October 1, 2014

Would You Read It Wednesday #147 - Eat At Antonio's (PB) PLUS The September Pitch Pick!

Happy OCTOBER everyone!

Holy smoke!  How did we get to October already?  The days are just flying by! (some might say like a witch on a broomstick!)

And you know what October means, right?  Look for some exciting news on Monday!!! :)

Meanwhile, it's time for the September Pitch Pick!

Here are the wonderful September pitches for you to choose from, revised and improved thanks to your generous feedback!:

#1 Hope - Cleo And Pinkie (PB ages 4-8)
Whether it is marker stains on the carpet or mud trails in the hall, Cleo blames her mischievous, imaginary friend, Pinkie, for everything. “Pinkie did it!” Soon Mommy can’t take it anymore and declares, “No more Pinkie!” But without Pinkie, the house is too quiet until Cleo makes another mess, this time, to everyone’s delight.

#2 Koren/Sue - Taffeta: Diary Of A Supermodel (PB ages 6-13)
A true beauty, Taffeta used to win all the rosettes in pony shows in England. But one day a man bought her, and she had to move away from her mother, to her new home in hot and dusty Spain. When her new owner fell ill, so did Taffeta.
Taffeta could barely stand from lack of food and water. Luckily, she was found by a couple from a local horse rescue center, and soon Taffeta found supermodel status again.
Share in the heartwarming true story of Taffeta’s rescue and rise to fame in this diary-style picture book illustrated with beautiful photographs.
Taffeta: Diary of a supermodel is the second in a series of children’s books in which the horses and other animals saved by Spain’s Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre share their real-life rescue stories. All funds raised from the sale of this book help the center care for its many rescued horses, ponies, and donkeys.
The Easy Horse Care Rescue Center is based in Rojales, along Spain’s famed Costa Blanca coastline in the Valencia province. The center opens to the public every Sunday all year round. For more information or to make a donation, visit or email center founders Rod and Sue Weeding on
Thank you for your support.
#3 Carol - Cwabby Wabby Woofen-snoof (PB ages 4-7)
Woofen-snoof was a happy snoof. Then one day she forgot to take her nap. She was cwabby. After causing a disaster in her house involving her brothers, Goofen and Zoofen, she decided she would never be cwabby again. And she wasn’t. That is, until the next time she forgot to take her nap. Uh-oh!

It's a tough choice as always, I know!, but please choose the one you feel most deserves a read by editor Erin Molta and vote for it in the poll below by Sunday October 5 at 5 PM EDT.  I will announce the winner on WYRI next week!

Golly!  After all that voting we need a snack!  Autumn is in the air, and that makes me think of cider donuts - the very best donuts on earth!  So I'm cheating on Something Chocolate a little today by offering you these:


Along with this:

Also YUM!

Is there anything better than fresh cider donuts and hot chocolate?  I think not! :)

All right!  Ready for today's pitch?

It comes to us from Tonia who says, "I have been writing children's stories since I could make words with a pen. I locked myself in my room and wrote and wrote. I now write for kids in my spare time and sharing and engaging them in stories. I blog at Most of the time, it is about my daughter "Goldi" who has autism but I mix in other writings as well."

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Eat At Antonio's
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 8+)
The Pitch: A  strange looking restaurant pops up in a small ho hum farm town offering fine cuisine. A real stir is created as these plain Jane folks can't swallow much more than meat and potatoes and common sense. The Grand Opening announces a real eating adventure. Once inside, Master Chef Antonio will transform the taste buds that will take them to exotic places with just one bite. 

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 Tonia 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 November 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!

Tonia is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to sharing exciting things on Monday!  I wonder what I'll be telling you?  Aren't you just itching to find out?  You're probably going to have a tough time sleeping or getting anything productive done for the next few days, what with all the waiting and wondering...  Sorry about that :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!!! :)


  1. OH! I Love the sound of this pitch! But wonder who the main character is. Is it the restaurant opening up? or is it the chef who dishes up strange places?

    I think, and it is only my opinion, that you have to have the hook be the first sentence. So if Master Chef Antonio is the main character you have to start with that sentence of him serving up exotic places in a place where everyone wants meat and potatoes.

    Thanks, Tonia, for being brave and letting us torture you with our opinions!! :)

  2. Those donuts look amazing! You're making it really hard for me to go workout - that's what I do after I finish blogging some mornings. Oh gosh. I think I can smell the yumminess. I didn't know you did this whole pitch thing. That's great! I think I agree with Clarbojahn. I'd like to see the MC upfront in the pitch. Other than that, it's intriguing.

  3. Clarbojahn nailed it. I want to know who I'm rooting for, who will experience the conflict and change. Is it a townsperson or the chef? The story sounds intriguing, the pitch just isn't clear on the precise journey.
    I don't think I've ever had a cider donut, but it sounds yummy! (Cocoa is a yummy given :) )

  4. I love this restaurant idea, but am not sure where the story arc is going. I get that the town will probably go from hum drum to snazzy, but I don't see the crisis in the pitch.
    This sounds like a book well worth pitching, unique, quirky, lively. So glad you decided to use Susanna's amazing resource to make the pitch as excitng as the book itself.Can't wait to hear more

  5. Hi, Tonia! Yes, I would definitely read this. I can see lovely food illustrations to go along with it and descriptions that will make the reader's mouth water. My only suggestion would be to ramp up the tension a bit in the pitch. Maybe go so far as to say that the town folk refuse to eat any of the newfangled concoctions day after day until one brave boy or girl takes a tentative taste, or whatever it is in your story that begins the resolution to the problem. Thanks for sharing your pitch.
    Susanna---I can't wait for your announcement! Ooh, and cider donuts? Now that's all I can think of. I wonder if Krispy Kreme makes those!

  6. I love that you said "a real stir" in the pitch! Ha! I like it already. I also love the title. I feel like the restaurant is magical. Is it? I agree with the previous commenters. I'm also not sure what common sense has to do with their plain tastes. I hate fancy foods and I have no common sense at all! :)

    My question for Susanna is - Why can't the donuts be drizzled with chocolate?

  7. I'm not sure about this one. One of the rules of writing for children is to have a child front and center. Also, there needs to be a problem for the child to resolve. I'm not seeing any of that here. I like the idea of the exotic restaurant in the little farm town, but need to see a clear problem and a child-centered story. Good luck with this.

  8. First I have to say I LOVE the original premise! :D
    Lately I haven't had time to allow myself much just "for fun," but found this irresistible, maybe 'cause I see such promise in it? :D Anyway, I reworked the pitch a bit, hoping it makes its point clearer? I don't know. I hope it helps!

    In a small, ho-hum farm town, a strange-looking restaurant offering fine cuisine opens its doors. For its Grand Opening, Master Chef Antonio announces quite an astonishing eating adventure: once inside, patrons can expect their taste buds to actually transport them to exotic places with just one bite! With curiosity raised and gullible expectations high, there’s quite a stir when these “Plain Jane” folks find them swallowing nothing more than meat and potatoes—and common sense.
    And those donuts and hot chocolate! Never heard of apple cider donuts, but they sound scrumptious! :D

  9. Voting was hard...three great story ideas!
    And your apple cider donuts make me chomping at the bit to go apple picking...because as much as I love the apple picking itself, I love the donuts and hot chocolate that follows ever more. :)
    Tonia, I LOVE your story. What a unique concept...and I love the images your language creates...I can just see these plain Jane people, filled with common sense, piling into the new restaurant to chow down on gourmet delights. Hilarious! I think you've gotten some excellent suggestions...Clar pointed out what I think is most important...whoever the main character is should be the lead off in the pitch. I know 'they say' that the mc in a pb needs to be a child...but that isn't always true. And maybe there is a child who can be the narrator as he/she observes what is going on in the town. Best of luck with your story...I would definitely read it!

  10. I voted! Hard to choose. :) And's October! The best month of the year!
    I'm trying to picture this a picture book. But the age is throwing me off. Also, I would definitely center this story around a child. Maybe a child who is forced to go to a fancy restaurant with her parents and is forced to eat "yucky" strange food. I envision he/she curling her lip at escargot, etc. And I agree that there needs to be some sort of problem that is resolved. I think with some tweeks it could be a very funny and interesting picture book for a younger age group. Good luck! :)

  11. Meat and potatoes and common sense--that made me laugh! :)
    Thanks for the donuts and hot chocolate, Susanna! Makes waiting for Monday a whole lot easier. :)

  12. I voted and had some donuts with ice water. It's 95° here so I'm saving the hot chocolate for colder weather. It will be yummy, I know.

    I say yes to the pitch because I sense some humor as Master Chef Antonio and the plain Jane folks get to know each other via food. And humor with food might be one of my favorite things. (As long as there's no snorting of food through the nose!)

    There are some great suggestions in previous comments that would make the pitch even more appealing.

  13. Voted! Nice pitches, guys! And Susanna...I have both cider donuts and hot chocolate. But not for long.

    The culinary premise intrigues me, and I know editors LOVE picture books with food. But I too wonder about the main character and his/her central problem. This may be because most pitches we've seen here have a general formula, which I've stolen from Mira Reisberg's site*:

    Character wants to do something but can’t because there are obstacles. But when something drastic changes or happens, the character is able to do something and solves the problem.

    I might also suggest looking for a similar picture book, for your age range. How does the book jacket pitch that book?

    *From Mondays with Mandy and Mira:

  14. Susanna, thanks for the hot chocolate, but I'll pass on the donuts. Though it was hard to chose between three enticing pitches.

    I am also intrigued by Tonia's pitch. I would probably read it. But I would like to know a bit more about the story arc or perhaps more correctly a tantalizing tidbit about how Master Chef Antonio changes their minds or succeeds in such a "small ho hum farm town." I've lived in a town like that and there were no "exotic" food offerings, beyond salad.

  15. The pick was TOUGH! Always is, of course. And those donuts (which I sprinkled with chocolate) were lovely.

    As far as Tonia's pitch, I am definitely intrigued, but don't feel like I have enough information to make a decision. The wording seemed fairly vague, and I would love more details on what kind of fine cuisine it is - what kind of eating adventure are these folks in for? What exotic places? Sounds like a fun premise - just wanna know more.

    Hope this is helpful!

  16. I'm new to this blog and haven't seen "would you read it..." until now. What an excellent resource. Thank you.
    I would have said "maybe" on Tonia's pitch, and that's saying something since I have never really been interested in food books. If I were to adjust the pitch at all, I would suggest consolidating the last two sentences...combine them. I stumbled over them a bit on the first read. Good luck!

  17. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikOctober 2, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    I voted!
    The pitch sounds great! I like the idea of it! I love trying different foods. Especially ones from other cultures. :D

  18. Thanks for voting, Erik, and for your enthusiasm for Ms. Halley's pitch :)

  19. Hi Christie! It's lovely to meet you! Thank you for stopping by and offering your helpful advice for Tonia. Hope to see you around again :)

  20. Thank you for wrestling with the vote, Joanne. I hope the donuts helped :) And thanks for your thoughtful comments for Tonia!

  21. Ah, Maria, you're a stronger woman than I, passing on the donuts :) Thank you for your helpful comments for Tonia!

  22. Thank you for voting, Stacy, and I'm glad you're enjoying this morning's snack offering :) And thank you for your very helpful thoughts for Tonia - I'm sure she'll find Mira's formula useful.

  23. 95?! Good grief! I should have made you a chocolate milkshake, or frozen hot chocolate :) Thanks for your helpful suggestions for Tonia, Penny! Stay cool :)

  24. Yes, I knew you would need extra calories to get through the voting :) Thanks for your thoughtful comments for Tonia, Teresa - I know she'll find them helpful!

  25. Thank you for your helpful suggestions for Tonia, Iza! I'm sure she'll be thrilled with your enthusiasm for her pitch :)

  26. Glad you liked the pitch, Coleen :) And glad the snacks are helping with the waiting :)

  27. Thank you for voting, Brandie, and for your thoughtful comments for Tonia! :)

  28. Thanks for voting even though it was hard, Vivian! And enjoy your apple picking when you go - it's such a wonderful thing to do, isn't it? It's so nice to be outdoors in autumn... with cider donuts waiting for you :) Thanks too for your helpful comments for Tonia!

  29. What???!!! You've never heard of apple cider donuts??? Donna. Dearest Donna. We must solve this sad state of affairs! I would mail you some, but they really must be eaten fresh. Even one day old they're not as good, and certainly not after a stint with the US postal system! You live in the northeast. New Jersey, right? They must have orchards there. Get thee to a pick-your-own apple orchard and hopefully they'll have cider donuts! And now that the important part of your comment has been addressed, thank you for your thoughts and helpful pitch re-wording for Tonia :)

  30. Thank you for your insightful comments for Tonia, Rosi!

  31. Thank you for your comments for Tonia, Genevieve! And I'm glad you asked about the donuts because of course they certainly COULD be drizzled with chocolate which would no doubt improve them 100fold :)

  32. Thank you for your very helpful comments for Tonia, Debbie! And alas, no, I don't think Krispy Kreme is capable of making a cider donut. Dunkin' can't do it either, much as they might claim they can. No. You must get them fresh baked from someplace apple-y! :)

  33. Thanks for your helpful comments and enthusiasm for Tonia, Joanne :)

  34. Thanks for your thoughts for Tonia, Wendy! And what IS it with you people from New Jersey? How can you not know what cider donuts are? This makes me so sad :( You will all have to come to my house (because cider donuts must be eaten fresh) and see what you've been missing! :)

  35. Gosh, you're good Sheri - going off to work out! :) Yes, we do WYRI pretty much every Wednesday (except when we have unusual other exciting things going on) and you are more than welcome to submit a pitch if you'd ever like to. Or just come over and help everyone else :) Thanks for you thoughts for Tonia!

  36. Thank YOU, Clar, for your helpful thoughts for Tonia which I'm sure she will not find torturous :)

  37. Well, I do live in Washington state. Lots of apples east of the mountains. Hmmm, I may just have to embark on a cider donut quest. You have inspired me, Susanna!

  38. A cider donut enthusiast's work is never done. I work tirelessly to make sure no one is missing out, wearing through my shoe leather as I traverse mountains and desserts across the globe... Okay. Maybe not. But you should try one and I'm glad if I inspired you :)

  39. Johnny Appleseed would be so proud!

  40. We are distantly related. His mother's uncle's grand-nephew's sister-in-law's third cousin twice removed's dog is my dog's great aunt.

  41. It really IS sad, isn't it? *sobs in paper hanky* Actually, our local farms are GONE! They've all bitten the dust and become strip malls, the last one of them on its way out to the same, sorry end *sigh* 'Tis true! It's too far a drive up to the orchard in Warwick, so unless I just happen to be in the vicinity of an orchard at the right time, looks like it's not gonna happen! Of course, there's the option of making them myself, but I can guarantee you--THAT's not gonna happen either! lol

  42. I would read it because I'm intrigued by "the real eating adventure." I also can relate to the feeling of traveling to different places through trying different cuisines. I am curious to know how the whole story will unfold....My suggestion for the pitch is to introduce Master Chef Antonio early rather than in the last line.

  43. Thanks so much for your helpful suggestions for Tonia, Hope! :)


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