Born in rural Nova Scotia.
He graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University and subsequently moved to Toronto, about 2013. He and his family returned to Halifax in 2019, in order to be closer to the larger family although it was not without some reservation. As Sydney said in his interview with Bernie: “What I will miss most is the community here in Toronto – the illustrators, editors, publishers. You get to share things with each other and you feel like you’re part of something big here – like we’re all doing something important.”
Conceived by poet JonArno Lawson, Sidewalk Flowers is an interesting story told entirely in pictures without words. It won the Governor General’s Award for both JonArno and Sydney and was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book both in 2015. Sydney was awarded the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award for illustration.
Town Is by the Sea, received the United Kingdom’s Kate Greenway Medal for illustration. This book is the story of a boy whose father is a Cape Breton coal miner. Bernie Goedhart says of his illustrations: “Smith’s illustrations are stunning. He knows the area and manages to capture the light on the water, as well as the oppressive darkness of the mine.”
Inkling is a delightful fantasy story about a boy illustrating a graphic novel for a school project and his relationship with a blob of ink which helps him. The story also includes an underlying criticism of the comic book industry.
Small In The City was the first book Sydney both wrote and illustrated. He dedicated it to Shelia Barry his editor who died while this book was in progress.
BOOK TEXT & GRAPHIC:
Content novel & Cover book front & back:
Inkling, Writ., Kenneth Oppel. Harper Collins Publishers Ltd. 2018.
Content story & Cover book front & back:
Sidewalk Flowers. Writ., JonArno Lawson. Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2015.
Content story & Cover book & dust jacket wrap around:
Town Is by the Sea. Writ., Joanne Schwartz. Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2017.
WRITER & ILLUSTRATOR:
Content story & Cover book front:
Small In The City. Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2019.
Article, book dust jacket flap:
Town Is by the Sea. Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2017.
“A Child’s-eye View.” Writ., Bernie Goedhart. The Expositor [Brantford], 31 Aug. 2019: D1.
Image from front cover of Street Flowers, 2015.
Town Is by the Sea. 2017: Dust jacket front.