Wednesday, July 20, 2016

PBParty 13: Billy Lends a Hand, PB for reluctant readers

Genre: Picture book aimed at reluctant readers, particularly boys
Word Count: 670


Dear Michelle and Sharon,

I’m seeking publication for BILLY LENDS A HAND, a character driven picture book about an unusual boy who just wants to fit in. In its heart of decaying hearts, this story is about how all kids want a friend, even bedraggled zombies.

School isn't easy for Billy. His hand falls off when he opens a book, and at lunchtime he disgusts the other kids with his meal—a plate of raw meat. His day goes from bad to worse when he joins a perilous dodge ball game. In the end, Billy surprises his classmates by using his unique talents to solve a problem.

I'm an elementary school teacher of 15 years who is now writing with wild abandon. I’m an active SCBWI member, participating in 12 x 12, part of a critique group, and a mom. I am well acquainted with the struggle and joy of getting an interesting book into the hands of a child. What a difference it makes when a kid wants to devour what they're reading, be it freaky or weird! 

At 670 words, BILLY LENDS A HAND engages reluctant readers and kids with an irreverent sense of humor, particularly boys. If you don’t alphabetize your books, it would sit nicely on the shelf with PEANUTBUTTER AND BRAINS by Joe McGee, the ZOMBIE IN LOVE books by Kelly DiPucchio, and Tammi Sauer’s MOSTLY MONSTERLY. I’m working on many other manuscripts. It would be terrific if Billy could shuffle the path to publication with your help. Please note this is a multiple submission. Thank you kindly for your time and consideration.

First 50 Words:

Billy had never been to school. For over 100 years he begged his mom to go. 

One fall, his mom sighed, “I can’t handle you pestering me for eternity. It’s time you find out for yourself. Chin up, sweetie!” as he lurched out the door. “Not everyone has met a zombie, before.” 


  1. I'm intrigued by this concept and how the rest of the book will play out--I'd love to see more! Please send the full manuscript and query to LBiagi (at) jvnla (dot) com and include PBParty in the subject line. Looking forward to reading!

  2. Your entry has caught the eye of our ninja editor Dragonfly who would like to see the full! Please email Sharon for further instructions on how to contact this super editor. schriscoe@yahoo(dot)com