Town Is by the Sea Books Groundwood Books | Alder & Alouette

Town Is by the Sea

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A young boy wakes up to the sound of the sea, visits his grandfather's grave after lunch and comes home to a simple family dinner, but all the while his mind strays to his father digging for coal deep down under the sea. Stunning illustrations by Sydney Smith, the award-winning illustrator of Sidewalk Flowers, show the striking contrast between a sparkling seaside day and the darkness underground where the miners dig.  

With curriculum connections to communities and the history of mining, this beautifully understated and haunting story brings a piece of history to life. The ever-present ocean and inevitable pattern of life in a maritime mining town will enthrall children and move adult readers.



  • Written by Joanne Schwartz and illustrated by Sydney Smith.
  • Published by Groundwood Books, April 11, 2017.
  • Ages 5 to 9 years.
  • 0.6" H x 8.3" L x 11.0" W (1.15 lbs) 52 pages
  • Hardcover