I have the following manuscripts submission-ready. All are in the 500-word range and are written for 4-8 year olds.
GRANT'S BIGGEST FAN
Evan dreads navigating his school’s mixed-age after hours program- until he latches onto Grant. At first, being Grant’s biggest fan is easy: Grant is good at everything. But things gets more complicated when it turns out that he isn’t good to everyone.
GRANT’S BIGGEST FAN differs from the wonderful current wave of picture books emphasizing kindness (BE KIND, I WALK WITH VANESSA) in that it is told from the first-person perspective of a male main character. Evan's struggle to see past his admiration for Grant's talent in order to believe (and align with) targets of bullying / harassment unfolds in a humorous, age-appropriate, and character-specific way. But it also echoes a much bigger societal struggle that I particularly wanted to explore as the mom of a boy in the #metoo era.
Josie can't wait to enter Aldo in the town dog show! There are spotted dogs and smooshy dogs. Wrinkly dogs and poofy dogs. Aldo is more of a…mishmash dog. The show needs dogs like him! But it turns out the judges don't even know what to make of dogs like Aldo. When his mutty charms are wasted on them, (did they even see his earlashes!?) Josie turns a disappointing loss into a mission to make the contest more inclusive.
The story combines a loveable mutt character like EXCELLENT ED and a dauntless heroine like GRACE FOR PRESIDENT in a rollicking contest setting reminiscent of WORST IN SHOW and ROT, CUTEST IN THE WORLD.
With a SPECIAL BLEND of humor and heart, the story models resilience, and offers a kid’s-eye-view of ‘leaning in' to effect change.
SANTA SEES YOU
All Vivi wants for Christmas is a Deluxe Rainbow Bungee Bounce Swing. It's the perfect gift for her 'differently wired' brain, but to ask Santa for it, she’ll have to brave a long line at a crowded mall that feels like perfect torture- complete with that ever-blaring song about who's naughty and nice. In an unexpected ending, SANTA SEES YOU contrasts the futility of feeling watched and judged with the power of truly being seen.
SANTA SEES YOU blends the emotional resonance of BRAVE (McAnulty/Lew-Vriethoff) with a determined main character like ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER (Beaty/Roberts) in a funny holiday story. As someone living with ADHD and sensory processing challenges (and parenting a daughter a lot like Vivi), I see a real need for character-driven stories with full narrative arcs that simply star neurodivergent kids, rather than ones that feel like thinly fictionalized self-help books aimed at them.
THE PROBLEM WITH X
The struggle is real. Anyone who has spent time with ABC books knows how groan-worthy the X pages can be. Fed up with her options, aspiring author Penny has banished X- first from the ABC book she’s creating in her class, then from her entire life. When her ban backfires, Penny has to come up with a creative solution to the problem with X to save her debut book.
THE PROBLEM WITH X blends a memorable main character who triumphs over a vexing problem (in the vein of THE MOST MAGNIFICENT THING), with a humorous focus on the idiosyncrasies of the English language, as in P IS FOR PTERODACTYL and AN INCONVENIENT ALPHABET. It is relevant to early-elementary curriculum and offers interesting back matter opportunity.
Crosby's bat Baxter has all the same parts as the other bats on their art class wall- but they aren't arranged in the same way...at all. Crosby adores his spectacular bat, but he's stumped and discouraged by everyone's questions about Baxter's differences. The duo finally visits the art museum and discovers that Baxter is abstract. That one little word opens up a whole world of community, context, vocabulary with which to understand and explain Baxter to curious classmates.
ABSTRACT BAT is curriculum-relevant, and would make a nice companion to both abstract art stories like NICO DRAWS A FEELING, and classic stories about embracing uniqueness, like GIRAFFES CAN'T DANCE.