Wednesday, July 20, 2016

PBParty 5: Standing Up While Sitting Down, PB with wheelchair

Genre: Picture Book includes wheelchair use
Word Count: 820


Dear Agent:

Many picture books reflect, with sensitivity and directness, issues which children face. Such works are needed for children using wheelchairs.  Thus I am sendingStanding Up While Sitting Down, my 820-word picture book for your consideration.

Based on a true incident, aquarium-loving Evan’s view has been hampered by his capacity to see over crowds from his wheelchair.  He and Granny brainstorm solutions for an upcoming visit, without success.  When his power wheelchair finally arrives, Evan is sure he has the solution.  He will surprise Granny by “getting tall” at the aquarium.  However, getting tall is not where his victory lies. 

Rare picture books show children in wheelchairs or present their issues.  In the last five years only two picture books show a child as a main character using a wheelchair: King for a Day (Lee & Low 2013) where the character’s wheelchair use is unmentioned and Snow Rabbit (Enchanted Lion, 2015) which relies on fantasy elements. While each is captivating, Standing Up While Sitting Down is different.  It affirms children who use wheelchairs by approaching some of their real feelings and circumstances, offers insight to others and gives additional information in a glossary.  

Writing picture books became important to me when my grandson needed a wheelchair at sixteen months and I found few books reflecting his situation.  Since then I have continued writing picture books.  A city school teacher for thirty years, I joined SCBWI, Rochester Area Children’s Writers and Illustrators (RACWI), and Rochester’s own literary center, Writers and Books, to help me with this transition. 

Thank you for your time.  

First 50 Words:  

[Note:  Evan uses a manual wheelchair]

The aquarium was buzzing.  The green moray eel had been peeking from the coral reef.  

“Granny, here’s the best spot,” Evan said, finding a place where only small children stood between him and the reef  -   until two teenagers stepped in front of Evan.  

“Young men,” Granny said, tapping on their shoulders, “We can’t see.”

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