A SCHOOLBOY who began drawing for charity is to become an internationally published artist after a Brazilian firm agreed to print his work.
Jack Henderson, seven, started drawing pictures last year in exchange for charity donations to the Sick Kids hospital, where his little brother, Noah, two, receives regular treatment for bronchiolitis.
The response was so great that, after only two weeks, Jack’s parents, Ed and Rose, had to halt online commissions as the hundreds already received threatened to overwhelm them.
The drawings have since raised more than £30,000 for children’s art activities at the Sick Kids.
But interest in Jack’s work has continued to grow and, last year, UK publishing giant Hodder printed the drawings in a book, Jack Draws Anything, which has already sold thousands of copies.
Now Jack’s fan base is set to go global with plans by a publisher to release the book in Brazil in May.
The family, who live with their three sons in Prestonpans, East Lothian, admitted they only found out about the publication through the internet.
“From the beginning, Jack had lots of fans in Brazil,” said Rose, 35. “Then BBC Brazil picked up on it and decided to run a news article which was on their website in September last year. Things just sort of went nuts from there.”
Rose said she and Ed, 36, a website developer, had discussed the possibility of a Brazil release with staff at Hodder but that no firm plans had emerged.
Then, last month, the family discovered an online reference to the release of a Brazilian version of Jack Draws Anything.
“We had an internet alert system set up so that anything referring to Jack would show,” said Rose. “A couple of weeks ago we picked up something in Portuguese.
“We got it translated and discovered that a publisher in Brazil was telling people to look out for Jack’s book.
“We managed to contact them and found out they were going to publish a book which we knew absolutely nothing about.”
The international appeal of Jack’s drawings is so strong that there are already plans to publish the book in South Korea. And Ed said Jack had also picked up scores of fans in Taiwan.
He added: “It’s been weird – I have been in the middle of what happened with getting the website and Facebook page set up, and the commissions organised. But to put yourself outside it – it just seems a bit silly, unbelievable.
“Jack has no concept of what it is he’s done, or what £30,000 is worth in real terms. But it’s good that something he really likes doing will benefit so many other kids.”
Jack said he was “really excited” that his drawings would be published in a country on the other side of the world.
He added: “I think so many people like them because I am a kid and they have never seen a kid drawing that many pictures before.”