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

Vote for the Crystal Kite Award

Two of my books – The Nowhere Box and The-Tell Tale Start – have been entered for the annual Crystal Kite Award, run by and for members of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.  Admittedly I didn’t have to do much to qualify, other than get published last year. Nonetheless, if you’re a member of SCBWI and you fancy casting your vote in support of either book (and yes, other books are also available) then follow this link. The first round of voting closes on Friday so do hurry…

And to tug at your heartstrings here’s a really sweet photo I was sent today of a boy called Alex, who was given a copy of The Nowhere Box recently, as well as a real box of his very own. He’s definitely going places. Thank you for sending this in!

The Nowhere Box

The Superman Leap

The Superman Leap, a pivotal moment in the life of most small children, is that poignant moment when a small child realises there are some things they will never attain; the moment when they realise their vision may exceed their abilities and that things they thought they could do prove sadly unachievable.

In literal terms the child launches itself off some domestic ledge or precipice in the unconscious belief that a) they are invincible b) they will fly.  Coming painfully back to earth, both literally and symbolically, the resultant injuries serve as a stark reminder that some things just cannot be. It is a moment that sees the world of the child shrink – slightly but profoundly and irrevocably – as the fantastical makes way for the actual. A fundamental and hugely disappointing readjustment to reality must be made, one which is no less shocking for its inevitability. The child must come to terms with what is, and not what it can imagine being so. It must negotiate this human frailty for the rest of its life.

A child rarely makes a true Superman Leap twice.

I recently had the privilege of witnessing a Superman Leap in all its glory – off the edge of a green sofa – and felt it necessary to document the moment in the interests of future scientific research into child development and infantile neurology, to which areas I trust my discovery will be of some value. I attach a diagram below.

Superman Leap




One More Post from The Museum of Childhood

The third and final instalment from the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh. This week – a couple of glum dolls.

Sad Sack Doll


This one was so odd, it wasn’t clear what he was supposed to be, and he had this expression of total bewilderment, as if surprised at how he’d turned out – perhaps wondering if he was exactly what had been intended. 


elephant doll


There was something really settled and comfortable about this elephant, like it had flopped into place and would not be moving any time soon. The kind of going-nowhere position you only really get to adopt on Sunday afternoons. It was a shame it didn’t look happier though.