Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson
Illustrations by Sydney Smith
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Release Date: March 17, 2015
In this wordless picture book, a little girl collects flowers while her distracted father pays her little attention. Each flower becomes a gift, and whether the gift is noticed or ignored, both giver and recipient are transformed by their encounter.
Another beautiful book for the wordless picture book category, Sidewalk Flowers is about finding beauty and kindness. It is so easy for grownups to only see their endpoint, walking quickly here and there, forgetting or not willing to stop and look at the flowers once in a while. It reminds me of the book The Phantom Tollbooth when Milo comes upon a city that is invisible because the residents quit looking at it and eventually it just faded away into nothing. It was this story that stuck with me when I moved to Boston. I didn't want to miss anything, allowing the city to fade into nothing but errands and work. This book is saying the same thing. I also love that the child is collecting because there is some driving need in her to be generous and kind. A flower for the lady in the taxi. One for the dead bird on the sidewalk.