May 21, 2014

Would You Read It #134 - Little Lizzie Knows What She's Doing (PB) PLUS The April Pitch Winner

Bonjour, mes petites oiseaux!

(For those of you less fluent in French than me, that means good morning my little birdies - at least, I'm hoping it means something like that :))

I've got birds on the brain (no, I did NOT say I was a bird brain!) because of Mr. and Mrs. Canada Goose on the way to my daughter's school.  They have recently successfully hatched 6 delightful fluffy goslings!  How can you not just love something this cute?

But enough of cute babies.  We've got an action-packed, fun-filled day ahead!  Are you ready?

First off, the winner of the April Pitch Pick is Frances!  Congratulations, Frances!  Your pitch has been sent to editor Erin Molta for her comments, and I'm sure you'll hear from her shortly!

Congratulations to our other fearless pitchers, too!  You did a tremendous job and I know I speak for all of us when I say we admire and respect you for bravely posting your work!

Now.  On a more serious note (one might even say grave), I'd like to discuss something of great importance.

Something I know has been weighing heavily on your minds.

Admit it.

You've been lying awake nights plagued by the torturous question of how, oh HOW, should you eat your berries?

Darlings.  I am here for you.

With prime berry season almost upon us, I feel it's critical that we clear up some common misconceptions.

You might think you should pluck them from the bush they grow on and pop them right in your mouth.  This is called Beary Picking because that's how the bears do it.  This is not the correct way for you to do it.  Please don't.  Get out of that blueberry bush right now.

You might think you should buy them at the store, wash them, and put them in one of your pretty china dishes to eat with a spoon.  I'm sorry to tell you that this is also wrong.  Seriously.  Put that dish back in the cabinet before you break it.  And what is that?  Vanilla ice cream?  Don't make me come over there!

THIS, darlings, is the proper way, the ONLY way to eat berries:

Chocolate Dessert Cups With Fresh Berries from Plain Vanilla Mom
Recipe HERE

No dishes to wash, hence no water wastage.  No disposable items that have to be thrown away only to clog up our recycling centers.  Just a good old-fashioned edible Something Chocolate cup like our founding fathers used to use back in the old days.  Simple.  Elegant.  Eco-friendly.  Delicious.

I'm so glad I was able to clear that up for you :)

Now.  Bring your chocolate cup of berries along and let's get down to business!

Today's pitch comes to us from Linda who says, "I know what I'm doing" was a favorite phrase of mine when I was growing up. I wanted to discover the world f or myself, not through my parent's eyes. This meant that on occasion I would find myself stuck up in a tree or riding my bike with my eyes closed. The results were not pretty!  Today, I continue to be adventurous, writing about the Glimmer Glen Elves who visit me in my Elfery, and dabbling in self-publishing in a variety of genres for both children and adults." 
Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Little Lizzie Knows What She's Doing
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-6)
The Pitch: Little Lizzie may be small, but she has an enormous curiosity about her world and how she fits in it. She wants to figure things out in her own way, so when her parents caution her about trying something new, her reply is always, I know what I’m doing!  Giving the cat a bath and other experiments lead to some interesting consequences, until at last Lizzie demonstrates she does know what she's doing.

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 Linda 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.)

Linda is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to not washing any dishes ever again now that I've discovered chocolate cups :)

Have a wonderful, productive, and fulfilling Wednesday, everyone! :)


  1. Berries and chocolate, a win-win! And YES I would read Linda's story. The pitch grabs my attention right away. Well written, and Little Lizzie sounds like a fun character I'd like to know more about.

  2. Thank you so Susanna. I have been pondering the right way to consume berries. And making that cup a dark chocolate cup brings extra antioxidants to the whole she-bang. Good work! Now, yes, I would read today's WYRI. I recall hearing that "I know what I'm doing" quite often from my Chipmunk...even hear it to this day, with some interesting results at times lol!!!

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for saying the proper "CANADA Goose" instead of the wrong "Canadian Goose." Just for that, I will love you forever, Susanna! :D

    That dessert looks scrumptious. Of course drizzled in chocolate is the only way to eat berries!

    I think Linda's pitch is pretty darned good and I would love to read the story! My only concern is that it's not specific enough. Besides bathing the cat, I'd like to know what the inciting event is and also something on the consequence before hinting at the resolution. Best of luck to Linda! I really think this is a super cute story. Love that it's inspired by her own youthful escapades!

  4. Hi all! Linda, nice pitch and great story idea. I would love to read this.

    My only suggestion, can the last line be a bit more specific? "she does know what she's doing" could be taken several ways.

    I first assumed the parents were in the right, cautioning their reckless child, while leaving her free to experiment. After reading the final line of the pitch, I had the impression the parents were repressive.

    Currently, I think the last line says more about other people's opinion of Lizzie, than about her actual growth. Could you hint at the change in Lizzie in the last line? How does Lizzie change?

    "she does know the difference between . . ." careful and careless? rash and responsible? impulse and independence?
    Or perhaps a more specific ending, such as "she demonstrates she does know how to . . ." ?

    It will really depend on what the aim of the story is.

    But again, nicely done!

  5. No kidding here, Linda---a resounding "YES! I want to see this book RIGHT NOW! Why? Because I KNOW WHAT I'M DOING!" :D I can't imagine any agent/editor NOT wanting to see that manuscript :D Just love it, and I really DO want to see it on a bookstore shelf! lol
    And Susanna, the gosling! I've always loved ducklings, goslings and chicks---any fuzzy-before-feathers creature :D If I drive to my boyfriend's house at just the right time, I see a little family on a small, triangular patch of grass that separates two streets and thought to stop to take a pic, but my experience with geese has been the "You have food?! CHARGE!" type lol I do worry about them, though, 'cause they hang out by a very busy turn in the road. Thanks for this adorable pic! And, of course, your ALways entertaining posts which never fail to make my heart smile :D Come to think of it, my face smiles, too ;)

  6. Adorable gosling, Susanna! Congrats on all your oiseaux!
    You have a great character with Lizzie, Linda; I love little girls who must have their way! I too thought the pitch could be more specific. Maybe you could tinker with the second line, start with that, and tell us specifics about her escapades.
    I'd also like to know the stakes: If Lizzie doesn't figure out how do X, her way, what overarching problem occurs? Does she lose heart, think she can't do it herself? Does she have to learn to bend? You give us a taste of her orneriness; I'd like particulars, so I get to know Lizzie and her story more.

  7. I would definitely read this. But I agree with many of the commenters. The pitch left me wanting more - right now! I'm dying to know what else Lizzy does and what trouble she runs into. Sounds like SUCH a fun piece. Good luck with it, Linda.

  8. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikMay 21, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    Yum... Chocolate! :D
    I would read the book! To me, the pitch is perfect!!! :D

  9. I'm sure Ms. Kurth will be happy you think so, Erik! :)

  10. Thanks so much for your comments for Linda, Genevieve - I'm sure she'll be thrilled to have piqued your interest so :)

  11. I love all baby animals, Stacy - I can't seem to help myself :) Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments for Linda. I'm sure she'll find them helpful!

  12. What kind of hostess would I be if I didn't supply a chocolate infusion? :) Thanks so much for your very helpful suggestions for Linda. I'm sure she'll be glad of the pitch re-wording!

  13. Thanks for you positive response for Linda, Donna! I'm sure she'll be thrilled! And I'm so glad you love goslings too :) I've got pictures of a currently unfolding goose epic that I haven't had time/space to post yet, but keep an eye out - they're sure to show up somewhere at some point :) And I'm so glad you enjoy my blog - it makes me feel like it's worth writing it :)

  14. Thanks for your helpful suggestions for Linda, Julie. You're certainly right that we all need to avoid the "teachy"! :)

  15. Thank you for your very perceptive comments for Linda, Joanne! I'm sure she will find them thought-provoking and helpful!

  16. Gosh! If only I'd known how easy it was to get loved forever :) Amazing the odd little things I know how to say correctly :) And yes... drizzled in chocolate, served in an edible chocolate cup, with chocolate on the side is the only way to eat anything! Thanks for your very helpful suggestions for Linda!

  17. Ah, Angela! A girl after my own heart who understands the health benefits of chocolate :) Enjoy! And thanks for your comments for Linda!

  18. Susanna, I don't know how many followers you have, but I am SURE they feel the same way I do :) And trust me, whenever the chance arises, I'm spreading the word just as it was spread to me (thanks so much, Lauri!). After all, our NJ SCBWI Conference is coming next month! :D

  19. Thanks so much for sharing your reaction for Linda - I'm sure she'll be pleased :) Enjoy the chocolate (and berries) :)

  20. Well, thank you! You're very kind and I SO appreciate it! :)

  21. Chocolate cups are perfect. I have a little Lizzie at my house and he sometimes surprises me, so I'm a yes. The first line of the pitch made me wonder if the story could be preachy or message-y. The rest sounded more like a story a child/parent could relate to while reading. I would suggest deleting the first sentence and going straight into Little Lizzie wants to figure out .... Then maybe another example like the cat. The interesting consequences ... "interesting" seems too generic. As the mom of a toddler, I envision what "interesting" can be (and maybe lived it today), but as a reader "interesting" feels vague. Are the consequences messy, hidden, boisterous? When you have the full manuscript, how do you describe the consequences? If that makes sense at all. Good luck.

  22. Thank you for your very thoughtful comments for Linda, Stacy! I'm sure she will find them helpful. And now, please have an extra helping of chocolate because anyone who spends all day with a toddler certainly needs and deserves it :)

  23. Linda Moore KurthMay 22, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    Thanks so much, all of you. I've found a take-away from each one of you. Vivian, I especially like your suggestion. I'm so grateful for your encouragement. <3

  24. Linda Moore KurthMay 22, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    To show I've paid attention to your comments, here's my revised version;

    “I know what I’m doing!” is Lizzie's reply Monday through Saturday when her parents warn her about trying something new. She gives the cat a bath and gets scratched. She jumps off the roof of the dog house with an umbrella and hurts her leg. Each day, Lizzie experiences the unhappy consequences of her failed experiments. Finally, on Sunday, she discovers that combining curiosity with good sense is the best way to truly know what she’s doing…at least until Monday comes again.

  25. Melanie EllsworthMay 22, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    Linda - I liked this story idea because it reminded me a lot of my 4 1/2 year old! I like your revision here, especially the line about Lizzie combining curiosity with good sense - at least until Monday comes again! I think you could probably remove the line, "Each day, Lizzie experiences the unhappy consequences of her failed experiments" because your examples show us that.

  26. Lizzie is an intrepid, active, intriguing little girl - I'd definitely read this! But I'd like to see Linda connect up each experiment with motivation - like the cat rolled in something and needed a bath - if you have Lizzie solving a problem with each experiment, we would get more insights into her character and how she thinks. I'd also love to see really unique experiments - based on Lizzie's exploration and discoveries of the world around her. I had a couple of friends who jumped off their roofs holding umbrellas when I was a kid, for instance, and it seems like a fairly common thing to do. Perhaps you could make Lizzie's jump unique to her for the reasons she does it - as well as it's off the dog house (how far did she jump?) Also, perhaps each experiment leads to another problem, which Lizzie solves with yet another experiment because she knows what she's doing. Anyway, it's a great idea, a delightful character & I look forward to seeing this in print!

  27. Thanks much for your creative suggestions, Ann. Much to think about.

  28. Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Linda, Melanie! I think a lot of us with kids can relate to this one :)

  29. Thanks so much for your constructive comments for Linda, Ann - I'm sure she will find them very helpful!

  30. Thanks so much for chiming in for Linda, Jill! :)

  31. Great to see you've already got a revision! You'll be ahead of the game when it comes time for the pitch pick :)


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