About this book
Town Is by the Sea
Sydney Smith • Joanne Schwartz
A young boy wakes up to the sound of the sea, visits his grandfather’s grave after lunch and comes home to a simple family dinner with his family, but all the while his mind strays to his father digging for coal deep down under the sea. Stunning illustrations by Sydney Smith, the award-winning illustrator of Sidewalk Flowers, show the striking contrast between a sparkling seaside day and the darkness underground where the miners dig.
With curriculum connections to communities and the history of mining, this beautifully understated and haunting story brings a piece of Canadian history to life. The ever-present ocean and inevitable pattern of life in a Cape Breton mining town will enthrall children and move adult readers.
About the Creators
Sydney Smith was born in rural Nova Scotia and has been drawing from an early age. Since graduating from NSCAD University, he has illustrated multiple children’s books, including the highly acclaimed wordless picture book Sidewalk Flowers, conceived by Jon Arno Lawson, which won a Governor General’s Award, was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book and has been long-listed for the Kate Greenaway Medal. He is also the illustrator of Grant and Tillie Go Walking by Monica Kulling and The White Cat and the Monk by Jo Ellen Bogart, both highly acclaimed. Sydney has received a number of other awards for his illustrations, including the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration. He now lives in Toronto and works in a shared studio space in Chinatown.
JOANNE SCHWARTZ was born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Her first picture book, Our Corner Grocery Store, illustrated by Laura Beingessner, was nominated for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. She is also the author of Pinny in Summer, illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant, and Town Is by the Sea, illustrated by Sydney Smith, which was a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book. Joanne has been a children’s librarian for more than twenty-five years. She lives in Toronto.
Awards and Praise
- Commended Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book, 2017
- Commended New York Times Notable Children’s Books, 2017
- Commended Shelf Awareness Best Books of the Year, 2017
- Short-listed CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, 2018
- Commended ALSC Notable Children's Books, 2018
- Short-listed Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award, 2018
- Commended Denver Public Library Best Children's & Teen Books, 2017
- Winner Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration, 2018
- Commended Kirkus Best Picture Books, 2017
- Commended School Library Journal Best Books, 2017