Sam Zuppardi says he used to draw cartoons at school when he was supposed to be doing work. Among other things, he has worked in a book warehouse, a bookstore, and a toy store, and is currently working with children. The Nowhere Box is his first picture book. He lives in England.
Zuppardi's art, done in mixed media, is the perfect complement to a
tale about young boys and imagination. His rough, sketchy style...,
bright palette and prominent use of cut, torn and colored cardboard
gives readers a kid's perspective and makes it seem as if this
truly is the siblings' story. ... George shows readers how
imagination (and a few simple household items) can transport them
to another world...and the ties that will bring them home.
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The artwork is sophisticated in its two-dimensional, contoured
comic style as well as in the materials it utilizes. ... The
discovery of the need for playing together balanced with the need
to be alone and the role of the imagination in navigating these
important social poles speaks to kids of a variety of ages
--School Library Journal
George's plight will be familiar to kids dealing with
exasperating brothers and sisters or a budding sense of
introversion, and his isolationist escapism is treated both gently
and enthusiastically. Zuppardi's untidy illustrations in acrylic
and pencil are kid-inspired with their scratchy, repeated outlines
and thick, unevenly applied coloration; cardboard is used in the
presentation of George's imagined worlds in Nowhere, giving the
pictures a rough, three-dimensional whimsy and providing a clever
nod to the box itself. George--whose red striped shirt and boxy
imagination are reminiscent of Watterson's Calvin of Calvin and
Hobbes in iconicity if not in nature--and his brothers are
little more than glorified stick figures with huge heads, yet just
a few facial details allows them to be strikingly expressive. Bound
to appeal to a wide range of kids because of its celebration of
both collaborative and solitary play, this could be used in a
storytime about siblings or imagination...
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Making his picture book debut, Zuppardi, whose exuberantly
scrawled pencil line and variegated palette is reminiscent of David
Shannon, finds a rich source of inspiration in cardboard, painting
and manipulating it to create George's pretend adventures.
Though Nowhere starts as vast blank space, once George overturns
his box, out tumble beautifully animated, page-filling
illustrations made out of painted and torn cardboard. ...
Zuppardi's expressive and playful illustrations are a delight to
[A]n invigorating tribute to the power of a child's imagination.
... Zuppardi's loose, energetic lines and primarily full-bleed
spreads bring us George's highs and lows -- his manic glee in
escaping his siblings and, when the book opens, his despair at
their intrusions. There's a certain level of hyperbole at work here
that is very funny.
--BookPage Children's Corner
There are countless children's books about the power of the
imagination, but few are as pitch- perfect as The Nowhere
Box. There are several pages that stop the reader dead in
his or her tracks as Zuppardi's illustrations pour over the
--The Atlantic Wire
The natural cycle of an older brother's exasperation, longing
for solitude and eventual return to the cheery noise of his
brothers plays out in a funny fashion in Sam Zuppardi's 'The
Nowhere Box'... The young reader will cheer for George but also
feel a pang for the boys he left behind. ... [An] exuberantly
illustrated picture book.
--The Wall Street Journal