Book Tour: A Red Carpet for “A Puppy, Not a Guppy”

Title of Book:  A Puppy, Not a Guppy
Author:
Holly Jahangiri
Illustrator: Ryan Shaw
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

“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

The Author
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.

a book you should own
a book you should own

My two cents’ worth

I have concentrated on 4 categories to describe my personal thoughts about the book.

1. Interest

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.

2. Usefulness

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.

3. Layout/illustrations

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

A Puppy, Not a Guppy($10.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25.)

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.

If you have questions for the author, feel free to ask them in the comment section, and earn a chance to win good prizes. (click here to learn more).

You could also, simply leave a comment, for a chance to win.

77 thoughts on “Book Tour: A Red Carpet for “A Puppy, Not a Guppy”

    • Yes, Merry Christmas Holly, it’s for you and Irma and everyone. I’m glad you liked it. I do hope we’ll be able to sell some copies in time for the Holiday season. There are still 9 days remaining.

  1. Miss Holly, Miss Jena sure knows a lot about us. Does she work for the CIA, or something? Wowsers. 9 days? Only NINE? Miss Jena – really? OH, your time difference confuses me. Miss Holly said I could stay up and watch Santa on NORAD this year, if it’s okay with my mom and dad. I don’t think they’ll mind, so long as I’m in bed before he gets here. I can watch him drop presents in the Philippines! So you wanna hear the song I made up just now, over at Miss Lisa’s blog? Is it okay if I sing it here for you, too? I call it “The Twelve Days of Christmas, Irma Style!”

    On the first day of Christmas my author gave to me
    A tiny little kitty in a treeeeee!

    On the second day of Christmas my author gave to me
    Two precious puppies,
    And a tiny little kitty in a treeeee!

    On the third day of Christmas my author gave to me
    Three dirty looks,
    Two precious puppies,
    And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!

    On the fourth day of Christmas my author gave to me
    Four pairs of jeans,
    Three dirty looks,
    Two precious puppies,
    And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!

    On the fifth day of Christmas my author gave to me
    Five croaking frogs!
    Four pairs of jeans,
    Three dirty looks,
    Two precious puppies,
    And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!

    On the sixth day of Christmas my author gave to me
    Six ballet lessons (yuck!),
    Five croaking frogs!
    Four pairs of jeans,
    Three dirty looks,
    Two precious puppies,
    And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!

    On the seventh day of Christmas my author gave to me
    Seven guppies playing,
    Six ballet lessons (I’m a klutz),
    Five croaking frogs!
    Four pairs of jeans,
    Three dirty looks,
    Two precious puppies,
    And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!

    On the eighth day of Christmas my author gave to me
    Eight shortbread cookies,
    Seven guppies playing,
    Six ballet lessons (dorky!),
    Five croaking frogs!
    Four pairs of jeans,
    Three dirty looks,
    Two precious puppies,
    And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!

    On the ninth day of Christmas my author gave to me
    Nine night-night stories,
    Eight shortbread cookies,
    Seven guppies playing,
    Six ballet lessons (why not tap?),
    Five croaking frogs!
    Four pairs of jeans,
    Three dirty looks,
    Two precious puppies,
    And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!

    On the tenth day of Christmas my author gave to me
    Ten tons of homework (due before the break),
    Nine night-night stories,
    Eight shortbread cookies,
    Seven guppies playing,
    Six ballet lessons (c’monnnn – violin?),
    Five croaking frogs!
    Four pairs of jeans,
    Three dirty looks,
    Two precious puppies,
    And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!

    On the ‘leventh day of Christmas my author gave to me
    Eleven candy canes,
    Ten tons of homework (due before the break),
    Nine night-night stories,
    Eight shortbread cookies,
    Seven guppies playing,
    Six ballet lessons,
    Five croaking frogs!
    Four pairs of jeans,
    Three dirty looks,
    Two precious puppies,
    And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!

    On the twelth day of Christmas my author gave to me
    Twelve GREAT BIG PRESENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (right Miss Holly?)
    Eleven candy canes,
    Ten tons of homework (due before the break),
    Nine night-night stories,
    Eight shortbread cookies,
    Seven guppies playing,
    Six ballet lessons,
    Five croaking frogs!
    Four pairs of jeans,
    Three dirty looks,
    Two precious puppies,
    And a tiny little kitty in a treeeeeee!

  2. No, I did all my homework (well, three tons of it, anyway, and we have TESTS this week), but she thinks that just because I warmed up to the guppies I should quit asking for a puppy.

    At least I didn’t ask for a chimpanzeee!

  3. Thank you for trying, Miss Jen, really. She’s a handful, but I only WISH I had half her energy. I’m kind of sorry the tour’s nearing its end, but then again, I may just have to sleep all day Thursday. It has been fun. Now I have Irma AND Jimmy bugging me to write another story about them. I swear, even the guppies are giving me that LOOK.

    • You should, Holly. I’m certain it would be a hit, just like the Harry Potter books or the LOTR. All authors need is the exposure.

      Where’s Irma? Irma could you and Miss Holly, help me in entertaining our guests today? But of course, you can leave when it’s time to study your lessons.

      • Actually, it’s not – and since it’s the 15th TOMORROW here…

        Susan Thompson (http://www.susansmiththompson.com) and her son Noah said she could drop by, too. Noah’s the interviewer who figured out that Trockle liked broccoli better than CANDY. Go figure. Stephen’s still scratching his head over that one.

        But you sure made this stop special, Jen – awesome, stupendous, and amazing, as Irma says. I just cannot thank you enough – it was a lovely surprise.

  4. I didn’t see this coming! Great work Jen!

    I didn’t know their promotion was even on YouTube! And we get to know more about Holly too!

    ‘could a good time to get those ‘drawers-kept’ works out too 😉

  5. Hello Roy,

    Well, the video was just done recently. I requested Holly if she could make one. This gave her the idea, right Holly? or perhaps it was Holly’s plan too, only it was not done earlier.

    • Yes, you gave me the idea – which is why you got to post it first!

      There’s a bit of a story behind this, too. We have a little superstition, Vivian and I – by mutual agreement, the illustrator and I are not allowed to have direct contact while the work’s in progress. Shortly before Ryan was chosen to illustrate the book, we’d discovered we lived only about 10 miles apart. He’s illustrated several other books for 4RV Publishing, and we’d talked about getting together for coffee some time. Then he was picked to do the artwork for A Puppy, Not a Guppy, so we had to wait. When Jen requested a video, this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

      I can now tell you that each of two winners of the autographed book will get a book autographed by both of us. 😉

  6. What a splendid review. It’s punchy and insightful and with all due respect to Irma’s puny guppies it’s a thoroughbred of a review. Congratulations Holly and Irma for getting an A+ from one of the Philippines accomplished educators.

    • Wow, Jan, your comment is one of those I had looked forward to. Your stamp of approval is highly appreciated.

      Shall we proceed to our farms now? lol…I’m also eagerly waiting for your next post…

    • Thorough, isn’t she? And insightful. And far too kind. But I really did enjoy waking up to this (the time difference, Jen, is more like 14 hours – it’s still 9 minutes to midnight, and it’s STILL the 14th over here). What a great review. Thanks again for hosting us!

  7. Saw that signal with your elbow, Holly. he he he.

    Excellent review Jen, makes me want to get my own copy, well, I might do that come 2010 when I have finally settled in my new home in the Pacific.

    Best of luck to the book tour and I hope Irma enjoys herself with the trip.

    Z

    • Doc Z,

      How nice of you to drop by inspite of your toxic schedule and busy preparation for your future destination. I’m certain Irma enjoyed her tour . We wish you good luck, good health and may God keep you safe and sound always.

    • Well, after the first take, Ryan realized he should’ve thrown out his chewing gum. Then he missed his cue. Then I started giggling like a fool. I thought Katie might throw down my camera in disgust and leave us to our lunacy – after all, we were doing this in a crowded mall (okay, not nearly as crowded as you’d expect, this time of year, but there were PEOPLE there).

    • Wow, Ryan, this is turning out to be an illustrious party because of your presence and that of Holly – our two celebrities. Thanks for gracing this occasion. You’re welcome. A talent such as yours should be given due recognition.

  8. This is a question for Holly,

    Considering it that children will enjoy reading this book, what reactions and effects do you expect from other potential readers of this book? the adults? the youths? and others? Making it as a book for the whole family.

    • k3Vz, as a mom, I’m very much aware that there are books that appeal only to children – and that we are likely to be asked to read them (or listen to them being read) over and over and over and over again! There’s got to be a special place in the afterlife for such authors. I hope – and from the comments I’ve read so far, believe – that parents will enjoy the book as well.

      I’ve now had reviews from several kids and teens saying they all enjoyed it (they don’t really want to read 780 page books ALL THE TIME, even when they’re older). And it got the Official Babysitter Stamp of Approval over at http://lisamm.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/babysitters-review-a-puppy-not-a-guppy-by-holly-jahangiri/

      I hope people will be entertained by Irma and her guppies, and maybe learn a surprising fishy fact or two!

  9. Hi there. Its been quite a while. I missed the blogging world! I’ve been too busy with my internship! Going straight to the point, I have a question for you Miss Holly. What was your source of inspiration that made you come up with this magnificent work of art? Do you have any good ‘hidden agendas’ behind it? 🙂 It will be great to hear from you again. Goodluck!

    • Wow, my “Baby” Gelhz is here…he he he…good of you to drop by despite your hectic schedule at the hospital. You’re joining the question contest huh, good thing and of course, good luck too.

    • Anjelica!! Long time no see. I hope that you are doing well. Hmmm…”hidden source of inspiration”? Yes, but not so hidden. My daughter (who is now 21) and my son (13) have always wanted to have a dog. My husband, on the other hand, is not so fond of having animals in the house. He’s just not a pet person. Nothing against animals, he just prefers them to stay outside. But he HAS compromised from time to time; we’ve had fish, roly-poly “pill bugs,” and a couple of green anoles (one of which we caught on the back fence – the other was a Boy Scout Merit Badge project we later released to the wild to hang out with friends on our back fence, since they’re native here in Texas). It’s not the same as having a puppy, of course, but you do realize after a while that each creature has its own charm.

      Of course Trockle was written for my son, so how could I not write a book for my daughter?

  10. I hope that “A Puppy, Not a Guppy” will become even more successful and that children will treasure every words and lessons coming from the story, Irma her self and of Miss Holly.

    Just a question for the author. Is there a continuation of the story? If any, what aspect it focuses?

  11. Thank you Holly and Ryan for bringing to life Irma’s story. It’s been a week of joyous adventure and brought to life for a time the little kid in me, and I think for many of us who’ve visited along the way. Thanks bunches ^_^

    • Well, Kate, I think you should be good to that little kid in you, and let her come out to play more often! Thanks for coming along with Irma, the guppies, and me all week. It’s been so much fun.

      At some point tomorrow, I will post the wrap-up and pull the winner’s names from random.org. It may be fairly late (meaning it MAY be the 17th in some parts of the world), because I have a cold, Katie and I still need our “spekshun stickers,” and I have to bake for the office Christmas party. But I WILL get it all done!

  12. Wow! Is this for real? It’s as if I am reminiscing my childhood years.. The only difference is,,, my dad bought me an ‘edible fish’.. well,, I am interested to know the message behind the story; do the puppy and the guppy represents something?

    >Irma, if in case you were given a puppy, what will you name him?
    What qualities do you like most in puppies which could not be seen with other pets? Or should I ask, why do you choose a puppy as a pet?

    • Hi Unica,

      Edible fish like milk fish, without the glassy eyes…lol..? You’re participating in the contest of course. And your question is about puppies…ummmm….okay. let’s wait for Irma’s reply to that.

      • I was hoping that was Swedish Fish – those little gummy candy fish.

        I do hope everyone remembers that in order to win one of the two books I’m giving away, they need to come over to the Imaginary Friends blog and leave a comment listing the activities they completed? (I know Unica did!) I answered Unica’s question there, a while ago, but I’ll answer it here as well:

        Sometimes a fish is just a fish. 😉 I suppose, though, you could say that the puppy represents the things we THINK we want, while the guppies represent the things we get. We can let our disappointment overshadow everything, or we can choose to be happy, and maybe find unexpected satisfaction in what life actually dishes out to us. I do think happiness is largely a matter of choice, and it’s not about the “stuff.”

  13. I have learned a lot from this book tour starting from the author, the book itself, the characters and the moral lesson. I have read “The Little Prince” and if Jena compared “A Puppy, Not a Guppy” saying that it encompassed its theme, then definitely it’s also worth reading because of its superb quality. Facts and humor are main elements of the story (based on the excerpt I’ve read) and it will definitely catch the hearts of many as it did to me. I am a kid at heart and this one will surely be a good read not to mention that it also suits the adult’s thinking brain. Say, this book will be a wake up call to parents who do not allow their kids to have a puppy. Hehe.

    • Hi k3Vz,

      Yeah, I hope you have won too, but let’s wait and see in my contest. i still have to draw lots…lol…I’ve got a party to attend to tonight. Tomorrow , I’ll be posting. Watch out for it. Cheers.

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