Saturday, February 28, 2009

First Pages: PB / Barking at the Sky

Morning thunder shakes me awake.

Morning thunder sounds just as scary through my pillow.

Morning thunder makes me feel like it will swallow me whole, slurping me up with the soup that it is making.
It's making soup? I don't understand.
The repetition is nice, but why is morning thunder important?
Crack! Boom! The rain pounds on the roof.

The scare goes deep down and my stomach feels sick.

My dog Sammy doesn’t like it either!

She launches out from under my covers like an angry rocket.

Bursting through her dog door, she runs around the backyard barking at the sky. Sammy thinks she can chase the storm away.

I know that won’t work but it seems to make her feel better.
There's some nice writing here, but I worry that (if this is for 3-6 year olds), it's taking a while to ground the reader in what the story is about. If it's for older picture book readers, then sure, I'd keep reading.

8 comments:

Merry Monteleone said...

I don't write picture books, so I'm probably dead useless for crit on this but I really liked the flow of the sentences, and the image of the dog chasing away the storm at the end... it sounds like something that my kids would've liked at the read along stage, especially with some really great illustrations.

Anonymous said...

Feel free to ignore this question -- I haven't had much success myself writing PB -- but is there enough text here for a standard 32 page book?

With nine lines, even if all the pages are a double page spread (that's probably not the correct word, but you get my meaning) there would still only be 18 pages, wouldn't there?

I liked that the dog was afraid of thunder, too. I think that would make a child feel like he/she's not the only one afraid.

Merry Monteleone said...

anon 5:36,

I don't know for sure, but I was kind of assuming she'd/he'd sent a small excerpt and not the entire ms. It doesn't feel finished at the end, and it was a first page crit, so maybe they thought the entire thing would be too much.

Anonymous said...

Gotcha, Merry, makes sense!

Anonymous said...

Thanks and hugs Ed Anon!

This is the first page only.
It is for older readers.
The "morning thunder" was added after a consult by an editor. She wanted the "evening thunder" echoed in the beginning.

BuffySquirrel said...

My dog used to run outside and bark at thunderstorms. Until one day a storm barked back.

Chris Eldin said...

I think this would be a really nice read. I love the dog barking at the storm.

Anonymous said...

Buffy -

Did your dog get struck by lightning or something? :(