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Sidewalk Flowers
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Sidewalk Flowers
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Winner 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...
Winner 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...
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Description-

  • Winner 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.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • A four-time winner of the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Children's Poetry, JonArno Lawson is the author of numerous books for children and adults. He lives in Toronto with his wife and three children.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 12, 2015
    A girl in a hooded red coat walks through the city with her father. He leads her home in silence, leaving her to contemplate the world. She spots flowers growing out of sidewalk cracks. Closing her eyes and sniffing each one, she accumulates a handful, then decides they should be given away. Viewers don’t see what the girl does; instead, they see the results of her work. A dead sparrow on the sidewalk is left with a reverent bouquet on its chest, the gray scene around it flashing into full color. A man sleeping on a bench gets a couple, as does a dog’s collar, and when the girl arrives home, the girl’s mother and siblings receive a scattering of blossoms, too. When viewers last see the girl, she still has one flower, and she’s still walking.
    If not for Smith’s (Music Is for Everyone) intelligent ink-and-wash panels, his calligraphic pen line, and his delight in sun and shadow, Lawson’s (Think Again) wordless story might have been mawkish. Instead, it’s a reminder that what looks like play can sometimes be a sacrament. Ages 4–7.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from January 15, 2015
    A child in a red hoodie and a man on a cellphone navigate an urban landscape, the child picking flowers from cracks and crannies along the way.Best known for his nonsense verse, Lawson here provides a poignant, wordless storyline, interpreted by Smith in sequential panels. The opening spread presents the child and (probably) dad walking in a gray urban neighborhood. The child's hoodie is the only spot of color against the gray wash-except for the dandelions growing next to a sidewalk tree, begging to be picked. The rest of their walk proceeds in similar fashion, occasional hints of color (a fruit stand, glass bottles in a window) joining the child and the flowers she (judging by the haircut) plucks from cracks in the concrete. Smith's control of both color and perspective is superb, supporting a beautifully nuanced emotional tone. Though the streets are gray, they are not hostile, and though dad is on the cellphone, he also holds the child's hand and never exhibits impatience as she stops. Once the child has collected a bouquet, she shares it, placing a few flowers on a dead bird, next to a man sleeping on a bench, in a friendly dog's collar. As child and dad draw closer to home, color spreads across the pages; there is no narrative climax beyond readers' sharing of the child's quiet sense of wonder. Bracketed by beautiful endpapers, this ode to everyday beauty sings sweetly. (Picture book. 4-7)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from February 1, 2015

    K-Gr 3-An emotionally moving, visually delightful ode to the simple powers of observation and empathy. A young girl and her father walk home from the grocery store through busy city streets in this wordless picture book. Along the way, Dad is preoccupied-talking on his cell phone, moving with purpose, eyes forward-while his daughter, a bright spot of red in a mostly black-and-white world, gazes with curiosity at the sights around her. In graphic novel-style panels, readers see what she sees: colorful weeds and wildflowers springing up from cracks in the pavement. She begins to collect these "sidewalk flowers" as they make their way past shops, across bustling avenues, and through a city park. Halfway through their journey, the little girl surreptitiously begins giving pieces of her bouquet away: a dandelion and some daffodils to a dead bird on a pathway; a sprig of lilac to an older man sleeping on a bench; daisies in the hair of her mother and siblings. With each not-so-random act of kindness, the scenes fill with more and more color, until the pen-and-ink drawings are awash in watercolor, her world now fully alive and vibrant. With pitch-perfect visual pacing, the narrative unfolds slowly, matched by the protagonist's own leisurely appreciation of her environment. Smith expertly varies perspective, switching from bird's-eye view to tightly focused close-ups. The panel format is used exquisitely; the individual choices are purposeful, and the spaces between panels effectively move the story. VERDICT This is a book to savor slowly and then revisit again and again.-Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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  • Booklist

    Starred review from March 15, 2015
    Preschool-G *Starred Review* A little girl in a red hooded jacket is walking with her dad on a gray street, but once she spots some dandelions growing out of a crack in the sidewalk, she starts to see wildflowers all over. Each time she notices some flowers, her father waits as she expands her bouquet. Now with a fistful of treasures, the girl decides to spread the cheer around. She places a few stems on a dead bird in the park, leaves some at the foot of a napping man, nestles a few in a dog's collar, weaves several into her mom's hair, and balances a few more atop her brother's head before tucking the last one behind her ear. Smith expertly lays out the heartening narrative in wordless panels full of loose yet expressive ink-and-watercolor illustrations that subtly and lovingly capture the little girl's joyful, breezy discovery of the wealth of color and nature around her. At first, the girl is the only speck of color in a world of inky black washes, but as she begins to notice flowers and birds all over town, Smith fills in her environment with rich and varied hues. A quiet, graceful book about the perspective-changing wonder of humble, everyday pleasures.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

  • School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW An emotionally moving, visually delightful ode to the simple powers of observation and empathy. . . . A book to savor slowly and then revisit again and again.

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    Groundwood Books Ltd
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