May 19, 2016 Neil Wadhwa

The Important Landmarks of Sidewalk Flowers

In Sidewalk Flowers, a little girl collects wildflowers while her distracted father pays her little attention. Each flower becomes a gift, and whether the gift is noticed or ignored, both giver and recipient are transformed by their encounter. “Written” by award-winning poet JonArno Lawson and brought to life by illustrator Sydney Smith, Sidewalk Flowers is an ode to the importance of small things, small people and small gestures.

In The Horn Book Magazine‘s May/June 2016 Special Issue on Collaborations, Sydney Smith has illustrated a full-page spread on The Important Landmarks of Sidewalk Flowers — landmarks that include The Art Gallery of Ontario, JonArno Lawson’s home, and “the rusty train bridge.” The map itself is a collaborative piece on collaboration; the map was evolved and thought through by both Sydney and JonArno Lawson together, though the final illustration was done by Sydney.

Click on the image below to expand the illustration and view the landmarks — how many have you been to or walked by?

Sidewalk Flowers published by Groundwood Books


Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney SmithWinner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustrated Book

A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year

In this wordless picture book, a little girl collects wildflowers while her distracted father pays her little attention. Each flower becomes a gift, and whether the gift is noticed or ignored, both giver and recipient are transformed by their encounter.

“Written” by award-winning poet JonArno Lawson and brought to life by illustrator Sydney Smith, Sidewalk Flowers is an ode to the importance of small things, small people and small gestures.

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