Query Entry #8

When Simon buys his mother a blue hat for her birthday, he asks his friend Malcolm to keep the present hush-hush. But secrets are very difficult to keep quiet. Simon’s Secretis a delightful Rube Goldberg-esque story of what happens when a secret goes awry.

The book is a 32-page, 700-word picture book for young children (ages 3-7).

I know Nicole likes the first five pages of a manuscript pasted into an email, so they are below.

I’ve been a full-time independent journalist for 3 decades. My work has taken me to 40+ countries from Sudan to Zimbabwe writing about human rights and justice. I’ve published more than 1,000 articles, published three children’s books for the Adventures With PawPaw series, and written or ghost-written five published books for adults.

 I’m founder of The Born2Fly Project to stop child trafficking, which is being tested in 5 countries (curriculum and companion wordless book). I’m also author of Born to Fly, a published children’s e-novel about what it takes to pursue your dream; proceeds go to the B2F Project. I write two blogs: www.dianascimone.com and www.howtowriteabook.com, and the Huffington Post named me one of the Top 10 Women Warriors of Twitter, an honor I share with Oprah and Queen Rania of Jordan.


Diana Scimone


9 comments on “Query Entry #8

  1. Remember the phrase your query like a letter, so you need to begin with Dear Ms. Resciniti. Also, since you’re addressing this to the agent, make sure you’re speaking directly to her.

    “I know Nicole likes the first five pages of a manuscript pasted into an email, so they are below.”

    INSTEAD– “Per your submission requirements, I am including the first five pages of my manuscript below.”

    Good luck! I’ve seen very few queries for young children’s books.

  2. I don’t feel that there is enough information to entice me into reading the story. How does letting a secret slip about a blue hat turn into a novel? I feel like we’re missing the actual conflict here.

    • Urgh. That was really dumb. I forgot that this was a children’s book. I suppose I could see this turning into a charming little picture book story, but I’m the wrong person to ask, lol. Either way, good luck!

  3. Idk much about queries for children’s books but I agree that the secret part’s a skosh vague. You have a pretty impressive resume and definitely seem like an authority on what you’re writing about. Best wishes 🙂

  4. I’m not as well-versed in what a picture book requires for a query, but the initial paragraph seems to provide only the barest of information. Are two paragraphs on your qualifications versus three sentences about the book what an agent would look for, or do you also include the entire text? (I’d love to know what the ‘norm’ is for these.) Sorry I can’t do more than ask questions. 🙂 Best of luck!

  5. I know that when I was thinking of writing Children’s Books, the queries were considerably shorter. Of course, you are soooooooo qualified to write on so many things with all your experiences!

    I had the extreme honor of working with Diana & international students & when I attended UCF. She is a women warrior for sure! Kuddos to all your hard work, girl!!

  6. Atypical in format (I think from the blog posting) but very interesting! The theme of the picture book is conveyed right away and the author’s qualifications are huge. This would move to the top of my desk. I really look forward to seeing this! Woohoo!

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