May 18, 2020
Sydney Smith was born in rural Nova Scotia and started drawing at an early age. Since graduating from NSCAD University, he has illustrated numerous children’s books, including the highly acclaimed wordless picture book Sidewalk Flowers, conceived by Jon Arno Lawson. It won a Governor General’s Award, among many other honours, and was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book. Sydney is also the illustrator of Town Is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, for which he was awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal, and which won the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Prize.
Small in the City is the first picture book that Sydney has both written and illustrated. It is the winner of
The Ezra Jack Keats Award for Writer!
A New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Book of the Year
An ALA Notable Children’s Book
A Capitol Choices Noteworthy Title
and Canada's Governor General's Literary Award. I met Sydney in Ottawa after he'd received his award. We talk about a short poem by G.K. Chesterton; Randolf Caldecott, passing shadows, counterpoint, Maurice Sendak, the relationship between illustrator and author; Alligator Pie, Dennis Lee and Frank Newfeld; safe places to process complex emotions; Neal Porter; and sharing excitement.