During COVID, Tristan Pollock and his family wrote Stay at Home, Dog!, a book that helps kids cope during a pandemic
Tristan Pollock has spent most of his life in technology. He created one of the best performing email marketing campaigns for BestBuy.com, the world’s largest electronics retailer at the time, started and sold two startups, and has invested $30M into startups in Silicon Valley. But when COVID hit, he tried something new.
Tristan, his wife Danyelle Pollock, and his mom and dad decided to create a children’s book to help families and their kids cope during COVID and 2020 called Stay at Home, Dog!
Tristan’s mom, Julie, is also an elementary school special education paraprofessional who just so happens to be an illustrator who was top of her class at the most prestigious art school in Minnesota.
Tristan’s dad, Rick, is an entrepreneur and graphic designer who helped educate the Twin Cities business community about ‘The Internet’ back in 1993.
Put the whole Pollock family together at home during a pandemic-scale lockdown and it created just the right amount of creative inspiration.
After being inspired by his Mom’s drawing ability, Tristan sketched out the first draft of what a rhyme-based kid’s book could look like. Tristan then took the idea to his Mom. She instantly took a liking to the project and started working in her spare time sketching out the draft ideas. As a dog-loving family, the character eventually turned into a dog called Mabel who helped kids understand COVID and pandemic-like situations, something most kids had never encountered before.
Stay at Home, Dog! became the name. Danyelle edited Tristan’s rhymes into a smooth, flowing text. Mom put the finishing touches on the illustrations. Dad added color and formatted the book to fit Amazon’s self-publishing service Kindle Direct Publishing. And just like that, the book was complete.
In just three weeks from idea to publication, Tristan Pollock and his family had created their first children’s book.
The book needed to help families, so in addition to setting the lowest prices possible on Amazon, Tristan and his family also decided to donate the proceeds of the book to families in need. To date, all of the profits of the book have gone to Second Harvest Heartland to feed families struggling with job loss and income deficits during COVID.
Little did the family know, Stay at Home, Dog! would become an overnight hit. Over 450 books were ordered and 2,539 pages read in just three days on Amazon. Stay at Home, Dog! hit #2 on the Amazon Best Seller charts for Baby & Toddler Nursery Rhyme books.
Now over 1,100 copies have been ordered since March 2020.
Layla, a 4-year-old in Australia, says, “I loved seeing the doggy being clean. He looks funny. Do we have to be clean too, Daddy?”
Stay at Home, Dog! has even been translated into Spanish — ¡Quédate en casa, Perro! — by Maya Errazuriz and Felipe Rodriguez, Tristan’s Chilean friends who wanted to support the good cause.
And the momentum hasn’t slowed down. There’s been a surge of teachers and parents reading the book online to their virtual students, Tristan’s mom Julie has done a reading herself on YouTube, Tristan recorded the audiobook, and Dusty, Tristan’s brother in love, continues to drop off books in the Little Free Libraries everywhere he goes.