Picture Book Party Spring 2020
PB Party Entry 16: Sergeant Diggs and the New Recruit, Humor Character Driven
Sergeant Diggs and the New Recruit
Humor, Character Driven
Word Count:

Dear Michelle and Mindy, Agents and Editors,

Many thanks for this opportunity! I’m so pleased to submit SERGEANT DIGGS AND THE NEW RECRUIT, a humorous, big-hearted picture book. Sergeant Diggs is a no-nonsense retired military dog living in the home of his handler. At 0600, he reports to the front door of Fort Wagg for the arrival of a new recruit and is dismayed to discover a pint-size puppy. Turning this miniature mop into a soldier is going to be RUFF! But Sergeant Diggs has been on tougher missions. Throughout, pictures of Sergeant Diggs own training and service are revealed.

This story has special relevance given the presence of military dogs in the news, on postage stamps, and in people’s hearts. It’s comparable to WOLF CAMP by Andrea Zuill (Schwartz & Wade, 2016) and SPARKY! by Jenny Offill (Schwartz & Wade, 2014) in terms of a character not meeting expectations and the humor that ensues. Optional back matter might include information about military dogs such as the fact that, after retirement, 90% are adopted by their handlers.

My published works include PRINCE AND PIRATE (Putnam, 2017), HALLOWEEN HUSTLE (Two Lions, 2013) and over thirty poems for the Cricket and Highlights families of magazines. I’m lucky to be a four-time recipient of Highlights Pewter Plate Award. Please visit to view the fun, innovative ways I promote my books. I care about kids, animals, equality and the environment—in short, the future!

Thank you for considering this SERGEANT DIGGS AND THE NEW RECRUIT. I’d be thrilled to receive a request for the entire manuscript and more stories.


[retired military dog]
At 0600, Sergeant Diggs reports to the front door of Fort Wagg and stands at attention.
Head up.
Chest out.
Still as a stone. His tail doesn’t even twitch.
Today, a new recruit arrives.
Sergeant Diggs will be in charge of training.

“Yip!” [puppy]
Making a soldier out of this miniature mop is going to be…

  • Great premise! I would love to see more! Can you send your query and picture book manuscript in the body of the email to querylynnette (at) theseymouragency (dot) com? Please put PBParty and the title of your story in the subject line. #ExcitedToRead

  • This sounds grrrreat! Please send your query plus the manuscript in the body of the email to query[at]dunhamlit[dot]com. Subject line should read PBParty20. Thank you!
    Looking forward to reading it!

  • As a dog person, I love the concept and would like to read more. Kindly send via email with PBParty and the title in the subject line to

  • Clelia Gore says:

    I represented RESCUE & JESSICA, so I have a soft spot in my heart for books about working dogs. Would love to read more. Please query me via Query Manager (feel free to put #pbparty along with the title in the title section)–check out more details on our agency website, I look forward to reading!

  • I love the premise of your story (I have a nine-month-old German shepherd puppy, so I may be a bit biased), and I love the crispness of your prose. Can you please paste the entire manuscript into the body of an email message and send it to

    Thank you very much for sharing Sergeant Diggs and the New Recruit with me. I hope you’re hunkered down at home and safe, and I hope you have a peaceful weekend. And thanks again!

  • Melissa Nasson says:

    This sounds right up my alley! Please send your query and manuscript as an attachment to with PBParty in the subject line.


    Melissa Nasson
    Rubin Pfeffer Content

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This contest entry was posted on Wednesday, 18 March 2020.