Official Website of
Welcome! You’ve come to the right site if you share my fascination with books, ideas, and stories based on truth. My award-winning books hold a touch of fun, a bit of wisdom and the belief that history is an honest platform for drama and insights. Explorers like us can delight in treasures from the past that color our daily lives with new understanding.
I am a teacher-librarian, lecturer, presenter and researcher whose work has been published in children’s books and adult magazines in Canada and the U.S. I have received the following awards:
· Frances E. Russel Award for research in children’s literature
· The Toronto Heritage Award of Merit
· Storytelling World Award of Merit
· The Our Choice Seal, Canadian Children’s Book Centre
My popular presentation, Women of Past Centuries has appealed to both adults and children. Held at schools, libraries and numerous museums, it sheds light on women’s struggles for equality that began in the 1800s and continues to this day.
My writing workshops guide children and adults through Tricks of the Trade, an interactive program developed and tested at the Young Authors sessions at McGill University and the continuing education classes for adults in Toronto.
My latest power-point presentation The Canary in the Coal Mine is based on years of love and inquiry into the ‘longest hatred,’ depicting how and why Jew-hatred developed. Prepare yourself to be surprised and enlightened by how the repetitive tropes of Antisemitism relate to other racisms. Colorful slides help young, and old alike, navigate our changing world with greater ease and comprehension.
Awarded the Our Choice Seal from the Canadian Children’s Book Centre
My Mannequins brings alive the bustling Canadian garment industry of the 1940s. This delightful dream-come-true story is enhanced by authentic illustrations. A postscript delicately introduces the often-forgotten Antisemitism that Jewish immigrants experienced.
“My Mannequins combines history with the story of a young girl’s dreams….can be used with Social Studies lessons…[or] in a unit on family. Dora is a desired and much-needed model for the youth of today.”
Resource Links Volume Six Number 4
The Rooster Prince
Awarded the Honor of World Storytelling as one of the best stories for story-tellers.
This rollicking tale is based on a great Rabbi’s teachings. The Jewish Book Fair in Toronto presented a musical based on this book as a featured performance.
Believing in Books
Awarded the Frances E. Russel Award for research in children’s literature. Our Choice Seal from the Canadian Children’s Book Centre
“The Story of Lillian Smith is the true story of a remarkable woman…who became the first children’s librarian in the British Empire. Lillian Smith’s pioneer work …is retold with admiration by Sydell Waxman…in this magical and engaging book.”
Midwest Book Review, U.S.
Changing the pattern
Awarded the Toronto Heritage Award of Merit and the Our Choice Seal from the Canadian Children’s Book Centre “Book is truly wonderful! Status of Women Canada
When Emily Stowe became Canada’s first female physician, women were not allowed to attend university. So, how did she do it?
“A fine job… I especially like having each page illustrated with a photo, drawing or side text, promoting a better understanding of women’s history.”
National Women’s History Project
CBC Radio Program
This Morning Tonight
Kids Book Panel
I found this a charming picture book for middle readers…It gives the flavor of a child’s own creativity, her delight in being part of the working world of her family. I think this Dad is very realistic.
Quill and Quire
Sydell Waxman’s charming retelling of this old parable has many satisfying elements for the young reader: the problem (a prince who pecks and crows like a rooster) is delightfully absurd, the tension…is deliciously dangerous, and the hero is an ordinary child who outsmarts the adults. Waxman skillfully integrates explanations of terms… into the narrative.
The Sunday Star
“At the heart of Waxman’s story [Believing In Books] is Smith’s passionate, innovative approach to sharing books with children…Smith’s life is inspiring for children, and for adults who care about children’s learning…this is a spirited, fascinating tribute.”