Thursday, July 17, 2008

#91 SECRET AGENT Are You Hooked?

Title:“How do you get a giraffe to take a nap?
Genre: Picture Book

How do you get a Giraffe to take a nap?

Do you give him a pillow and hope for the best?

Do you tell him to please lie down and get some rest?

Just how do you get a giraffe to take a nap?

Put him in a nightgown and a cap?

Tell him look that is a wrap!

Lie down Giraffe, Lie down!

How do you get a giraffe to take a nap?

Do you give him his blankie and tell him he is cranky?

Lie down Giraffe, Lie down

Do you give him his pacie?

A bottle, warm milk?

Some oatmeal and tell him he has had his fill?

Lie down Giraffe lie down!

How do you get a giraffe to take a nap?

Do you send him on a raft to the ocean?

Lazily he could wind surf or parasail

Do you put him on a set of snow skis?

Oh wait he would freeze!

Lie down Giraffe lie down Please!

Do you put him at the ski lodge?

With a hot chocolate by the fire?

Or on a snowboard careening down a hill ?

Would that tire him out so he would go to sleep?

Have him parachute down to a cotton field?

Lie down Giraffe lie down!

Or tell him sweet dreams on the Safari

Do you tell him he talks in his sleep so give a quick read?

Oh just how do you lead a giraffe to a nap?

Oh look the giraffe fell asleep on his feet!


  1. There are some cute images here, but I'm just not sure it's an effective piece.

    First, the premise is reminiscent of Jane Yolen's "How do Dinosaurs say Goodnight?", which may be a problem since "Dinosaurs" is such a popular book.

    Second, I had a hard time getting a handle on the rhyme and meter. I understand you have a refrain of sorts ("Lie down Giraffe, Lie Down!") which isn't meant to rhyme with anything else, but there seems to be some effort to rhyme other lines. If you are mixing rhyme and non-rhyme, that is very challenging and may not appeal to some agents/editors/readers.

    That's not to say that this isn't a good idea for a story or that it is poorly written, but all of the stuff I mentioned above has to be taken into account.

    I might like it better if you had a story about a kid with a pet giraffe that needed a nap. rhyming or non-rhyming, I think that would be a better hook.

  2. Yes!

    I love this<:

    I'm supposed to be going out, but here I am smiling over all the mental images that the lines brought on<:

  3. Some of your lines beg to be illustrated, but I don't think the rythm it quite right in some places. I stumbled and had to re-read to get the rythm to work. It's great to see that you understand how the illustrations and text work together.

  4. I could soooo illustrate this. Yes. I love kids picture books even though my boys are teenagers. When I can get a visual in my head what the art would look like... Well, it sells me.
    Nice job.

  5. I found this a little confusing. Being a children's poem, I think it should flow a little better. I kind of lost interest in the middle but I liked the beginning and the ending.

  6. I agree with JK. It sounds very familiar. Your rhyme may be a little off in some places. ex milk, fill. I would have to say no.

  7. Cute idea but the rhyme/almost rhyme jarred me a bit. I like the repetition of your line "lie down, giraffe, lie down!" Very cute. I'd stay away from the "almost rhyme" lines. This one's a maybe. Sounds like similar books? Illustrators would have fun with it.

  8. the idea is cute. It started out good, but if you are going to rhyme, you should always rhyme. The repetition of How do you get a giraffe to take a nap? - is good. You need to work on the rhyme and rhythm.

  9. Your rhyme and meter are off. It is so hard to get near rhyme past editors these days.

    I'd rework your meter before submitting anywhere.

    No, I'm not hooked.

  10. I think it's a cute idea also and with some re-working would make an ideal picture book.

  11. Afraid not. The concept is cute, but the execution threw me off. The rhyme scheme is weak in most places and has no discernable rhyme pattern that I could pick out.

    Plus, the meter of the lines do not match. Ex: One stanza's metered lines are 8, 8, 10, & 11. It's not poetic and it doesn't yet have the natural cadence that small children expect in this reading group. I used to work with small kids, and if the book I was reading them didn't have a soothing, consisten rhythm, then they tuned out by page two.

    Sorry, but it's a no.

  12. No. Like another reviewer said, this reminds me a lot of the dinosaur books. The idea is cute, but I stumbled over parts of the poem. Work on keeping the rhythm consistent, and I think it would flow a lot better.

  13. My girls would love a giraffe bedtime story but the rythum and rhyme is still a little out of synch here and I think it would be hard to read to a cranky toddler. Cute idea, it just needs some more work.

  14. Not hooked.

    It would make a great picture book, but the rythyms and rhymes need work.

  15. I think you've got some charming parts in here and I really hope you can make it work. The rhyme pattern is sometimes forced, sometimes seems to disappear. I'd try mapping it out: How Do you get a giraffe to take a nap? A. Do you give him a pillow and hope for the best? B. Do you tell him to please lie down and get some rest? B. and see what pattern you're trying for. If the rhyme is forced, take it out or rewrite it. "Pacie" was one of those situations. The ending was a delightful thing and I can see so many wonderful opportunities for illustrators. Don't give up! I think this could be a hit with more work!

  16. Sorry, pass. I could tell the meter was off, and the whole thing was maybe too repetitive even for a child. I agree with liliannamama: try mapping it out.

    Best wishes,


  17. No, sorry. It's cute, but as others have said, I had problems with the rhyme and meter (and I don't know that much about it, so all I can say is that it sounded off to me).

    Good luck,


  18. It's been said before, so sorry to be repetitious - it would be a yes but for the rhythm and meter, which are all over the place.

  19. Yup, add me to the chorus of "rethink rhythm" voices. This is a crowded niche but I like the final detail of the giraffe falling asleep on his feet. Needs another draft but you're ahead of the game by having the right length and a cute main character--it does lend itself to illustration.