Town Is by the Sea illustrated by Sydney Smith and written by Joanne Schwartz (Groundwood Books)
Town Is by the Sea brings a piece of mining history to life by showing the striking contrast between a sparkling seaside day and the darkness underground where the miners dig. It follows the story of a young boy who wakes up to the sound of the sea, visits his grandfather’s grave after lunch and comes home to a cozy dinner with his family, whilst all the while his mind strays to his father digging for coal deep down under the sea.
Canadian illustrator Sydney Smith, 38, has illustrated multiple children’s books, including The White Cat and the Monk and New York Times Children’s Book of the Year, a winner of the Governor General Award for Illustration and shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2016. He lives in Toronto, Canada.
The committee chair said: “Sydney Smith’s Town Is by the Sea skillfully balances an intimate story of a child’s world of play and wonder alongside a bigger story of a whole community and culture built around mining. Its illustrations are impressive and expansive in scope and beautifully evoke both time and place. Both winners are expertly crafted and hold interest and appeal for a range of readers of all tastes and ages.”
The Kate Greenaway Medal was established in 1955 for distinguished illustration in a book for children. Named after the popular nineteenth century artist, known for her beautiful children’s illustrations and designs, the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people.
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