Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Puppy Not a Guppy Virtual Book Tour

It is my pleasure to introduce you to a remarkable young character, who knows exactly what she wants and what she doesn't want.

From the Publisher (Synopsis):

Irma wanted a puppy, a pet she could take on walks, not a few stupid guppies. Fish don't do anything, except roll over on their backs if they die.
Sometimes, though, a girl has to make the most of what she has. Now , what can Irma do with three guppies besides stare at them as they stare at her?

I recently had the pleasure of reading Irma's delightful story, A Puppy, Not a Guppy, by Holly Jahangiri, illustrations by Ryan Shaw. Here is my review:

Irma wants a puppy, but her parents give her all the reasons she can’t have one. Irma’s friend Jimmy has two dogs, a cat, a parakeet, and sixteen pillbugs. He also has a guppy about to have babies and offers Irma some of the babies when they are born. Irma thinks guppies are boring. She wants a puppy, not a guppy.

However, when Jimmy tells her he’ll have to flush the babies down the toilet if no one wants them, Irma can’t allow that to happen. Poor little guppies. With her mom’s and dad’s permission she takes the guppies home with her, even though they’re only dumb fish. Or so she thinks. Is Irma in for a big surprise?

To learn how to take care of her guppies, Irma reads books and makes some amazing discoveries, not only about fish, but also about people and how their names might affect their feelings about themselves. I also learned neat facts about Irma’s “boring” guppies and had fun in the process. Even Jimmy discovers a thing or two.

Holly Jahangiri includes a “Learn More” section with a Web site where readers can learn how to teach their fish to do tricks, the way Irma teaches her guppies. The “Fun Facts” section of the book will have young readers (their parents, too) rushing to the pet store for some fish of their own. This book would be great in elementary school science classes. I would have loved to use it when I was teaching fifth-grade science.

Ryan Shaw’s drawings are just perfect for the story. The expressions on Irma’s face, ranging from disappointment to surprise to all smiles, make the story even more fun. And the fish—you have to see them for yourself. A Puppy, Not a Guppy will make a great addition to school libraries, public libraries, and your own private library.

A Puppy, Not a Guppy can be bought from 4RV Publishing.

Or at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

But Wait! There's More!


Prizes (two will be awarded):

One autographed copy of A Puppy, Not a Guppy.

Contest Rules

To enter: Leave a comment at containing verifiable evidence that you have completed one or more of the following activities:

  • A link back to this blog.

  • A short review of or on (

  • A question for the author, Holly Jahangiri

  • An answer to the queston: What kind of pet do you like best, and why?

  • Either of the following:

  • Blog about A Puppy, Not a Guppy (be sure to include, in you own blog post, a link back to and a link to this blog; or

  • If you already own a copy of Trockle or A Puppy, Not a Guppy, you may complete this activity by posting a new review of either book on or (No purchase necessary. Previously posted book reviews are not eligible as contest entries in this contest.)

Each activity equals one (1) entry, and you may do each activity once for a possible maximum of six (6) entries per valid email address. Your comment must be entered using a valid email address so that you can be contacted for mailing info if you win! Entries that do not have a valid email address will be considered null and void.

Duration: Contest begins at 12:01 AM on December 9, 2009, and ends at 11:59 PM on December 15, 2009. Winners will be drawn on December 16, 2009.

Eligibility: Contest is open to anyone age 13 or older. Tour hosts are eligible to enter.

Winners: Two winners will be randomly chosen (numbered in the order in which they are received, with the winning number chosen at from all qualifying entries, and will be required to provide a physical mailing address in order to collect a prize (one free book). Only one entrant per household is eligible to win. If a second entrant from a single household is chosen, another name will be drawn until all prizes are awarded.

Contest void where prohibited by law.

Good luck everyone.


  1. Wow! Thank you, Beverly - I hope your recommendation reaches 5th Grade Science teachers everywhere. I really appreciate your review.

    I know someone who's trying to sneak her netbook under the covers, but I pulled the battery. It's almost midnight; she'll just have to wait until tomorrow to say hi.

  2. Hi Beverly,

    Such a comprehensive review. Thanks for that. I would be excited to know what would happen to the guppies in Irma's hands.

    Irma, you're still sleeping? lol.

    Holly, would have to buy a hat that would fit Irma's head now??? lol

  3. Beverly, what an insigtful review - showing us Irma's story is not a girly story. Those of us who have visited with Irma know that, but you've shown the rest how girls and boys (smaller and bigger) can relate to Irma'story. And the 'how to's' had to come straight from Irma. ^_^

    Holly, ask Irma to share why she likes science and math and, just curious, what subject(s) does she not like to study? Why? There has to be one - unless it would be a spoiler for her next story.

    Beverly, Thank you ^_^ Write On!

  4. Guppies can be taught tricks? Now, I wonder no more why Irma had a change of heart. I wonder what these tricks are... Great recommendation coming from Grade Science teacher. That's a very timely stamp of approval - makes buying this book for your kids a wise educational investment.

  5. Ooo, with each review I am more and more intrigued.

    Irma ~ Can you help me to keep fish happy and well? Mine always seem to take an untimely {ahem} upward turn for the worst. My kids told me I'm not allowed to have fish, only a dog. Hrmph.

  6. Miss Kate, I like Science and Math because in Math, there's always one right answer, and if you work backwards you can check to see if you're right. Writing poems is cool, but one teacher might like one, and another hate the same one, and your friends might giggle at it if it's silly - I like to write silly poems. Anyway, Science is like a good mystery and you get to be the detective. That's fun.

    Mr. Jan, I think guppies (and maybe lots of other animals) are smarter than we think. I wonder what goes on in those little fishy brains. I think it's more than "Don't eat me!"

    Miss Anne, my author can't even keep PRETEND fish alive. I told her she just needs to stop trying until this book tour's over, because her tank over in Fishville is a total embarrassment. Fish like food, but if you give them too much, they might die. The seem to like following things - I wonder if that's why they travel in schools? Ever notice how big schools of fish at an aquarium, when one turns, they ALL turn? Weird, huh? I wonder who decides who gets to be the leader today? Think maybe they're just playing "Follow the Leader"? "Simon Says"?

    You have to be kind of quiet and patient with fish. They don't like a lot of loud noises. You might try singing to them.

    Hi, Miss Donna! Thanks for visiting!

  7. Hi, Holly. Glad you like the review. The book would be fun for science classes, since the kids prefer hands-on activities.

    I posted this early because I'm usually rushed on Sunday mornings getting ready for church. Nice to see so many comments already. Going to read them now.

    Now, Mom, you know how kids are. They hate to wait for anything. :)


  8. Thanks, Jena. I never would have thought Irma could teach guppies anything. She is a smart and determined little girl, however.


  9. Hi, Kate. Thanks. I believe boys would be challenged by this story, as well as girls.

    Thanks for stopping by.


  10. Hi, Jan. Yes, I was surprised, too. I never owned guppies, but my goldfish never did tricks. Of course, I never tried to teach them, because they were ... well ... dumb fish. Now I know better. :)


  11. LOL, Anne. I'm a terrible fish babysitter. Everytime my son leaves me in charge of his, he comes home to deceased fish. How was I to know you don't feed a Betta every day?


  12. Hi, Donna. Thanks for stopping by.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.


  13. Singing to fish, Irma? Mmm, interesting thought.


  14. Oh, sure, Miss Beverly! If singing helps PLANTS, imagine how much guppies must love it! I think the 'specially like it when you do it through a straw stuck under water, you know, so they can hear you better. Just don't forget your straw's stuck in a fish tank and think it's root beer! Eww. And try not to spit into it. I don't think they like that. But they seem to like bubbles just fine. (Miss Holly said to tell you that probably means you should play them some Beverly Sills, whatever THAT means. Is that 'cause it rhymes with gills?)

  15. All right, how did I miss this? Well, I did but here I am finally.

    Great review, Bev.


  16. LOL! OK! I got the rules.
    1. Straw
    2. It's not root beer
    3. No spitting.

    Yes, Beverly Sills rhymes with gills, but I doubt Ms. Sills had gills. Or maybe she did, the reason she sang so lovely because she breathed through gills, as well as lungs.


  17. Thanks, Vivian. Glad you found us. :)


  18. Yep! You've got it Miss Beverly! I think your fish will be really happy now. Thank you SO much for letting me hang out with you today.

    And Breeze? Or, "Just Breeze" as Cam calls her, is just the coolest! I want to be just like her when I'm a teenager. And I want a VW Beetle like her sister, but I want to cover it with guppies. And a big puppy on top. And put flowers in the bud vase. I think bugs are neat. Beetles, I mean.

  19. Well, actually, bugs are neat, too. 'specially fuzzy little cattypillars. Spiders are cool, but they're not really bugs. They're ARACHNIDS. Makes 'em sound like aliens from another planet, kind of, doesn't it? Okay, I have to go to bed now. Miss Holly's glaring at me. She says good night, too, and thanks for everything!

  20. Hi, mandja. Thanks for stopping by.

    Irma, I hope you have a VW Beetle when you're older. Painting beetles on them is a cool idea. I like garden spiders. They're so colorful. And it's fun to watch them spin their egg sacks.

    Thank you for spending your day with us. It was fun. Looking forward to more adventures from you. :)


  21. Oops! I meant to say painting guppies on them is cool. And of course, you must have a puppy. :)


  22. Well, I am sorry I missed the drawing, but I simply must read this book and go to the author's website. Thank you for all your great reviews.

    I also wanted to mention that I have an award for you at my home on the web. Hope to see you there.

    ~ Yaya
    Yaya's Home

  23. Thanks for stopping by, Yaya. I'm heading to your place now. Sounds exciting. :)