April 1, 2015

Would You Read It Wednesday #168 - Don't Pinch Me! (PB)

Does everybody know what day it is???

Woo hoo!

It's April Fools' Day!

And Mother Nature is certainly April Fooling with us, as she continues to send snow!  Which I am ignoring.  Pointedly.

I hope you will all indulge me in a moment of shameless self-promotion (due to the fact that I never seem to remember ahead of time to do anything about this!)

Enjoy April Fools' Day high jinx and shenanigans with Phyllis and the gang!
Grab a copy for yourself, one of the littles in your life, your local library, etc... :)
Helpful purchasing links for your convenience:
AMAZON, B&N, INDIEBOUND, Merritt Bookstore
If you feel the urge to share April Fool, Phyllis! on FB, twitter, etc, Phyllis and I will be extremely grateful and will sing a song in your honor :)  It will go like this:

FOOORRR you're a jolly good fellow
For you're a jolly good fellow
Oh you're a jolly good fell-ooowwwwwww
And Phyllis and I love you!

As you can see, we worked hard on the music and lyrics, and we practiced our singing all night... which is why we might sound a little hoarse.


And now for your Something Chocolate!
Meatloaf with gravy, mashed potatoes, and peas!!!
Recipe HERE at Party Pinching

Tee-hee-hee!  April Fool! :)

The "meatloaf" is a chocolate rice krispie treat with chocolate sauce for "gravy", the "mashed potatoes" are half a cupcake with vanilla frosting, a yellow starburst, and a little yellow gel icing, and the "peas" are from the peas and carrots Jelly Belly pack!  Pretty clever, don't you think?  :)

Now that you're properly fortified (I mean, talk about a healthy breakfast! :)) today's pitch comes to us from Lidia.  Lidia Varesco Racoma is a graphic designer and mom in Chicago. She is owner of graphic design studio Lidia Varesco Design and children’s apparel line typebaby. She writes about juggling motherhood and small business on her blog Biz Mama, and has self-published a children’s book called City Kid: ABC.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Don't Pinch Me!
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: The pencil is always getting pinched at school as the preschoolers learn to write and he’s really cranky about it…until he realizes just how important his job is.

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 Lidia 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!

Lidia is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to when it stops snowing and gets above 20!  Which I know it is going to do soon!  I have faith.  It could possibly even happen today. You never know :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!  Happy April Fools' Day!  Happy April!  Happy Spring! :)


  1. Oh Lidia, this seems to have so many possibilities for hilarity. Do you think you could add another sentence to give the reader a sense of some of the funny things that might happen? Your shorter pitch is great for a Twitter contest, but I think an agent might want more of a sense of the story arc. Good luck with it. I would read it.

  2. I would read it, Lidia. Especially after Susanna's pitch for a "healthy" breakfast *which I ALMOST didn't want til I read it was really chocolate and other goodies* ~ Meatloaf -beatloaf...Back to your pitch...I see great potential for lots of alliteration with pencil pinching preschoolers. I think if your main character is the pencil, you could simply name him Pencil to make it more personal. I agree with Kirsten's thought of adding some salt to your submission by revealing just a touch more of what your story holds without giving too much away. Hope this helps! And thank you, Susanna, for TRYING to get me to eat meatloaf :)

  3. Mike Allegra writerApril 1, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    A fine, fine song. I shall FB Phyllis right now.

  4. I would read it - but I definitely need to know more. Can you give us a hint of struggles? Interactions? You certainly don't want to give the whole story away, but a sentence to entice us with mayhem or struggles to come would pull me in even more. I also like Rene's idea of naming him Pencil.

    And those April Fool's meals are SO fun and creative! Thanks for sharing - and hope you get springish weather VERY soon, Susanna. We seem to be turning that corner here in Michigan, though I have no doubt it won't last ;).

  5. Tricky treat, Susanna! I fell for it! I would read Lidia's pitch because the concdpt is so appealing. I taught primary grades and pencil pinching is an issue. As is though, the pitch doesn't give enough info. Totally agree that pencil's name is Pencil! Good luck with this adorable concept.

  6. I have that (and all the other) Phyllis books! The fun never ends when Phyllis is around. :)

    Cute April Fool's "meal"!

    I think Lidia wrote a terrific pitch and I would certainly read it. But I agree with others who suggested adding another line or two to give an example of a struggle. Good luck, Lidia!

  7. Poor Pencil! I think this is a clever POV and would want to read. This may be totally off the mark but I wondered if you needed to specify that the kids were preschoolers? It seems to limit the market. Maybe there are kindergarteners who could benefit from this? I wondered if it could just be "kids."

  8. I would like a little more but would definitely read it. It's a great concept. Your new book looks like a lot of fun, Susanna!

  9. Like the others, I really like this concept, Lidia. I agree that maybe another line would be nice to pull us in. I also agree that leaving out "The" at the beginning makes it more clear and helps us identify with Pencil, the character. Good luck!

  10. Love the brevity, and the pitch-perfect pencil pinching alliteration. Want to see a picture of that pinched face.

  11. pencil-pinching preschoolers ... perfect!

  12. Thank you, Julia! I drew a rough sketch of my cranky pencil, but I would LOVE to see Tom Lichtenheld's version of it instead ;)

  13. hank you, Wendy! I was inspired by my 3 YO who is learning to pinch the pencil, but I think you are correct that older kids could relate too.

  14. thanks Joanne! I also thought his name should be "Pencil" :) Will definitely take your advice and work on an additional sentence for clarification/interest.

  15. Yes, the alliteration possibilities! Thanks for your feedback, Rene.

  16. Thanks Kirsten... I wasn't aware of the twitter contests, so at least now I have a good pitch to start with!

  17. Those might be the only peas I could convince my kids to eat!

    For the pitch - it's a yes for me! It's reminding me of the crayon books with the pencil's POV which is really cool. It's hard to know how much to put in a pitch without giving everything away but for a query letter another sentence could help with explaining the story a bit more. If this was for something like #pitmad it'd be perfect.

  18. Great April Fools meal Susanna!
    I would be interested in the book and agree both that this us perfect as is for a #pitmad tweet. Buy for a query, I would like one more sentence to really snag me. Great alliteration possibilities. Good luck.

  19. I love the premise of this pitch, Lidia, but I want to hear a tad more about the pencil before we know he/she becomes cranky in preschool. Maybe he likes a calm life in the pencil box? Peaceful, etc.? I don't know lol

    And yay for Phyllis! Tweeting :D

  20. Cute pitch! I agree with Donna. He needs a start to his story otherwise every day is the same, why today. I have a hard time with that in my stories.

    Sorry I missed April Fooling around yesterday

  21. Happy belated April Fool's Day, Susanna. Thank you for sharing Phyllis and your silliness. Love the idea of a perturbed pencil!

  22. Happy Post-April Fool's Susanna! So sorry I'm late, Disqus was misbehaving.
    And Lidia, I love your concept--and like the short pitch. You can go longer; but I'd solve the more info problem by being more specific with the last clause.

    E.g.: The preschoolers always pinch Pencil, and he's really cranky about it...until Pencil realizes they need him [to ...].

  23. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikApril 3, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    YAY! I'm late! Yet there's still left over potatoes! :D
    I'd read this book! I don't think that there is much more to add about the pitch. :)

  24. Sorry I didn't get to read this post until AFTER April 1st...I would have gladly posted to social media if I had thought about it...please extend my apologies to Phyllis. :)

    Love love love the treats on the clever is that?
    And, I love love love Lidia's story...I would definitely read it...reminds me of 'The Day the Crayons Quit', of course...which is very very's clever to see what works and try to come up with something along similar lines...yet different!

    The pitch is really tight, but maybe we could find out a bit's a thought:

    Pencil is always getting pinched as the preschoolers learn to
    write and he’s really cranky about it. But when (2 or 3 things that show him how important his job is...maybe: when Lola writes her name for the first time, and Timmy draws the entire alphabet, and then all of the kids pass him around, taking turns connecting the dots on a class project) he realizes just how
    important his job is.

  25. Lidia Varesco RacomaApril 3, 2015 at 11:47 PM

    Thanks for your feedback -- and for the heads up on #pitmad. I had no idea about twitter pitches!

  26. Lidia Varesco RacomaApril 3, 2015 at 11:55 PM

    Thank you Vivian, your feedback is wonderful! Very much appreciated.

  27. Lidia Varesco RacomaApril 3, 2015 at 11:55 PM

    Thanks Stacy, I appreciate your useful input!

  28. No worries at all, Vivian! We are all busy! I myself am barely treading water! It's very kind of you to stop by at all! I'm glad you enjoyed the April Fool treats, and thanks so much for your helpful comments for Lidia and your suggestions for reworking the pitch! :)

  29. I knew you were coming, so I saved you some :) Thanks so much for your comments for Ms. Racoma!

  30. Glad you enjoyed the meatloaf, Maria :) And thanks so much for your thoughtful comments for Lidia!

  31. Positively! :) Thanks so much for pitching in for Lidia :)

  32. Thanks so much for your response for Lidia, Rosi! And April Fool, Phyllis isn't new - it came out in 2011 - but you know me and Phyllis - we like to celebrate :)

  33. Thanks so much for your helpful comments and thought-provoking questions for Lidia, Wendy!

  34. You're so kind, Teresa. Phyllis says to tell you she loves you and she will come visit you in your burrow anytime you like! Glad you enjoyed the meatloaf, and thanks so much for your helpful thoughts for Lidia!

  35. Thanks so much for your very helpful comments for Lidia, Joanne! And I'm glad you enjoyed the peas and meatloaf :) Spring and winter are in a desperate struggle around here. Every day, Spring makes a bid for warmth, and every night, winter dumps a little snow just to prove he can!

  36. Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Lidia, Kirsten! :)

  37. Thanks, Stacy! And thanks for coming by to help Lidia! I apologize for Disqus - it is very naughty and always wreaking havoc!

  38. Oh, man, could I go for that sundae right now! :) :) :)...bananas, too, please :D

  39. So late to the party! Hopefully there's still some krispy treat meatloaf. :) I like the pencil pinch pitch, it's cute and I'd definitely pick it up to read.
    Also, had to tell you Susanna, how cool it was to pull April Fool, Phyllis out of the book drop yesterday at the library where I work. :) I wanted to hold it up and say, "I know her!" (Like Will Ferrell yelling about Santa in Elf.)


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