Jack’s Worry is published today!

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…)

Jack's Worry Cover 900

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.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“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.”
—Publishers Weekly


The end of Edgar and Allan?

The final book of the Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe is out now in paperback!

The Pet and the Pendulum sees the boys taking on their nemesis, the evil Professor Pangborn, for the final time…

It’s been a really fun series to illustrate and I’m going to miss the twins, I’ll always have a soft spot for them as they were my first published illustration project.

But I’m pleased to say they go out on a high, this final book has got to be my favourite of the series.

Poe Boys trilogy in paperback

The Nowhere Box at Gomersal Primary School

Nowhere Box Front Cover

In my first picture book, The Nowhere Box, George uses a cardboard box to go Nowhere. At first, Nowhere is an empty place but George soon fills it with all kinds of things and uses it to go to some amazing places.

The children at Gomersal Primary School in West Yorkshire have been reading The Nowhere Box in class and imagining where they might like to go if they went Nowhere, and what they would hope to find there. They were kind enough to send me some pictures of their ‘Nowhere Land’ creations. Here are just a few of my favourites…

Finley Nowhere Land 4

Finley took the Nowhere Box into deep space, with an alien on the moon and some pretty wild space scenery to keep things interesting.

Taylan Nowhere Land 2

Taylan’s ‘Nowhere Land’ features dinosaurs… I really like the one with the green stripes.

Jack Nowhere Land 3

Jack turned the Nowhere Box into a hot air balloon – what a fantastic idea! – and used it to fly over the ocean.

Nowhere Land Iona 6

Iona decided that if she could go Nowhere and fill it with anything she wanted she’d explore under the sea. looks colourful!

Nowhere Land Lucas 5

Lucas drew himself inside his own Nowhere Box, ready to press one of the buttons to take him on new adventures. I wonder where he’s going….

Thanks to everyone who drew a picture, I wish I could post them all, and thank you very much for sharing them with me!

Are you a teacher who would like to use The Nowhere Box or one of my other books as part of your teaching? Although I’m not available for school visits right now I’ll happily be involved in any other ways I can – responding to the children’s work and things like that – so do get in touch if you’d like to chat things over in more detail.

It’s Publication Day for ‘The Pet and the Pendulum’!

It’s publication day for the final installment in ‘The Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe’ by Gordon McAlpine, with illustrations by me.

It’s been hard to believe it’s been over three years since the series first began taking shape, but with a dastardly trap, the truth about ghosts, a dinner to die for and the usual assortment of cats rats and suspicious strangers, ‘The Pet and the Pendulum’ is a fitting – not to mention explosive – finale to the series.

Not only that, but as my first illustration project it will always hold a special – slightly ghoulish – place in my heart.

Here’s a sneaky peak at the jacket design… click to enlarge.

Pet and Pendulum

And, just for the excuse to share it again, a video of me drawing the Poe twins. I’m going to miss those guys!

Nobody’s Perfect is out today!

Nobody’s Perfect is published today! UK readers will have to wait until March but if you’re stateside it’s well and truly out there.

There’s a book trailer following soon, in the meanwhile here’s the cover and a few early reviews.  Hurray!

Nobody's Perfect Front Cover

Teenagers have no difficulty in pointing out the faults they find in their parents, but for younger children it can be a bit of a struggle to reconcile their natural admiration with the flawed parental reality. David Elliott offers 4- to 8-year-olds a bit of emotional release in this regard with “Nobody’s Perfect” (Candlewick, 32 pages, $16.99), a picture book whose jaunty tone and charitable theme are perfectly matched by Sam Zuppardi ’s bright, explosive, scribbly illustrations. “‘Nobody’s perfect.’ That’s what everybody says. And I guess they’re right,” the young protagonist muses. His baby sister, Gigi, isn’t perfect, “She’s loud!” His best friend is a show-off. “And even my mom,” the boy admits. “She’s stubborn! And that’s not perfect.” Conceding that he, too, is imperfect—parents will smile at the disastrous state of the boy’s room after he has supposedly tidied it—the narrator brings himself, and us, around to the fact that sometimes a person’s imperfections are not only understandable but even rather fun.

– The Wall Street Journal


Zuppardi’s loose, scribbly, deceptively child-styled pencil outlines vibrate with energy, and his colorful acrylic backgrounds feature uninhibitedly visible brush strokes, drips, splotches and lines … unabashedly colored in with gray pencil.



Loose drawings, full of scribbly pencil lines, busy up the surface and have an unfinished look: just as the boy is a work in progress, so is his world, exuberant with color and frenzied detail. … In this era of striving for parental perfection, the idea that imperfections are no reason to despair is a pretty good theme for a picture book and should be appreciated by both reader and listener alike.