“The message here is that you can choose to be miserable, or you can be resourceful and choose to find something to be happy about. It’s also about treating people (and animals) the way you hope they’ll turn out – not necessarily the way you expect them to turn out.”
These are the thoughts of the author herself – Holly Jahangiri.
Today it’s my utmost pleasure to host this virtual book tour. I’m rolling the red carpet for the children’s book : A Puppy, Not a Guppy!
About the Author
Holly Janhangiri ‘s propensity for writing has started at a very early age which was prompted by her passion for reading. She was into Edgar Allan Poe even before girls of her age came to know about the famous author. She was a precocious child as evidenced by her entering college, in a special class in French , at age 12.
In college, she attended Theater Arts and switched to Rhetoric & Writing. Consequently, she was able to pursue law but opted to work as a computer specialist later, and then eventually as a technical writer. It was in this field that she was able to fulfill her dream of being a “novelist.”
There are two other good books to her name: Trockle was her first children’s picture book released in April 2008 and Hidden Lies and Other Stories – a collection of interesting short stories.
The Book: “A Puppy, Not a Guppy”
Irma, the heroine of the story is a girl who wanted to have a puppy for a pet. Her parents though were opposed to her plans. How Irma ended up with the guppies gives an interesting plot that you should read in this book.
This book was intended for children by the author. After reading it though, I realized it’s a good read for adults as well. If you have come across The Little Prince by Antoine Saint de Exupery where the famous quotation : “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,” and Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach focusing on “doing the impossible”, then this book – A Puppy, Not a Guppy – has encompassed both of the themes of the two books mentioned, and more.
My two cents’ worth
I have concentrated on 4 categories to describe my personal thoughts about the book.
Children’s books should be presented in simple but titillating sentences that would perk up the interest of the child to go on reading. The habit of reading should be cultivated in children; allowing them to have visually attractive books could motivate them to read more.
The book’s opening lines: “We can’t have a puppy, and that’s final,” said Irma’s mother;’ is a powerful, action sentence that successfully kindles the curiosity of the reader on how the problem would be resolved. Parents should cultivate in children the passion for reading for various beneficial reasons, and this book could serve this purpose.
It has quite a number of lessons, not only for children, but also for adults. It demonstrates the values of “Positive Reinforcement’ and “shaping”, among all the other lessons that a child could learn. Both parent and child could read the book and go through the wonderful experience together. This activity would definitely strengthen the bond between parent and child.
The perfect team-up of author and illustrator – Holly Jahangiri and Ryan Shaw
– harnessed the book’s attractive, visual presentation. Ryan Shaw – who works for Three Bros Studios – stated that being an illustrator for children’s books has been his dream. The dynamic duo had come up with a notable work of art , in this book.
4. Over-all Impression:
A Puppy, Not a Guppy, for all the reasons I mentioned above , should be a part of every family’s library collection. The most important rationale is the priceless life’s lessons that children could learn from it.
As a bonus, the author was gracious enough to answer my questions:
1. Considering your extensive experience in writing, how come you’ve written children’s books instead of adult books? Adult books like – books on writing, SEO, marketing, fiction or adult novels.
“I write grown up non-fiction daily, or nearly so. I write technical documentation for a living, and I have written and published non-fiction articles for years. Before I wrote Trockle’, most of my fiction was aimed at an adult or teen audience – you can find some of it on the Web, but very little of it has been published,” she enthused.
“I’m really terrible when it comes to submitting my work to a publisher. I tend to share it with my children, maybe with a few friends, then I stick it on a disk or CD and shove that into the back of a drawer and forget about it.
Writing is the easy part – the fun part. I am not cut out to be a salesman, though I’m getting a little better at it. Anyway, I’ve published self published two books of my own, and two anthologies with Vivian Gilbert Zabel, who later established 4RV Publishing and asked if she could publish Trockle and A Puppy, Not a Guppy. She’s one of the few people I’d ever shown those stories to, and she knows about my awful habit of sticking things in the back of a drawer. You might say she rescued Trockle and A Puppy, Not a Guppy from obscurity.”
2. What would be one major identifying factor between your two books, Trockle and A Puppy, Not a Guppy?
“Well, Trockle is pure fantasy, but it has a purpose. At some point, most children develop a fear of “things that go bump in the night.” My son was no exception. I was trying to dispel his fears, when Trockle popped up and insisted on telling HIS side of the story. He’s the monster under the bed – and as it turns out, he’s just as afraid of the big old smelly boy who lives OVER the bed. Trockle is a story that can be read by a parent or older sibling to a child; it’s also a good early reader. The book came about, really, because my son refused to sleep or let me turn the light off – so I figured he might as well be practicing his newly emergent reading skills.”
A Puppy, Not a Guppy deals with a little girl’s very real disappointment when mom and dad say “no” to a puppy. She’s really got her heart set on it, but they think a dog will be too much trouble and too destructive. The inspiration for this one, of course, was my daughter. To be perfectly honest, Katie was never really satisfied with the fish. Or the roly-poly pill bug. Or the green anole. But her Dad was firmly opposed to having a dog or cat in the house, so she tried to find things to like about them. I really understood Irma’s bitter disappointment, and her grudging acceptance of the guppies. This is an easy reader – a short chapter book – and it’s written for a slightly older audience than Trockle was.
More Information about Irma and her guppies:
To give you a sneak preview of the book, here’s the book’s trailer,
An excerpt of the story could also be found here and a candid interview with the main character Irma could be read here.
Where to buy the book
The book could be bought at AMAZON.COM
Directly from 4RV Publishing at ($8.99 less 15% discount until December 20 + S&H)
Author’s Blog: It’s All a Matter of Perspective
Holly’s parting words for blog readers:
“Of course I hope everyone will read Trockle and A Puppy, Not a Guppy, for themselves – especially if they have young children to share them with. I think they’ll enjoy the stories and be a little surprised by them both.”
THE ULTIMATE BONUS
Here are Holly Jahangiri and Ryan Shaw personally greeting everyone.
Thanks, Holly and Ryan.
Buy your copy now, and see for yourself what the book has to offer.