I met with my editor on Friday, and these were the take-a-way notes for my newest children’s book:
The words “lube” and “chipmunk” should not appear in the same sentence, let alone as the opening line from Chapter 1.
The local spelling bee you described in Chapter 2 should not end with Charlie Sheen bludgeoning a bathroom attendant.
Tread lightly when mentioning “circus clowns”, or for that matter, any type of “clown”, as sometimes they can be scary to children. Having 15 of them crammed into a bathroom stall at a McDonalds in San Francisco, is not a good plot point (see Chapter 3).
While it is admirable that you chose to explore same-sex parenting in Chapter 4, I suggest you remove the mom-on-mom, light saber/lingerie scene from the middle of the chapter.
The dog park chapter needs to be removed entirely.
Regarding Chapter 6 – While it is appropriate in the book Peter Pan, for Mr. Smee to exclaim, “I need boys- for Pleasure island!”, the rubber duck in your bathtub scene should not exclaim, “I like to watch!”
The superhero alter ego from Chapter 7 should not be named the Anti-Vaccine Avenger.
Chapter 8 -Creating your own vegetable garden, while touching, has a grammatical error in the title. It should be Jimmy gets a hoe, not Jimmy gets a ho’.
Chapter 9 – Clifford the Big Red Dog, while it has crossed our minds on occasion, we did not need the illustration on page 32. We know dogs poop. The bulldozer was an unnecessary piece of the illustration.
Chapter 10 – Winnie the Pooh got his head stuck in the hole.
Chapter 11 – Why is daddy in prison? We need the backstory.
In Chapter 12, consider describing Heather’s mommy with the phrase, tranquil blue eyes, and not Vicodin-enhanced blue orbs.
Chapter 13, Dealing with Hepatitis C, is not a good way to close out the book.