Mar. 17, 2021

Zippy's Special Gift

Join me for this tour from Mar 15 to Apr 9, 2021!

Zippy's Special Gift by Therese Van Ryne

Category: Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7), 38 pages

Genre: Children's Picture Book

Publisher: Mascot Books

Book Description:

Zippy the Zebra doesn't like her stripes. She doesn't want to stand out! Follow Zippy as she embarks upon a thrilling adventure with her animal friends that helps her realize everyone is perfect just the way they are. Profits from the sales of Zippy's Special Gift will be donated to one of Zebra Technologies strategic charitable partners, Bernies Book Bank, a non-profit organization that changes the story for under-served children and helps them read their way to a better life! Learn more at

Book links:

Meet the Author:

Zippy’s Special Gift is Van Ryne’s debut children’s book. She currently serves as the Global Director of PR, Thought Leadership and Advocacy for Zebra Technologies. One of PR News’ 2019 Top Women in PR, Van Ryne also has experience as a journalist, editor and producer, reporting nightly from Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

connect with the author: instagram ~ facebook ~ goodreads

Author Interview:

What inspired you to write a book about Zippy the Zebra?
I lead Public Relations and Philanthropy for Zebra Technologies, and our company mascot is Zippy the Zebra. It was natural to make her the lead character of “Zippy’s Special Gift”. Zippy has come to life as an adorable miniature stuffed animal that many employees enjoy displaying on their desks at work and in their homes. We have even had employees take Zippy with them on different trips to various parts of the world, and we enjoy sharing photos displaying Zippy’s adventures. Showcasing her in this book has been another amazing adventure!

What is the key message of the book? 
The key message of “Zippy’s Special Gift” is that we all have unique characteristics that make us different. We should consider these our special gifts! We have an opportunity to celebrate our differences every day and create a sense of belonging for those around us by recognizing what makes them unique too. This is a great message for people of all ages, especially young readers to help develop their self-confidence as they discover what makes them unique and special.

Why did you select Bernie’s Book Bank to receive the profits from the sales of Zippy’s Special Gift?
In my role as the global lead of Public Relations and Philanthropy for Zebra Technologies, I have the pleasure of working with Bernie’s Book Bank as it is one of our key strategic charitable partners. Zebra and Bernie’s Book Bank share a vision of promoting literacy for children of all ages and backgrounds. By connecting books with those who need them, Bernie’s Book Bank is “changing the story” for children to help them read their way to a better life!

What was the biggest surprise you had when publishing this book?
The biggest surprise I had was the amazing people who work in the book publishing industry. From writers to illustrators to publishers to promoters, reviewers, and bloggers, it is truly a world of amazing people who come together to celebrate books! They truly understand the value that reading brings to the world as a tool to educate, entertain and even escape. I have an incredible amount of respect for those who work in this field, and I’m excited to now be a part of it!

What’s your favorite quote? 
My favorite quote shared with me by one of my mentors is “Aim for progressive performance versus postponed perfection!” So many of us wait to pursue our dreams until everything is just right. It is important to keep moving forward to achieve your goals because tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone. Writing a children’s book has been on my bucket list for years. I finally put fingers to my keyboard last year to bring “Zippy’s Special Gift” to life, and now I’m progressing to check more boxes on my list!

You mentioned your work for Zebra Technologies. What does Zebra Technologies do?
Zebra Technologies is a global company based in Lincolnshire, Illinois, and the company brings a performance edge to the front line of business in retail/eCommerce, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, healthcare, and the public sector. Zebra's solutions elevate the shopping experience, track and manage inventory as well as improve supply chain efficiency and patient care. This year marks Zebra’s fifth year on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers, and you can check us out at

Book Review:

Zippy's Special Gift educates children that we are all beautiful individuals that should appreciate who we are as a person.

We all have different traits and gifts; that we might not be so satisfied with. Regardless, we SHOULD be proud of ourselves.

I would know because I spent most of my life (and I know others have too) thinking I was uglier than I actually was. It damaged my mental health, growing up and it made me feel insecure about my body.

It's never too late or early to speak up and tell kids that it's okay to feel the way that they're feeling. It's especially important to bring a spotlight on the message of why and how you can love yourself.

This picture book is a great example of that message and children will love learning about Zippy's journey to finding herself!

All in all, I highly recommend this one.