YABBY by Virginia Lowe
This is the picture book manuscript Yabby set in the standard submission format. This is the suggested formatting when submitting a picture book text to publishers. You can even leave out the pages breaks, but include some information about the illustrations when it is vital to understanding the story (as in the example, Yabby). If you are also doing the illustrations, the standard submission to the publishers will instead be a dummy book or mock-up.
The text is in the yabby’s “voice” so its interpretation of events is all we “hear”. The illustrations show what is actually happening.
Yabby, by Virginia Lowe
Snug in my mud home-hole,
I lie in wait for food floating by -
water weed, insect larvae,
delicious nameless wriggling things.
Then suddenly appears
something new and strange -
something that smells wild and wonderful!
I lunge and snatch -
(Meat on string)
As I grasp the morsel it streaks upwards
like a bubble from disturbed ooze.
Up, up, to the mirror-surface
it rises and I rise with it,
till together we break
through the barrier
and flash into the bright hot air above.
(Yabby's reflection on the underneath water surface.)
A hard bright coloured thing
surrounds me -
claws cannot grip.
My home-hole is gone
and the smooth water -
though there on the bottom
there is at least
a little comforting mud.
(in a bucket)
Beyond the rim there loom two beings - impossibly high like trees.
Now muddy water sloshes over me soothing my gills,
and a bumping begins.
When my pond water has been churned
by a creature racing through
sometimes I have been rocked and bumped like this.
Then something enormous!
Harsh green and yellow with thunderous vibrations.
Nothing is solid anymore.
Vibrations, bumping, jerking -
until suddenly the hard bright walls
(bucket has tipped)
But where is the pond
and my snug home-hole?
Perhaps if I climb this branch
I can find the water?
(On a shoe, as yet unnoticed)
(Wordless – yabby now on the leg which is shaking to get it off)
This branch is not safe,
it is shaking wildly -
there must be wind blowing,
though I can't feel it.
High-pitched vibrations, very strong
hurting my receptors.
But now I am caught from behind.
I try to nip, but my claws just cannot reach
and I let go.
(The vibrations are the person, and other passangers shouting or laughing.)
The hard bright walls surround me and the bumping starts again.
The muddy water has gone and my gills feel hot and dry.
A familiar smell, a wonderful sight!
and my home-hole, safe and secure.