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.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
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.
LOVE this book! As an art teacher there are so many ways that I can use this with my students.
I can’t wait to get back to my students this fall to share it with them. Young eyes can see things that we miss sometimes. Beautiful ideas. Beautiful illustrations.