Footpath Flowers by JonArno Lawson

Footpath Flowers

Written by JonArno Lawson
Illustrated by Sydney Smith

3+ readers   5+ readers   Picture Book Party   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2016. Words would be completely superfluous to this beautiful and poignant picture book. A little girl in a red coat walks though the city hand and hand with her father. As he shops, chats to friends and navigates the route home, her eye is caught by flowers, flashes of colour amongst streets and scenes generally depicted in monotone. She collects a bouquet, then presents her flowers to people and creatures they pass – a sleeping man, a mother and her children, a dog and a dead sparrow are all given a flower, until she has just one left. Rich in visual detail, this will open readers’ eyes to the beauty of the world we take for granted, to the delight children find in small things, and to the love between child and parent. ~ Andrea Reece


Footpath Flowers by JonArno Lawson

In this wordless, beautifully illustrated picture book from award-winning poet JonArno Lawson, a little girl collects wild flowers while her distracted father pays her - and their surroundings - little attention. Each flower the little girl gathers becomes a gift for a person or animal, and whether the gift is noticed or ignored, both giver and recipient are transformed by their encounter. An ode to the importance of small things, small people and small gestures, Footpath Flowers is a quiet but powerful testament to the joy that children can find in ordinary things and the mutual value of giving.


This beautiful, touching book looks through the eyes of a child whose innocent delight at the world brings a sense of childlike wonder into every day life. -- Alan Nolan Inis Footpath Flowers is a superb wordless book; its quiet beauty, its narrative full of unassuming grace will fill its readers with a real sense of wonder and yearning for those fleeting voiceless moments of perfection. -- Library Mice Library Mice It's a powerful reminder of the importance of appreciating our surroundings and the mutual gift of giving - two lessons which you certainly want your child to learn. -- Junior Junior Full of poignancy, this is a book to revisit and to cherish. -- Jill Bennet Red Reading Hub This is an unusual and delightful book which will give the adult and small person of five or six lots to talk about as they go through the pages. -- Newbury Weekly News Newbury Weekly News This is [a] book to look at over [and over] again - there are new discoveries every time. -- Independent Bookshop Week supplement The Guardian ...this is an anthem for kindness, for beauty in unlikely places and for the things a child seas that adults don't. -- Nicolette Jones The Sunday Times Footpath Flowers is a beautiful book that retains its simplicity whilst also conveying a powerful message. Armadillo Magazine There is a thoughtful quality to this wordless, mostly black and white picture book, the gentle story of a little girl picking wild flowers on a walk home with her father [...] There's much to discuss around this story, which has a pleasingly reflective tone and a fine-tuned feeling that all is good in the world. The Guardian another exquisite wordless book for children, conveying with simple images and colours, the importance of noticing the beauty in everyday unlikely places. Like the Man with the Violin, it is an ode to the wonder of childhood and the importance of seeing beauty in places others may not. Culture Baby

About the Author

JonArno Lawson is a Canadian award-winning poet and writer who has published several works of verse. His collections for children include Black Stars in a White Night Sky and The Man in the Moon Fixer's Mask, and for adults, Inklings and Love is an Observant Traveller. He lives in Toronto with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter as @JonArNoMore.

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Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: From 3


JonArno Lawson
More books by JonArno Lawson


Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

5th May 2016




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