Miss Snark's First Victim
Who is the narrator? Is it a kid? I wonder if it sounds too old for the character. Though Fancy Nancy uses some big words.
Right now this doesn't sound picture book to me. I guess it depends where it goes from here.
The most beautiful girl in third grade? Doesn't seem a PB topic. More like MG or YA. Do third graders worry about beauty? Although, if you had said 'prettiest' I might have bought it.
I agree with "prettiest girl" over "most beautiful thing."
Here, I think the voice sounds a bit old if this is another student.
Yeah, the writing seems a bit too old to me, too. eg "most beautiful thing" and "enter" and "fabulous clothes", "most expensive stores". What is your target audience?
Based on the description of Shayna, I immediately concluded that this is a PB of an autistic child entering the classroom. I know a number of autistic children are described as beautiful. But the fabulous clothes from expensive stores doesn't set well. Young children shouldn't be encouraged to care or notice expensive clothing. I'd need to see the "moral of the story"--is the message that clothing and beauty can't cover certain problems?
It read more like MG to me too. Does the teacher's name have to be in the first part? You could probably do more with the beginning with out it. Maybe:When Shayna started school, everyone in the classroom thought she was the prettiest girl in third-grade. The children stared in awe at the beautiful clothes she wore.
I would read on. Keep in mind though that pic books are usually for kids younger than 3rd grade (kg, preschool) - so reading about 3rd grade may be outside of their scope. The vocabulary didn't bother me at all, as many great pic books have multi-syllabic words!
I think it's important to remember who your reader is and how your reader speaks and connects with your main character. The story idea sounds good; new kid in town...but you might want to think about the language of a third grader.
I agree with the other comments that the language doesn't seem right for what is being said. Although knowing who the narrator is could change that perception.
Who is your intended audience with this? If it's third grade, picture books are a little too old for that age set. I like to think it wasn't just me, but I was into Goosebumps, Judy Blume, and Rhald Dahl by that age. Some had illustrations, but picture books they were not.Change it to kindergarten, make the tone more appropriate, and this is fine.
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