Frankasaurus by Stacy McAnulty
Nine-year-old Frank Mudd knows a lot about dinosaurs. His parents are paleontologists after all. So when they discover an egg fossil under the frozen ground in Greenland, Frank should know better than to sit on it.
While everyone else sleeps, the egg rattles and shakes beneath Frank’s butt. It’s hatching! Frank jumps off, puts the egg on his cot and watches as the baby dinosaur tumbles free. He wants to name him Real Live Awesome Dinosaur, but that’s too long. So Frank names him Rudolph because of the smooth red horn on the tip of his snout.
Caring for a baby dino is hard work. Frank feeds him gummi worms and Cheerios. He washes him with hand sanitizer. He teaches Rudolph to use the dino-litter box. (Well, he tries, anyway.) But even harder than caring for a dinosaur is keeping it a secret. The fossilized egg is promised to the Royal Paleontology Society in England. If Rudolph is discovered he’ll be shipped off.
A dinosaur can only live in a boy’s room for so long. Rudolph escapes and Frank must find and save the world’s only dinosaur, even if it means losing him forever.
Arielle & David: This pitch is so much fun. It has such a wonderful beginning, which sets up the whole story: a nine-year-old who has to raise a dinosaur in his room, on Gummi worms and Cheerios. It also works in a tradition that includes the recent hit movie How to Train Your Dragon. Love the fact that the dinosaurs’ name is Rudolph, and that he uses a dino-litter box. Also, it has a great closing line that makes me ask the question that every pitch should make every reader ask: What happens next? What can be improved? You definitely could use some comparable titles. And I’m assuming this is a middle grade book, but you should tell us that. I would also like to know a little more about the relationship between the dinosaur and Frank. It would also be fun if you showed the dinosaur outgrowing Frank’s room, and some difficulties with his parents, schoolmates, stuff like that.