It can be a little scary to be small in a big city, but this child has some good advice for a very special friend in need.
Winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award
A New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Book of the Year
Winner of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal
It can be a little scary to be small in a big city, but it helps to know you're not alone.
When you're small in the city, people don't see you, and loud sounds can scare you, and knowing what to do is sometimes hard. But this little kid knows what it's like, and knows the neighborhood. And a little friendly advice can go a long way.
Alleys can be good shortcuts, but some are too dark.
Or, there are lots of good hiding places in the city, like under a mulberry bush or up a walnut tree.
And, if the city gets to be too much, you're always welcome home, where it's safe and quiet.
In the first book that he has both written and illustrated, award-winning artist Sydney Smith spins a quiet, contemplative tale about seeing a big world through little eyes.
Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award
An ALA Notable Children's Book
A New York Times Best Children's Book
A Wall Street Journal Best Children's Book of the Year
An NPR Best Kids Book of the Year
A Capitol Choices Noteworthy Title
A Washington Post Best Children's Book of the Year
A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Best Picture Book of the Year
Named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, the Horn Book, Shelf Awareness, and many more!
A Booklist Editors' Choice
A BCCB Blue Ribbon Book
Winner of the German Youth Literature Prize
In his solo debut, Smith (Town Is by the Sea) follows a bundled-up child walking in winter amid tall buildings, traffic, and telephone poles. "I know what it's like to be small in the city," the narration begins. As it continues, readers slowly realize that the child is addressing someone in particular. Snow starts to swirl, and the child begins to offer advice: watch out for big dogs; a dryer vent might be a good place for a nap ("you could curl up below it"). The winter wind whips, and snow swirls faster. The child bends over a knapsack for a pink sheet of paper; "LOST," it reads, over a picture of a cat. (A look back reveals the posters affixed all over town.) "If you want," the child says, in words readers now understand are directed at the lost feline, "you could just come back." Smith's understated portrait of longing for the return of a beloved family member takes readers on a quiet but powerful emotional journey, one whose intensity Smith tracks visually as the winter storm becomes a blizzard and the driving wind makes it nearly impossible to see until, just as suddenly, it lifts. The story's spotlight is not on the loss of the pet, or on its return, but on the state of suspension in between a mixture of grief, resignation, and patient waiting and the independent child narrator's loving regard for the animal as an autonomous being. Ages 4 8.