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Pickle Porch

A fun to read interactive book about a child’s pure joy at a day on the porch with a book and a jar of pickles.

Photo of Melissa Dodd

Written by

Look what the neighbor brought around

Some sour pickles, tart and round.

A big fat jar upon the ground,

Crunchy, crackling, crispy sound.

Those pickles are so tasty good,

Best tasting in the neighborhood!

I’d eat them night and day I think,

I’d eat those pickles in a blink.

Come rain or shine all weather’s fine

You too could join, please come and dine!

Will you take a pickle too? 

Pick a pickle, maybe two.


What color is the one you’ve got?

Blue or pink or apricot?

Is it green?   I think you’re right.

Now clap your hands and take a bite!  [Crunch!]

Pickles on the porch you see,

Do fill me up so happily.

I sit with Neighbor next to me,

With everything we really need.

But wait you ask, what about play,

And naps and walks to fill the day?

And books to read and walks to take

And songs to sing and rhymes to make?

What do you say?

Is it okay to eat pickles all day?

I guess we could find a book to read

How about this one, now what more could we need?

If we get hungry, thirsty too

There’s nothing we would have to do

We wouldn’t even have to search,

Just sit up here on Pickle Porch.

So come join us for all the fun

Book and a pickle?  The day is won!

Come join us for an hour or two,

For a perfectly pickled porch pickle menu.

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

Pickle Porch is an ode to the unhurried days of childhood in which all the fun in the world can be had sitting next to a neighbor and enjoying the day. It’s an ode to my dear friends Floyd and Ruby with whom I spent many lazy afternoons.

Share your suggested book title

Pickle Porch

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

Reading Encouragement: Pickle Porch is told from the point of view of the child with a rhythmic, fun, fast pace that encourages reading and again and again. It also specifically introduces the idea of reading as a fun pastime for the day that captivates the child’s attention. Language: The story uses simple language throughout but introduces more complex words like “Neighborhood,” “search” and “apricot.” There are several points of interaction in which the child asks questions that can result in conversation with the reader.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I live in downtown Philadelphia with my partner and 2 ½ year old toddler, so I'm really familiar with the excitement and unpredictability of daily life that can be fun for an adult but challenging for children.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

The porch or stoop is a beloved urban setting for me because so many community connections are made there. I wanted to celebrate the setting as a special place vs. going out of the house and always needing to be on the go.

Location: Country


Location: State or Department


Location: City


Tell us more about you / your team

I live in downtown Philadelphia with my partner and our 2 1/2 year old child. I make my living performing voice-overs and helping organizations to change the world by telling the best story they can about their vision for it. I'm a strong believer in helping children to build their emotion regulation skills and giving them as much routine as possible to create a feeling of comfort that allows them to develop more advanced executive functioning skills. This book is specifically about the unhurried life that can be contained with the chaotic urban world, and I see that as a positive way to create that feeling of comfort and safety kids need so much.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

I published a print-on-demand body image guide for young women in 2001 called “Body & Self" on Amazon so am familiar with the publication process including cover design, layout and marketing.

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • OpenIDEO announcement email

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists


Join the conversation:

Photo of Perlina Murray

I hope you understood what I said.

Photo of Melissa Dodd

Perlina, I just realized you replied again. I apologize for not responding sooner. Yes, I totally got it. Thank you!! The book isn't moving to the next round but maybe I'll look into doing something with it in the future. I'll keep in touch if so! I hope you've having a good weekend! Melissa

Photo of Perlina Murray

Great! Keep working.

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