Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson, illustrated by Sydney Smith

This has become one of my favourite picture books of all time.

The concept is incredibly poignant. Based on an actual walk the author JonArno had with his daughter.

This is a great picture book for working mums and dads to share with their little ones, although the grown-ups might be the ones learning a lesson.

Father and daughter walk through the streets on their way home from somewhere. The city is grey and drab to the father; he is too worried by adult life, too preoccupied and anxious to notice what his daughter is doing.

Care-free, she collects flowering weeds that are sprouting out of the cracks of concrete: pineapple weed, dandelion, clover and vetch. As she decorates a hat, a dogs collar and gives flowers to people the world begins to come to life with splashes of colour.

The illustrations by Sydney Smith are incredible, somewhat cinematic in style. I like to think of it as the storyboard of an old man’s memory. It is a remarkable wordless picture book, which serves as an important reminder to not let go of that inner child within us all.

It will leave you thinking about it long after you close its cover.

Published by Groundwood Books

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Follow JonAron & Sydney on Twitter also.

Check out Sydney’s website to see his portfolio of work. A fantastic talent!

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