GG Books

Winners and Finalists

Select a genre:

Sidewalk Flowers

Jury Statement

Sidewalk Flowers, with a poignant concept by JonArno Lawson and tender and evocative illustrations by Sydney Smith, is a wordless tale that is simple and complex, wistful and big-hearted. This perfect collaboration is a celebration of solitude and unnoticed acts of kindness.


Sidewalk Flowers

By JonArno Lawson et Sydney Smith

  • Book Details
  • Published by Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press
  • ISBN: 978-1-55498-431-2
JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith, Toronto, ON

JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith, Toronto, ON

Photo: Nick Wong

Who are JonArno Lawson & Sydney Smith?

JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith win their first GG award with Sidewalk Flowers (2015). In its first year, this wordless book has sold in 10 countries, in at least eight languages. 

JonArno Lawson is the author of several award-winning books of poetry for children and adults, and is a four-time winner of the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. He has been most inspired in his work by his own children, and received a Chalmers Fellowship Award in 2007 to research children’s lap and bouncing rhymes cross-culturally in different communities across Toronto. Born in Hamilton, Ontario and raised nearby in Dundas, JonArno Lawson now lives in Toronto.

Sydney Smith discovered his love of children’s illustration while studying drawing and printmaking at NSCAD University in Halifax. Some of his first experiences illustrating children’s books were for the new editions of Sheree Fitch’s older books (Mabel Murple, There Were Monkeys in My Kitchen and Toes in My Nose). He is mainly known for working with ink and watercolour but changes techniques to suit each project. Originally from Halifax, Sydney Smith currently lives in Toronto.