Sydney Smith

Sydney Smith is an award-winning Canadian illustrator and author. He was born in rural Nova Scotia and started drawing at an early age. Since graduating from NSCAD University, he has illustrated multiple children’s books, including Town Is by the Sea, the winner of the 2017 Kate Greenaway Medal, The White Cat and the Monk, written by Jo Ellen Bogart, and the acclaimed Footpath Flowers, which was a New York Times Children’s Book of the Year and a winner of the Governor General Award for Illustration.

He uses many different media to create his beautifully evocative, painterly illustrations. He's interested in the pace and flow of picture books, using his artwork to create space and moments to digest what is happening in the story, even when the text might be saying something else. "You can create so much with illustrations beyond just the pictures of the text."

His most recent book, Small in the City was inspired by his experience of living in Toronto, and has been shortlisted for the 2021 Kate Greenaway Medal.

  • Winner of the 2018 Kate Greenaway Medal
  • Winner of the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award 2018
  • New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year 2015
  • Winner of the Kate Greenaway Award 2021

Praise for Town is By the Sea

Sydney Smith’s profoundly beautiful, evocative illustrations are breathtaking and perfectly in harmony with Schwartz’s lyrical text... picture books don’t get much better than this one.

Books for Keeps


Take a little tour of Sydney's studio, and watch him paint a picture

What's been happening with Sydney Smith?