Home » Book » SIDEWALK FLOWERS by JonArno Lawson


Groundwood Logos Spine

Illustrator — Sydney Smith

A wordless picture book

A beautiful book for pondering the depths of gentleness, kindness, compassion

A little girl walks hand-in-hand with her father along city streets, waiting at a bus stop, and through a city park.  Along the way, she pauses to pick up volunteer flowers that are growing in sidewalk cracks, in walls, and in other spots.

The flowers, held tenderly in her hand, become gifts to the small, the lonely, the forgotten, the unseen, and the loved.  Her simple, sweet presents remind me of the humble, the innocent, and those who give love unconditionally.

The illustrations are done in sepia tones with black ink while the girl is wearing a red hooded jacket.  The closer she gets to home and the more flowers she sweetly gives, the more color appears on each successive page.  Sydney Smith uses pen, ink, watercolors, with digital editing.  The illustrations are perfect for this tale involving the reader’s eyes and heart.

This book has been printed in 10 countries and 8 different languages, having won awards in both the English and the French versions.

Age Range:  4 – 7 Years


In 2015, the French edition  won the Prix Libbylit in Belgium for best picture book.

Won the Governor General’s Award for Literary Merit/Illustrated Children’s Books in 2015, English

The New York Times Best Illustrated Books List

International Board on Books for Young People’s (IBBY) 2016 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award

Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year

Goodreads Choice Awards Best Picture Books


JonArno Lawson has a BA in English Literature from McGill University.  He is the author of thirteen books for children and adults. He has given a large number of workshops in children’s poetry, and taught children’s poetry in the Master of Arts in Children’s Literature Program at Simmons College, Boston, and at iSchool at UBC.  He is a four-time winner of the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Children’s Poetry. He lives in Toronto with his wife and three children.   He can be found @ http://jonarnolawson.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html


Sydney Smith was born in rural Nova Scotia, and has been drawing since he was quite young. While attending NSCAD University, in Halifax, studying drawing and printmaking, he began to realize he enjoyed illustrating children’s books.  It allowed more freedom for creativity.  He has illustrated a number of children’s books.  He has won awards for a number of the books as illustrator, including an IBBY award for Sidewalk Flowers.  He now lives in Toronto and works in a shared studio space in Chinatown “and goes to the library or the Art Gallery of Ontario on his breaks.”  He can be found @ http://www.sydneydraws.ca/


Book Information:
ISBN-13: 9781554984312
Publisher:  Groundwood Books
Publication date: 03/17/2015
Pages: 32
Product dimensions:  8.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

8 thoughts on “SIDEWALK FLOWERS by JonArno Lawson

  1. I just went over and had a ‘look inside’ on amazon, it’s such a good book!!! Will make a wonderful gift! Brought a smile on my face. Thanks so much for sharing!



    • Cool! I love this book and seem to be so drawn to wordless books. They allow me to be a child without reading some else’s words. This one is so special because of the precious story it tells. You will love it and glad you did a “look inside.”


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