Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Histamiini marionette horse

Raili Mikkanen

Histamiini is a marionette horse. He has many friends: Stable cat, Titiina (a girl marionette horse), stable elf Tonttu Rämäkkä and a witch Anelma Unelma.

Histamiini was first introduced in a tv:s chrismas calendar. TV Christmas calendar comes every day from December 1st until December 24th. The story continues every day.

Histamiini appeared in Christmas calendar twice: 1980 and 1985. In the 1985 episodes Titiina has run away from the circus and does not want to go back. In the episodes are shown also short traditional stories.

Histamiini finds a diamond

Later came two tv-movies:
 Histamiini and Pirpo (1985)
Odd things happen at the stables: mouse’s tail is missing and Titiina loses her spot. Histamiini becomes a detectivehorse with a foal Pirpo.

and Histamiini and the mermaid’s treasure (1989)
Histamiini is recruited to a ship. Along comes Cat, Titiina and Grandmother. Soon they learn that Mermaid has lost her valuable perl. She needs it, so the King of the seas Ahti will marry her. HIstamiini starts looking for the pearl.

Histamiini's sktitrip
Raili Mikkanen wrote several other books about Histamiini:
Illustrated by Masa Pulkkinen:
Histamiini hukassa 1982
Histamiinin hiihtoretki 1983
Histamiini merellä 1984
Histamiini ratsupoliisina 1985
Histamiini löytää timantin 1986
Histamiinista tulee kummi 1988

Histemiini, Chirstmashero

Easy to read books for young readers illustrated by Jukka Lemmetty:
Histamiini, joulun sankari 2001
Histamiini rakentaa lautan 2003
Ystävämme Histamiini 2004
Histamiini Eteläluodolla 2007
Histamiini ja Koni Alakulo 2010
Histamiini luolaseikkailu 2012

Histamiini and Koni Alakulo (Nag Melancholy)

Histamiini's cave adventure

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Mickwitz, Camilla:
Jason (1975), Jason's summer (1976),
Jason moves out of the country (1978),
Jason and the angry aunt (1982).

Jason is a small boy, who lives with his mother, Kaarina. His mother works hard in a factory and models nude inorder to make enough money. Kaarina seems to be always in a hurry: in a hurry to go to work and to get home to make dinner. Toghether Jason and his mother watch tv and bake.

Jason and Kaarina in a pension
There are four Jason books, my favourite is Jason's summer. In this book Jason and his mother take a bus to a Pension. The other guests sit and nobody talks to one another. Jason fixes this and soon every one is enjoying themselves.

Jason and Kaarina watch tv.

In the third book, the factory, where Kaarina works is shut down and Kaarina and Jason have to move out of the country for Kaarina to have a job. Jason is a bit confused, since he does not speak the language. He feels like an outsider, he doesn't understand others and they do not understand him. Jason's motto is: "I have two eyes, two ears and one mouth. But with that one mouth I speak languages."

Jason rollerblading
In the fourth book, Jason and Kaarina live in an apartment house. In the same house lives an elderly woman, who is disturbed by all the noises in the house. Every one in the house tiptoes around her. Jason breaks the ice and soon the angry aunt has other friends in the building.

Jason feels left out.

The Jason -stories are about every day life and Jason deals with problems that we all could have. Jason is a happy boy, even if he does not have everything. It is natural that he does not have a father, it is natural that his mother worries about money.

Camilla Mickwitz wrote another book series about a girl named Emilia and a small witch named Mimosa. Camilla Mickwitz made several animations, such as the look out for weak ice film. She also created the theme for the Finnish children's program Pikku Kakkonen.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hölmölässä - Noodleheads in Finland

Martti Sirola, freely from Eero Salola's texts 1999

In the Finnish stories Hölmölä is a village, in which live humoristic stupid. The nitwits are known all over Europe. In Finland the stories were told to mock, in a friendly way another group that lived nearby. Hölmölä isn’t an actual place, but a fictional place, where people try to figure out every day problems. The people living in Hölmölä think thoroughly before they start anything. They try to avoid damages as much as possible. Their train of thought is a bit odd and slow, but it is ok, because the Hölmölä people are hardworking and honest. They are silly, but they are not fooled by anyone. They are fools by their own actions. Their attempts to be reasonable lead to silly stories that are laughed at all around Finland, but not in Hölmölä.

The classic stories of the people in Hölmölä (or hölmöläiset in Finnish) are the following two:

Light to the cabin
The hölmöläinens built a house, but they forgot to make windows. Now they wanted to have light in the cabin. Back in the day there was no electricity. They thought and thought about it and finally some had an idea. The world is full of light and they have bags. What if the men would carry the light into the house and the women would carry the darkness out of the house. Soon they were running around, carrying light in the bags. Matti (an everyday Joe in Finland) happens to visit Hölmölä every once in a while and saw the hölmöläinens carrying light. One of the villagers told Matti what they were doing. Matti thought for a while and made a suggestion. The hölmöläinens talked about it and decided to listen to Matti. Matti took an ax and cut a small hole to the wall. The hölmöläinens went insdie and saw light coming in through the window. What a great idea! Once Matti was gone, the hölmöläinens wanted to enlarge the window. That way there would be more light. They cut Window larger and larger and soon there was no wall left. But this was not enough, the hölmöläinens wanted more light. They cut down another wall. Still this was not enough and they started on the third wall. Then the house came down. The hölmöläinens were sad since they did not have a cottage any more. But that’s ok, at least they had light.

The women in Hölmölä bathe
The Hölmölä village had a thriving field of wheat. Among the wheat was a lot of blue cornflowers. And as the wind blew, the field looked like a glossy gold and blue lake. Seven Hölmölä women were waking by and thought the field was a lake. They had become sweaty waking in the straight sun light and they wanted to swim and cool down. It did not matter that they did not know how to swim; they did not need to go deep. Their hands would reach the bottom if they stayed in the shallow water. The Women took off theur clothes and walked into the lake. The others saw that it was not deep at all. It would be a great place to roll around and swim. They swam for a while and got dressed again. One of them began wondering if anyone had drowned while they were swimming. One of the women started counting but counted only six women. Then the woman counting noticed that she had not counted herself. So she started again: I, one, two, three, four, five, and six. Still only six. She counted again. Six. The women started crying and wondering who drowned. Matti was walking by and asked what was wrong. The women told him. Matti suggested that they put their noses to the ground and count the holes. The women did that and luckily there were seven holes. No one had drowned and the women were happy.

There are many similar stories of the Hölmölä people. In one they are are running out of salt and decide to cultivate salt in the field. In one story a dog is running in the field and the hölmöläinens want to chase it away so it will not trample the wheat. But a man running in the field would trample the wheat even more, so they deside to have four men carrying the one man chasing the dog.

 These stories were very popular when I was a child. Today I think the kids hear the modern people doing stupid stuff, so they do not have to read about fictional goofs.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Oili Tanninen, 1965

Nunnu could be described as Sandman's sister. She makes children fall asleep.
"Nunnu nukuttaa, Hoppu herättää, Möksö mököttää."

Her friends Hoppu wakes people up and Möksö sulks and niggles. All these charachters are needed, even Möksö. (Everyone has a right to sulk every now and then.)

This book has all three stories about Nunnu and her friends.

Nunnu has lost her sleeping whisk and she is supposed to get Professor Prilli to take his nap. Luckily Hoppu has a new method to falling asleep: a sleeping fly. Nunnu, Möksö and Hoppu rush to the Professor’s house. The Professor can’t sleep, because he has lost the tip of his beard. Nunnu and her friends look for the tip and find it. Happily Professor can take his nap.

Möksö gets angry, because he/she can't get in.
Nunnu flies
Hoppu is supposed to have a race with Neiti Aika (Miss Time), but she does not answer the phone. Nunnu, Hoppu and Möksö start looking for her and find out that she has a tooth ache and is a afraid of the dentist. Finally Nunnu gets Neiti Aika to let the dentist fix her tooth and the race can begin.

Möksö is angry again, because a hepsunkepsu has made a
nest in his/hers hat
Nunnu falls off the tree.
Möksö has lost his hat (Actually Möksö could also be a girl, Nunnu is definitely a girl and Hoppu is a boy, but Möksö could be either.) and a Hepsunkepsu (Funny bird) has made it as its nest. Möksö is very upset and wants to get rid of all Hepsunkepsu.  Hoppu and Nunnu get the bird out and Möksö gets his hat back.

Möksö sulks and niggles, but he is the only one to giggle and laugh in the books.

 The colors of the book are still fresh after almost 50 years. It still seems very modern. The illustration is made of torn paper. Oddly enough, this book has been translated into English.

Nunnu was made to an animation in 1967. It is in black and white, so you have to use your imagination to see the vivid colors.