick Winner!

We've got a busy day, so I hope you ate your Wheaties!

Except, when you think about it, Wheaties aren't chocolate, so they are really not an appropriate choice for Wednesday.

I know!  How about some chocolate cereal?
Okay, no.

That will simply not do at all.

I'm sorry.  It looks like dog kibble.  And much as I love my dogs I do not wish to share their breakfast.  Not to mention, that doesn't look anything like real chocolate should look.

I tried to go the truly healthy route with cereal, but I just can't do it.

Put that away and let's break out the Snickers :)

Ah!  That's MUCH better.  Now we're ready to get down to business!

First, Straight From The Editor for our April winner, Pam.

You will recall her pitch:

Flood Dogs (Picture Book ages 5-8)Based on a true story, FLOOD DOGS tells of a girl, her two dogs, and the flood that comes between them. As Cadence fears the fate of her dogs, she must also face the devastation of her town and home.  When she finally reconnects with her beloved pups, Cadence is overjoyed to discover just how much she still has.

And here are editor Erin Molta's comments:

I am intrigued by the pitch for your story.
I offer just a few minor tweaks and I suggest thinking about a pithier title. Since Katrina and the Hurricane Sandy flooding, there are a lot of stories such as this coming in and something a tad catchier might help pull this one up from the pile. Also the last sentence would probably work better if you were more specific. Instead of how much she has—what about something like how much love, how much XXX she still has . . .
I wish you the best of luck with this!

As always, I find her insight very helpful!

Next, I am happy to announce the winner of the May Pitch Pick.

And the winner is...

... SIAN with her pitch for Thirsty For Words (which was originally The Word Thief.)

Congratulations, Sian!!!  Your pitch has already been sent to Erin for her thoughts.  And congratulations to all our other pitchers for great story ideas, wonderful pitches, and thoughtful improvements based on reader feedback.  You all did an excellent job.  Good luck with your stories!

Now, onto today's Would You Read It.  Phew!  Anyone need another Snickers?

Today's pitch comes to us from the lovely Elaine, who we met in April with her pitch for  Giant At The Gym.  In case you don't remember her, Elaine is a Mom of two, wife of one, mom to three furry kids and second grade school teacher.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Chase
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-7)
The Pitch:  A bored little boy stares at the moon, moaning about being bored while missing the stunning excitement that’s unfolding around him – pirate cows, zombie ice skaters, mummy librarians… If only he’d look down instead of UP. THE CHASE is a humorous picture book that explores the common childhood experience of what appears like the moon is following them, and turns it on its head.

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 Elaine 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 August which isn't that far away, so we're about ready for some new pitches!  Send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Elaine is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to being able to take my daughter to the airport at the crack of dawn on Friday without feeling guilty for not paying attention to Perfect Picture Books, since we are now on summer hiatus.  I will also take this opportunity to let you know that I will be mostly away from my computer next week, so don't be shocked if the blog is a little bare and I'm not around visiting you all.  But don't worry!  Would You Read It will still be up next Wednesday... assuming I write the post before I leave :)

Have a lovely Wednesday, everyone! :)


  1. Zombie cows and mummy librarians? Yes, of course I'm in. :) Love the book and here are some of my ideas for the pitch. You have "bored" twice in the same sentence. I would take it down to one and would even think about if you can cover the concept without the word "bored" which as a teacher and mom i cannot stand! (Even though I realize that is your point of course). Also, I was a little confused about looking down instead of up but then saying the story was partly about the moon and it following kids. I might start instead with something like "did you ever think the moon was following you?" I think "popular childhood experience" might be too strong for this concept--I had to really think about it before I realized what you were talking about. I also love the last line because it leaves a lot to the imagination, but again, it took me a minute to decipher. So, without being long-winded (too late!!), I love this but might rearrange it so that the zombie cows and sinister-sounding moon take center stage. Thanks!

  2. Yes I would it. Zombies and pirates in the same book? Count me in. For the pitch, I wonder if there would be a way to tighten it by reversing the introduction, something I'm not sure would work but here goes:

    With pirate cows, zombie ice skaters, and mummy librarians on the loose, a bored little boy could miss it all as he stares at the moon. If only he’d look around instead of UP. THE CHASE is a humorous picture book that explores the common childhood experience of what appears like the moon is following them, and turns it on its head.

    Not really sure if that's better but it certainly puts the exciting 'haps' at the front as an eye catcher.

    Wishing the best of luck with this pitch.

  3. Mmm, Cocoa Puffs!

    Congrats, Sian!

    As for the pitch, I would read it. I suggest a couple of tweaks:

    A little boy stares at the moon and misses the stunning excitement unfolding around him – pirate cows, zombie ice skaters, mummy librarians… If only he’d stop dwelling on the moon, he might have a little fun! THE CHASE is a humorous picture book that explores the common childhood experience of what appears like the moon is following them, and turns it on its head.

    I'm not sure that does it (because I inadvertently said staring at the moon is bad, which is not a good message), but I think you can play with the wording some more to get rid of "bored" and excess words. I also worry about the idea you plant that you don't want kids to look up. So, even though it might be perfect for the story, I wonder if there's a better way to say "pay attention to what's going on around you."

  4. Rachel SchieffelbeinJune 19, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    I'm a maybe on the pitch. It sounds interesting, but I feel like I'm not totally sure what it's about. It's sounds a bit magical, which I love, but then she says humorous, which I'm not getting from this pitch. And the things about the moon following them at the end, that's not what I was expecting at all from what she described at first. So, yeah. I think it has major potential, but maybe just tighten it up a bit. :) Good luck!

  5. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikJune 19, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    I would read it, but I would change the last sentence to something about how kids should look around at the world and have fun. :D

  6. Susanna - I'm with you on the chocolate cereal, but I husband just adores Reeses Cocoa puffs. He just can't get enough of them!

    Sian - Congratulations on your pitch!

    Elaine - Your story sounds promising, but I was a bit confused by the pitch. The title of your book is "The Chase" but I didn't really understand who or what is being chased. Still I love the idea of having zombie ice-skaters and pirate cows. You have a lot of great potential for some really fun illustrations!

  7. Yes. I definitely like the idea of the excitement unfolding around him. :) And Snickers? No doubt we are kindred spirits, Susanna!

  8. delores @ thefeatherednestJune 19, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    I would read it...although I think I might have left off the last sentence.

  9. Congrats to Pam and Sian! Chocolate candy on us! (or Susanna ;)
    Heck yeah, I'd read about skater zombies! But I felt confused too. A re-write could focus the varied details with the story's main point, bringing togther the zombies, the boy, the moon and the chase.

    Like Angela's re-working, without the last sentence:
    With pirate cows, zombie ice skaters, and mummy librarians on the loose, a bored little boy could miss it all as he stares at the moon. If only he’d look around instead of UP.

    Or mine:
    Too busy chasing the moon, [Name] misses it all. Pirate cows. Zombie ice skaters. Mummy librarians. If only he looked around...instead of UP.

  10. Catherine JohnsonJune 19, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Congrats, Pam and Sian. Yes for the story. Since this is the pitch not the whole whole query letter I would stop at UP. And I might send a pitch in soon :)

  11. Very excited to have won the May Pitch Pick - yay! Thanks for voting for me.
    I agree with the comments already made about today's pitch. I would read it but the pitch is too confusing. I would definitely get rid of 'bored' and start with the action first. I also didn't really understand the title. I think more needs to be made of the chase that happens in the story (if thats what does happen!).
    Good luck with this!

  12. Congratulations Pam and Sian.

    A lot of good advice on today's pitch. I think pitch has potential, but I had to read it a couple of times because I found it a bit confusing. I really liked the brevity of Stacy's suggestion. It gets right to the key point. The story sounds like it is very funny.

    Susanna, you need to write a story about chocolate. You are so funny about food.

  13. Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Elaine, Wendy! :)

  14. Thanks for your helpful and well-thought-out suggestions for Elaine, Angela! :)

  15. Thanks for your helpful and thoughtful comments for Elaine, Pam! :) (And congrats that Erin thought so highly of your pitch :))


  16. Thank you so much for pitching in your 2 cents, Rachel - I'm sure Elaine will find your comments helpful! :)

  17. That is excellent advice coming from the only person here who is technically legitimately still a kid! Thanks, Erik :)

  18. Yeah... I'm afraid I've never really been able to get on board with the whole chocolate cereal thing. It just isn't chocolatey enough :) Thanks for your comments for Elaine!

  19. Come to my house! I have a secret stash in my office closet. Oops. Or maybe that's NOT where the stash is. Perhaps it is in the basement or the garage...

  20. Thanks so much for sharing your insights, Delores! :)


  21. Thanks for your very helpful and insightful comments for Elaine, Stacy!

  22. Thanks for your comments and enthusiasm for Elaine, Catherine! :)


  23. Congratulations again, Sian! :) and thanks for your comments for Elaine!


  24. Thanks for your helpful comments for Elaine, Pat, and I'm glad my very serious views on chocolate and breakfast snack cakes amuses you :)


  25. The book sounds hilarious and yes, I'd read it! I agree with Catherine that the pitch should end with "up." That last sentence is confusing and unnecessary.
    And I agree with Patricia that you should write a story about chocolate :-)

  26. disqus_xkUvROpuwpJune 20, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    Great comments, thank you so much,Wendy! :)

  27. disqus_xkUvROpuwpJune 20, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    Thank you so much, Angela!

  28. disqus_xkUvROpuwpJune 20, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    Ahh, great comments, thank you, Pam!

  29. disqus_xkUvROpuwpJune 20, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    Thanks, Rachel! You're absolutely right!

  30. disqus_xkUvROpuwpJune 20, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    You're absolutely right, Erik! Thanks so much for the insight!

  31. disqus_xkUvROpuwpJune 20, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    Thank you, Heather!

  32. disqus_xkUvROpuwpJune 20, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    Thank you, Coleen!

  33. disqus_xkUvROpuwpJune 20, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    Thank you, Delores!

  34. disqus_xkUvROpuwpJune 20, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    Thank you, Stacy!

  35. disqus_xkUvROpuwpJune 20, 2013 at 7:40 AM

    Thank you, Catherine!

  36. disqus_xkUvROpuwpJune 20, 2013 at 7:40 AM

    Thank you (and Congratulations!) Sian!

  37. disqus_xkUvROpuwpJune 20, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    Thank you, Pat!

  38. disqus_xkUvROpuwpJune 20, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    Thank you for your comments, Iza!

  39. Thanks so much for your comments for Elaine, Iza! And hmmm..... how about A Chocolate Moose... oh, wait, that's been done... :) Something chocolate, something chocolate... I shall have to think on it. I love thinking about chocolate :)


  40. How did it get to be nearly noon on Thursday and I've not come over here yet to make my usual long, rambling comment?? ;)

    I don't usually eat Snickers but it looks better than chocolate cereal. LOL!

    Useful comments for Pam from Erin, and congratulations to Sian!

    I have read Elaine's story both over at the 12x12 forum and as her critique group partner and I have to tell you: it is a fabulous favorite one of hers yet! That said, I don't think the pitch quite captures just how funny and clever this story really is. Soooo, I would have to say YES! I'd read it but not really based on the pitch, which is pretty good but not perfect. (Elaine, you know I love you and say that as your loving whip-cracking critique buddy!)

    I'm running late on my Making Picture Book Magic assignment so will work with Elaine privately on the pitch.

    Enjoy the rest of your week and weekend, Susanna! I'm guessing it'll be sad seeing your daughter off at the airport, so bring chocolate! ;)


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