I have just heard that my picture book ‘Things To Do With Dad’ has won the CLEL Bell Award in the PLAY category. The awards were created in 2012 to recognise outstanding picture books that effectively promote the early literacy practices of reading, writing, singing, talking and playing. It was lovely news to hear! I am very proud.
This is a page from Things To Do With Dad, which is now out in the UK, right after I’ve finished it. Admittedly I did tidy up slightly, my desk is usually chaos at this point.
Now that Things To Do With Dad is finished here’s a snippet from an earlier stage in the process, showing the preliminary sketches and a few of the story notes. There are a lot more of these during the build-up towards the finished book as the story is refined and reworked.
My new picture book, Things To Do With Dad, is out in the US today! It comes out in the UK next month but both will be here in good time for father’s day – now how convenient is that?
Here’s a synopsis:
A morning of fun with Dad takes a turn for the boring when a long to-do list interferes. At first content to let Dad cross things off his list, the boy in the story soon realizes that the whole day will be spent on chores — unless he can come up with a solution. In his singularly expressive, kid-friendly style, author-illustrator Sam Zuppardi crafts a colorful celebration of the fun that can be had with just a little imagination — and a trusty green crayon.
And here’s what the early reviews are saying:
Zuppardi’s acrylic-and-pencil illustrations have a charming, childlike quality, especially the young child, who is basically a 3-D stick figure with lines for hair, and his imagination truly runs amok when the child amends the list (the only words in the entire book). With some imagination, even chores can be fun.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The cartoon-style acrylic and pencil illustrations perfectly capture the boy’s flights of fancy and his dad’s willingness to play along. Adults could learn a thing or two from this father about making mundane tasks more enjoyable. A great choice for one-on-one sharing.
—School Library Journal
The Portuguese edition of Jack’s Worry has just arrived! He’s known as Gaspar over there.
Here’s another original page from Jack’s Worry, before it was scanned in and the final text added. This is from the opening pages of Jack doing his favourite thing – playing the trumpet. I used messy, punchy paint splats in brassy colours to show the music – that’s how I would imagine trumpet music would look if you could see it.
Here’s an early colour sample from when I was designing the look of the characters for Jack’s Worry. In the end I did away with a mouth for the Worry and gave it more a look of anguished blankness.
But in any case, this is how it starts to look for Jack when it starts to get really worrying.
This was an early, unused idea for the endpapers for Jack’s Worry. While I quite like it there was also a thought that the sight of so many worries might itself be worrying for some readers.
Jack’s Worry is now out in the UK! Home sweet home.
Jack’s Worry, my second picture book as author/illustrator, is out today! (in the US at least. Those in the UK will have to wait until early May…)
It’s somewhat of a landmark book for me as it’s the first one without the word ‘No’ in the title (see The Nowhere Box and Nobody’s Perfect).
Here’s what the reviews are saying:
“Zuppardi successfully describes a universal fear and provides a simple mind-set that even a preschooler can use to help overcome that fear.”
—School Library Journal
“Ideal antidote for anxious kids facing their own Worries.”
“Performing in a first musical concert can be a nerve-wracking experience, as Zuppardi has artfully visualized…The acrylic-and-pencil illustrations truly transmit the amorphous nature of worrying, using convincing facial and body language, followed by huge happy smiles portraying a joyful resolution.”
“Scribbly pencils and expressive bursts of paint readily capture the big, intense emotions Jack is feeling.”