Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 18, 2021

Book Giveaway: INVENT A PET by Vicky Fang

VICKY FANG has written a picture book book, INVENT A PET, illustrated by Tidawan Thaipinnarong and published by Sterling Childrens Books on June 2nd. Sterling has agreed to send a copy of this book to one lucky winner. 

All you have to do is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Vicky and Tidawa.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


Bunnies, pandas, and monkeys, oh my! For fans of Ada Twist, Scientist, this picture book about finding your perfect pet introduces basic STEAM and coding concepts—and some ridiculously adorable animals!

Katie is an ordinary girl who longs for an extraordinary pet—something more spectacular than a simple goldfish. Then one day Katie comes home to find a gift from her mother: a mysterious machine designed to help her create that one-of-a-kind creature. Each time she feeds different items into the machine, out comes a marvelously colorful new animal—like a purple monkey, rainbow-spotted horse, and green bunny! But none of them is just right. Through trial and error, Katie figures out the formula for her absolutely perfect SURPRISE pet.


I started writing children’s books to inspire and empower kids in STEAM, particularly girls and kids of color. I’m a former product designer who has created things like DIY robots, buildings that play music, and interactive storybooks. For me, technology is magical, and I want kids to be able to see that too.

The idea for INVENT-A-PET came to me on an airplane flight—my favorite place to write! I keep a long list of random story ideas on my phone. At some point, I had jotted down “mixed up animals” and at another point, I had jotted down “Magnificent Mixing Machine.” Stuck on an airplane with nothing to do, I thought to combine these two disconnected ideas, and the first draft of INVENT-A-PET was born!

At the time, I was lucky enough to have a mentorship with the hilarious and talented Peter McCleery, who read the manuscript and thought it was my most promising yet. I spent months revising, getting critiques, and rewriting the story until I thought it was strong enough to send out to agents. This took about seven months. At that point, I signed with my brilliant agent, Elizabeth Bennett, who sold it to Sterling Children’s Books within a few months.

My acquiring editor left before revisions began, so I worked with the wonderful Rachael Stein, who helped me clarify the arc and the logic of the story. Because there are so many technical details to make sure the inputs and outputs are making sense and aligned and telling a rich story, I so appreciate the time she took to go deep with me into the logic and heart of this fantastic premise! Rachael was also a wonderful partner in ensuring the authenticity of depicting Katie as an Asian American girl, a decision that was made during the revision process. 

Of course, it was such a thrill when I began seeing Tidawan Thaipinnrong’s art. Her illustrations have such vibrant energy and I love her use of light. I worked with Tidawan and Rachael through to final art, at which point Eve Adler took over as editor of the book, and helped see it through to its launch day!

Now that the book is out in the world, I have been so excited and grateful to see the reaction of kids. The idea of inputs and outputs clicks instantly with them, and you can see them trying to figure out the formula as you read! They go back and examine the pets and the details of how each pet was created, and best of all, they love designing pets of their own.

I’ve created a free activity sheet that’s available on my website for kids to create their own Invent-a-Pet! I’ve also seen this activity done with crafting materials or online drawing programs. I love seeing the amazing creations that kids come up with, and I’m so pleased that the STEAM concepts carry through in a fun and creative way.

It was a wonderful experience creating this book with the talented team and I am enjoying every minute of having this book out in the world. I like to think that just like Katie, we found the perfect inputs and formula to create something truly extraordinary!


Vicky Fang is a children’s book author. She also is a product designer who invents things—like cars that talk to each other, robots you can build at home, and games you can play with your voice. She started writing to support the growing need for early coding education, particularly for girls and kids of color. She is the author of nine new and upcoming STEAM books for kids, including Invent-a-PetI Can CodeLayla and the Bots, and my author-illustrator debut, Friendbots.

Outside of writing, she likes eating, binge-watching TV series, papercraft, crafting new anything, dancing, and playing with her kids. Sometimes she likes to imagine she’s still a cool artist/designer living in New York, but she traded that in years ago for a super sweet life with my family in Mountain View, California.


Tidawan is a freelance illustrator and background artist working in animation.

Please contact her at for work inquiries

Clients include: Illumination Entertainment, Sterling Publishing, Hank Green, XP-Pen, PlayStudios Asia, Igloo Studio

Vicky, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. It is so creative. What kid wouldn’t want a machine like this one? I love that she finds a way to find homes for all her wacky creatures and brighten up everyone lives. Good luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This book sounds fabulous! I LOVE Ada Twist, so I’m excited to read this one. I subscribe!


  2. Another book for my wishlist! Children will love the idea of creating their own original pet. This subscriber will share on twitter because teachers are always looking for inclusive STEM books.


  3. We need more STEM books and even more with diverse characters! This books fills a niche.


  4. What a clever concept for a book! I know kids will really enjoy making their own pet creatures. Congratulations Vicky.


  5. Congrats, Vicky! I’m signed up for the emails as well.


  6. This sounds like lots of fun. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    I’ve tweeted:, and shared:
    I also follow daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks again, have a great day everyone!


  7. This book is so much fun to read. I checked it out of my library and would love to have a keeper copy. I’m an email subscriber and shared on social:


  8. What child wouldn’t want to invent their own pet? Great idea! Congrats, Vicky!


  9. What a fun book!


  10. What a great idea for a pb! Congratulations, Vicky and Tidawan!! Kathy, I follow and tweeted. Love your blog!


  11. So much fun! Two of my grands are excellent inventors, so I know they will love inventing a pet! Congratulations!

    I follow by email and I will tweet this, Kathy. 🙂


  12. Nice! Congratulations!


  13. I’d love a rainbow-colored kitty! Too bad invent-a-pet machines don’t exist in real life. (Kathy, I subscribe to this blog.)


  14. What a fun book! Kids will love this & inventing their own pets!


  15. What a fantastic idea for a picture book! Congratulations! I can’t wait to read it!


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