To the author: “Local Sugar” is a delightful manuscript! I would love to see this made into an animated special or possibly a CGI special-effects film. The characters are delightful and distinctly good and evil, such as Mary Lou, the mouse, and the dastardly Rowley, the frog, who wants to take her from her love, the snake, Sly.
The script contains dramatic conflict surrounding the burning of the mill in Sugarville and the impending forced marriage of Mary Lou to Rowley, despite her love for Sly. It’s action-packed at times, and its suspenseful elements work well, along with the fantasy worlds of the creatures and the funny moments. For example, when Sheriff Hoggert arrests Sly, the snake, on page 28 and reads him his rights, he says, “Sly Snake, you have the right to remain scaly. Anything you hiss will be held against you in a pit of law.” Also, on page 8, Sly is in a toilet and says, “I’ve snaked out a few toilets in my day, but this is ridiculous.” On page 33, the song of “Hello, Mary Lou — Good-bye, Heart” by Ricky Nelson is funny when sung to Mary Lou.
It was nice to hear the mention of the Trinity in the wedding ceremony, as these characters are very human-like, even if they are beavers, frogs, bears, mice, and snakes. Well done! We are pleased to award this manuscript our Dove Seal for all ages and hope to see it become a film. We believe kids and parents will love the life-like, comedic characters.