My fifth practice picture book agent query/pitch letter, this one is for our PB manuscript Mia Saves the Circus.

Update: All five literary agent query letters.

Mia Sketch

Mia Sketch -by Marie Law-

Mia Saves the Circus was a really fun picture book manuscript to work on, it’s filled with long streams of repeating rhyming text.

It’s one of those manuscripts you could just keep adding more and more to, making the repeating rhyme longer and more complex.

If only there were a market for 5,000+ word rhyming picture books :-)

We aren’t planning to query this manuscript with literary agents at this time, just practicing.

Mia Saves the Circus PB Query Letter


Email Subject – Query : Mia Saves the Circus

Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms. Agent Name,

Little Mia and her older sister get lost during a bike trip to visit a friend and stumble upon the strongest strongman’s performance outside a circus tent. The strongest strongman is so strong, while posing for photos and eating a sandwich of salami and cheese, he lifts a man in a van and the sisters on their tandem bike!

The girls are so impressed with the strongest strongman’s performance, they forget all about visiting their friend and go to the circus for the day. Being financially challenged they decide to sneak into the circus big top without paying, but pay their way by joining in with the circus acts as clowns, tumblers and jugglers.

Disaster strikes during their circus adventure and the girls quick thinking help save the circus’s big top from certain destruction.

Now all they have to do is explain to their Mom why they are at the circus and not visiting their friend!

Enjoy a fun visit to the circus with two adorable sisters, a story that with appeal to parents and children (ages 3-8) who enjoy longer read aloud rhyming picture books.

This is a simultaneous submission, the full 1400 word manuscript is below (link to example illustrations below the MS).

— The Manuscript —
Full manuscript text here…
— end —

Example illustrations for Mia Saves the Circus at:

URL to private webpage just for agents.
Password: ####

See more examples of Marie’s illustrations at http://md-law.classic-literature.co.uk/art-by-marie-law/

Mia Saves the Circus is one of five complete PB manuscripts by Marie and David Law.

Although we are looking to build a long term career as an author/illustrator couple, we are flexible with how our manuscripts are published. We wouldn’t have a problem with other illustrators illustrating a project if a publisher is only interested in the manuscript text.

Thank you for your consideration.

Marie and David Law

Contact Details
Address etc… here


Below are Marie’s quick pencil sketches for Mia Saves the Circus, Marie hasn’t started anything detailed for this story yet.

It’s a real joy to work on a rhyming story like Mia Saves the Circus. The small snippets of story below do not do the manuscript full justice, the Strongest Strongman section of the story is 266 words long, all about what he can lift. The Tallest Tall Juggler section is 276 words long, all about what he can juggle.

I’m the strongest strongman,
the strongest of all.
I lift heavy weights.
The heaviest of all.

I can lift with one arm.
I can lift on one leg.
I’m the strongest of all.
I can lift with my head.

See The Strongest Strongman Early Sketches.

Strongest Strongman Sketch

Strongest Strongman Sketch -by Marie Law-

Tweet Above Image

The jugglers did juggle
with clubs, balls and rings.
Then The Tallest Tall Juggler
juggled more things.

“I’m a juggler,
a juggler,
the best juggler of all.”
Said The Tallest Tall Juggler,
“I won’t let them fall.”

See Tallest Tall Juggler Early Sketches.

Tallest Tall Juggler

Tallest Tall Juggler -by Marie Law-

Tweet Above Image

Like The Toy That Destroyed Christmas manuscript, the Mia Saves the Circus manuscript is too long (around 1,400 words) for a picture book manuscript today :-( It’s designed to be long, parts of the rhyming text are repeated multiple times, for example:

the strongest of all : 5 times
I can lift : 7 times
I lift : 9 times

The word “lift” is used 17 times out of a section of 210 words (the strongman section), the word lift is used roughly every twelfth word in that part of the rhyming story. Reducing the word count down to match today’s picture books would gut the fun in the rhyming scheme :-(

There’s also a teaching element to the story, words like these are deliberately used:

Strong, stronger, strongest
Heavy, heavier, heaviest
Tall, taller, tallest
Little, littler, littlest
Small, smaller, smallest

Could make a good book for teaching what those words mean in schools. The book lends itself to worksheets asking things like:

Which is the heaviest weight?
Which is the heavier weight?

Who is the tallest juggler?
Who is the taller juggler?

Our past experience of home educating our children kicked in heavily on this manuscript :-)

This manuscript could potentially be split into two, maybe even three shorter picture books concentrating on specific acts at the circus. Take the strongest strongman section (266 words) and turn it into a standalone picture book of under 500 words: we could add more to the 266 words, the strongest strongman could lift even more :-)

David Law

Literary Agent Query Letters