Friday, September 11, 2015

Otso and the toe eaters

Anja Portin 2015: Otso ja varpaansyöjät
illustrations by Timo Mänttäri

Otso is staying at his grandmothers and they have fish for dinner. Grandma tells Otso about the food chain: a krill eats plankton, a herring eats krill, a cod eats herring and human eats cod.

This starts to bother Otso: what will eat him? He tries to apply this theory: a bug that will be eaten by his soft toy, which then will be eaten by Grandma's cat. Then Otso will eat the cat and Grandma will eat Otso. Because Grandma's must be at the top of the food chain. Grandma laughs at him and the bug runs away and the cat couldn't care less.

Otso starts to imagine the creatures that will come and eat him.  Do they have bellybuttons? Will they use knife and fork? He can't sleep. Back at home dad reminds him about his name: Otso is a nickname to bear. That relieves Otso and he no longer is scared.

I guess it is universal that kids are afraid of bogeymen. And usually the fear is triggered by the strangest things.  I like the illustrations of this book and how Grandma's house really looks like Grandma's house.

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