Book review: Sidewalk Flowers; 5 out of 5 stars #bookaday

Sidewalk Flowers book coverby JonArno Lawson; illustrated by Sydney Smith
Wordless picture book
Interest level: K-3
5 out of 5 stars

I was incredibly moved by the beautiful message in this wordless picture book. Through the strategic use of color, JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith tell the story of a young child, walking with her father through a big city, who recognizes the beauty in her surroundings. Collecting sidewalk flowers as she goes, and sharing them with those around her, she spreads beauty and joy as she goes. This book is a reminder to appreciate beauty around you, as well as to spread joy whenever possible.

SCAN0033My favorite illustration shows a group of people waiting for the bus. All but one are black and white characters that are gazing vacantly into space. One person is reading a book, and while her exterior, symbolized by her coat, is black and white and inaccessible like those around her, her interior, shown in her dress, is colorful and alive. Just a little reminder about the beauty and imagination found in books!

A good book to pair this with would be Wait by Antoinette Portis. Both stories are a reminder that children see things in the world that adults overlook.

I was fascinated by the note on the back cover of the book that talks about how the story was conceived by poet JonArno Lawson. I love that a poet had the idea for this story, but felt a wordless book would be the way to express the idea.

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