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Sydney Smith wins inaugural Sheila Barry Best Canadian Picturebook of the Year Award

An illustration by Sydney Smith of a child standing against the backdrop of trafficSydney Smith has won the first annual Sheila Barry Best Canadian Picturebook of the Year Award for Small in the City

The book, about a boy navigating his way through a busy city, is published by Groundwood Books, making it a fitting tribute to Barry, Groundwood’s late publisher and a beloved editor of Canadian kidlit.

The $2,500 award is organized by the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable. The jury – comprised of Caroline Adderson, Tonya Lowe, and Logaine Navascues – also selected three honour books from the 10-title shortlist: Pokko and the Drum by Matthew Forsythe (Simon & Schuster Canada); Me, Toma and the Concrete Garden by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Anne Villeneuve (Kids Can Press); and The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota’s Garden by Heather Smith and illustrated by Rachel Wada (Orca Book Publishers).

A virtual award ceremony is planned for November.

The full shortlist:

  • King Mouse, by Cary Fagan and Dena Seiferling, ill. (Tundra Books)
  • Birdsongby Julie Flett (Greystone Kids)
  • Pokko and the Drumby Matthew Forsythe (Simon & Schuster Canada)
  • Me, Toma and the Concrete Gardenby Andrew Larsen and Anne Villeneuve, ill. (Kids Can Press)
  • Encounter, by Brittany Luby and Michaela Goade, ill. (Tundra Books)   
  • It Began with a Pageby Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad, ill. (Tundra Books)
  • Princess Puffybottom . . . and Darryl, by Susin Nielsen and Olivia Chin Mueller, ill. (Tundra Books)
  • The House at the End of the Road, by Kari Rust (Owlkids Books)
  • The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota’s Gardenby Heather Smith and Rachel Wada, ill. (Orca Book Publishers)
  • Small in the Cityby Sydney Smith (Groundwood Books)