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

Sydney 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)