Dec 8, 2010

Children's Picture Book Query

Ms. ________, Editor
Scholastic Press
557 Broadway
New York, NY 10012-3999

Dear ______ (will send to specific editor):

You may have read the news story on CNN or the Today Show. Or you may have read about it in the email that circled the globe: An orphaned squirrel was adopted by a dog who nursed him along with her own puppies.

Finnegan the Squirrel and the Dog Who Loved Him is the true story of an unusual adoption. Supported by interviews, photographs, and squirrel research, this 1040 word picture book is for children ages 5-10 years old.

Like Scholastic Press’ "Owen and Mzee," by Craig Hatkoff, this touching tale illustrates the extraordinary capacity for compassion and bonding in the animal world. It will also resonate with adopted children and their parents everywhere.

My writing credits include a picture book, Tree House in a Storm (Stemmer House Publishers, 2009), as well as written numerous fiction and nonfiction stories for Highlights, Scholastic Scope, and other children’s magazines.

Thank you for considering this 3-month exclusive submission. I look forward to hearing from you.


Rachelle Burk


Stephanie M. Lorée said...

The intro paragraph needs tightened. Honestly, I would cut it entirely and add the hook into the 2nd paragraph:

FINNEGAN THE SQUIRREL AND THE DOG WHO LOVED HIM is a 1040 word picture book for children ages 5-10. It is based upon the true news story that circulated the globe: an orphaned squirrel adopted by a dog who nursed him beside her own puppies. This unusual adoption is supported by interviews, photographs, and squirrel research.

From there, I think your next paragraphs are great. The comparison to a similar title by the same press is perfect. Your credits are spot on.

In the credits paragraph, cut out "written" as it doesn't need to be there. IE: " well as numerous fiction..."

I'm not sure if exclusive submissions are the norm for this genre/editor, but make sure you you've done the homework before you offer exclusivity. By the professional level of your query, it looks like you have so I'll trust your judgment. :)

Looks great. Best of luck!

Scribbler to Scribe

by Rachelle Burk said...

Stephanie, thanks for your advice! Your revisions sound so much better. PS. I love your website! ~Rachelle

Matt Kelsey said...

I think you have a great concept here. The first sentence probably needs to be deleted, like Stephanie suggested, but if you leave it in you shouldn't say "You may have READ the news story on CNN or The Today Show," since those are, obviously, television programs (albeit with news websites).

Good luck!