Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 13, 2020

Two Picture Book Pitch Ideas by Mira Reisberg

HERE ARE TWO PITCH SUBMISSIONS SENT INTO MIRA. See bottom of post to see how to submit.

Natasha Wing 

When President Roosevelt threatened to cut down Washington’s beloved cherry trees to make way for the Jefferson Memorial, a group of civic ladies rose up in protest as a voice for the trees. They chained themselves to tree trunks demanding the project stop. Will the president listen to the people?

This is a really fascinating subject that could be absolutely wonderful with lots of great illustration possibilities. You have a few underlying themes going on here – environmental preservation versus the desire to memorialize a heroic figure. Female/Girl Power. Activism, and Democratic protest. Here’s a rewrite but what you have already is fine.  Calkins Creek Press, which focuses on American history would be the perfect publisher for this.


Embracing nonfiction and social justice, the Cherry Tree Rebellion tells the little known story of the battle of the Cherry Tree Rebellion. Wanting to make way for the Jefferson Memorial in 1938, Teddy Roosevelt threatened to chop down George Washington’s beloved cherry trees until a group of fierce female gardeners chained themselves to the trees and brought the bulldozers to a halt.


Kim A. Larson

Skunk wants to celebrate Valentine’s Day with friends, but he’s too afraid to meet his new neighbors. When valentines drop into his home, he thinks they can’t be for him. So he writes RETURN TO SENDER and mails them. When the rightful recipients return for their valentines and they’re missing, Skunk finds his courage, and their valentines, and makes friends without even trying.


When never-popular Skunk’s new neighbors drop valentine cards in his mailbox, he thinks there must be a mistake. So he writes RETURN TO SENDER and gives them back to the mail carrier.

So Kim this is where it gets confusing. “When the rightful recipients return for their valentines and they’re missing, Skunk finds his courage, and their valentines, and makes friends without even trying.” Hasn’t he already returned to sender their cards? Or do they come hoping for cards from Skunk? Or why are they asking for their cards back? Also, you haven’t established anywhere that Skunk is shy or why he needs to find his courage. With any pitch you need to be super clear what’s going on. You’ll also want a plot with a story like this so maybe it’s something like this.

Because he was shy and stinky, Skunk never had any friends. But then one day a bunch of Valentines arrived from his new neighbors. They must be mistaken, he thought and mailed them back. Skunk slunk off to his studio to make cards for imaginary friends. But every-one he imagined rejected him. Skunk was near tears, when he heard a knock at the door. Skunk opened the door to find a pack of wolverines. He sniffed with joy to smell they were even stinkier than him. “Welcome, Welcome,” Skunk said and invited them in.

This is too long for a pitch but it gives you an idea of how to construct. 

DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY: Do you have a book that you are working on? Send in a 70 word description and I will submit it to Mira. She will wave her magic want and help you make it more marketable. PLEASE SEND TO: kathy.temean(at)  – Put Picture Book Pitch Idea in the subject area.

Check back on December 20th for more Picture Book Pitch Submissions.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. […] Two Picture Book Pitch Ideas by Mira Reisberg — Writing and Illustrating […]


  2. Thank you so much for the rewrite suggestion! I’m in final edit process right now so wish me luck.


  3. Pitches are insanely hard. I love seeing how an expert reconstructs someone else’s pitch to make it better. Thanks for sharing and for the opportunity to submit a pitch.


  4. Thanks for sharing the before and after pitches. Writing pitches is very difficult!


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