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Pinky's Trunk

This is the story of Pinky the Elephant, who awakens to find his trunk missing--and how all the zoo animals present her with trunk options.

Photo of Steven Wagner
4 0

Written by

Draft submitted above as attachment, with explanatory clip art

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

This book is designed to familiarize children with urban zoos. In addition to entertaining by drawing children in with a mystery, it teaches them about animals and homonyms, in this case homonyms for "trunk." It also depicts the characters banding together to assist a friend.

Share your suggested book title

Pinky's Trunk

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

Evidence shows that very young children often learn visually. This book engages children with a simple mystery--an elephant's missing trunk--and how all the zoo animals rally around the elephant to find it. Children will learn the joy that a zoo brings, the intrigue of zoo animals and the importance of helping others when a problem arises.

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

I have lived in the Philadelphia area since 2017 and have visited downtown Philadelphia on numerous occasions. While I've not visited the zoo in Philadelphia, I have visited zoos in Los Angeles, San Diego (CA), Oakland (CA), Portland (OR) and Boise (ID).

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

Any adolescent or adult who lives in an urban area is familiar with zoos, however not so with very small children. Using creativity and imagination, I have crafted this book to draw readers in with the fantastic: an elephant loses his trunk, his friends draw together to help find it, and at last the trunk is found. I believe very young children will find the narrative interesting enough to want their parents to take them to an urban zoo.

Location: Country

United States

Location: State or Department


Location: City


Website URL (optional question)

I’m a graduate of Oregon State University who worked as an assistant bureau chief for the legendary news service United Press International and as an editor and night crime reporter for the Portland Oregonian. I have worked as a freelance writer for 30 years and as such have had three sports books published. Additional information is available at

Tell us more about you / your team

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

While this book has no official illustrations, I did use clip art in order to give the judges an optimal idea of how the books might be illustrated.

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

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

I have had three books published: 1) Perfect: The Rise and Fall of John Paciorek, Baseball's Greatest One-Game Wonder (Breakaway Books, 2015) 2) Seinsoth: The Rough-and-Tumble Life of a Dodger (Sunbury Press, 2016) 3) The Four Home Runs Club: Sluggers Who Achieved Baseball's Rarest Feat (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018)

Do you have an agent?

  • No

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

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

What best describes you? (optional question)

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

Attachments (1)

Pinky's Trunk.doc

This attachment is the manuscript, including clip art that enhances the dialog


Join the conversation:

Photo of Dan Ruth

Could you copy & paste the manuscript into the form? As a reader, I'd love to simply see it on the page as I scroll through your submission! Thanks!

Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott

Wow, nice story line, but it is way over the word count of 250 words. You will need to rework your story

Photo of Dawnnbooks .

I agree. The description is so interesting yet no story to read. Looking forward.

Photo of Itika Gupta

Hi Steven Wagner  welcome to the Challenge Community!
Its a very vibrant and colorful story you have. Love all the little fun details.
Since one of the evaluation criteria is to pen down stories that elevate nontraditional spaces, how can you evolve your manuscript over the next few weeks to add elements about topics of culture, race, identity or violence to the current story ?
Excited to see how it shapes up with all the feedback from the community.
To make sure the community doesn't miss out on reading your manuscript, it will be great if you can add the text of your manuscript to the section of "Draft of your manuscript" in the submission questions.