Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Elina Hirvonen 2016: Näkymätön
illustrated by Ville Tietäväinen

Captain cannot sleep, her real name is Flower, but she wants everyone call her Captain.  She wants to be an astronaut. At the moment she leads the Space Dudes, who can save the universe from Bad Guys.

Usually she falls asleep easily, but now she is thing about day care tomorrow. If she wishes hard enough, could everything be totally different?

In the morning she departs with the Space Dudes and finishes her porrige and gets dressed real fast. Mother is surprised and Captain says the day care kids have to be brave and fast. She decides Everything Changes Now.

Captain asks the Space Dudes to fix the situation.

Mom leaves her in the day care and Captain smile. If she smiles enough everything will be fine. But the other kids don't want to play with Captain.  The other girls turn their backs on her and boys tell her, they don't want to play with girls.  Captain swings hard when the others play together.

When Mom picks her up and ask did she have a good day, Captain smiles and lies, yes. Together with her Mom and Dad Captain go swimming and visits the library. For supper they have pan cakes, but Captain belly hurts as if someone is pressing it with a stone. In the evening she repeats the days events. In the morning her belly still hurts. Mom doesn't listen, she is in a hurry. The Space Dudes have vanished too. Captain tries not to cry, not now, when the other kids can see. Again she plays alone and in the night she has nightmares.

In the morning Mom and Dad want to talk to her. Captain cannot tell them, they will only be upset and what if her parents find out there is something wrong with her. Then no one will like her. Her mother takes her to the day care and talks with the day care manager.  After nap time there is a sign: "Everyone is welcome to play".  The grownups ask kids to a ring and ask them what happens when they fall with their bikes. The kids know: it hurts.  Then the grown ups ask, how does it feel, when you are left outside of play. It hurts too and there is no band aid for it.

Later the teacher asks Captain, what she would like to play. She says she is good at space. She starts to build a space station and a curly headed boy builds a rocket in it. A girl decorates is with leaves and sticks. When Mom comes to pick Captain, she does not want to leave.

This is a very current book: everyone should be let to play. In adult world that means that everyone should be at least tolerated. This book almost makes me cry, which is a bad thing, because this is an important issue and should be read. As parents we often are so proud, when our kids read well and can calculate difficult mathematical equations. When can we say we are proud that our kids are the social wizards: they get along with every one and that they never hurt anybody?

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