Small in the City

Publisher: Walker Books

Review

It’s difficult being a small child in a big city. It’s noisy: taxis and cars honk their horns. Sirens wail in every direction. It can make you feel confused and overwhelmed.
Fortunately, the streetwise kid telling Sydney Smith’s atmospheric story has some advice for fellow kids negotiating a city: which alleys to use as shortcuts, and which to avoid; which trees to hide in and which houses to stand outside to hear music, be warmed by a hot air vent or even be given free fish.

Sydney Smith won the Kate Greenaway Award in 2018 for his illustration of Town Is By The Sea. Small in the City is the first book he has written and illustrated, and it’s a masterpiece of thick, blurry lines and drifting snow, framing a child’s solitary yet celebratory experience of urban life.

Starting without words, the book is reflective rather than particularly narrative; we are taken along for the ride in a potentially hostile environment that the child nonetheless has found his or her place in. At the end, he or she reminds us that when we’re tired of exploring, we can always go home. After all, home is a place of love and warmth, wherever it is.

Share this page with your friends

More books like this

Don't Hug the Pug

Author: Robin Jacobs Illustrator: Matthew Hodson

DON'T HUG THE PUG! Why not? What's wrong with the pug? We soon find out, but it's not what we think... A very simple story with lots of rhyme and silliness that's sure to get little ones shrieking and squealing (and wanting to give that cute pug a hug).

Read more about Don't Hug the Pug

Maisie’s Scrapbook

Author: Samuel Narh Illustrator: Jo Loring-Fisher

Celebrating the shared emotional experiences of different cultures, Maisie’s Scrapbook is a gentle, beautiful storybook which feels familiar and exotic at the same time: a timeless and calming treasure to share with toddlers and nursery children.

Read more about Maisie’s Scrapbook