Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pawchester Tales

Mauri Kunnas:
Elusive Elvis 2003
Lucky’s Best-Ever Xmas Present 2003
Seven Aunts and a Hidden Treasure 2004
Hurricane Harry and the Genie in the Bottle 2010
Mr. Clutterbuck’s Seven Wonders 2008

Pawchester Tales are stories about Mr. Clutterbuck’s home town. The town has many characters and naturally Mr. Clutterbuck shortly visits every story.

Postman Eppu is a littel sad
Elusive Elvis
The first story’s main character is a shy mailman who knows all about Elvis. Pawchester is preparing for the tradi
tional summer fair. At the closing party, everybody is looking forward to hearing Pawchester’s finest little rock band – Ince True and the Mentals. But the band has a problem: they do not have a lead singer. How to get a shy person to perform?

Lucky's Best X-mas Presnt

Lucky’s Best-Ever Xmas Present
The second Pawcherster Tales book is a Christmas story. Little Lucky has every toy and gadget imaginable. His dad thinks that the more toys a child has the happier the child is. Not so. Lucky’s dad has been buying Christmas presents since August. Does Lucky get the best Christmas present ever?

Grandpa Drakula digging for a treasure
Seven Aunts and a Hidden Treasure
Seven Aunts and a Hidden treasure is the third story in the series. Mr. Clutterbuck’s great grandmother Cicely Clutterback turns 100 years and all Mr. Clutterbuck’s aunts join the festivities. Aunt Effie tells a story about a long lost treasure and all the kids get excited. A greaet Hunt begins. The story ends in Brazil and the Wolrd Cup in Soccer.

Grandpa Drakula wants to see Spiritus Butelli Babylonicus
Hurricane Harry and the Genie in the Bottle
Book nr. 4 is Hurricane Harry and the Genie in the Bottle. The travelling carnival has come to Pawchester with the famous motorcycle daredevil Hurricane Harry! Not all is happy with this. Granpa Dracula just wants to see the genie in the bottle, Spiritus Butelli Babylonicus at the Phantom Cabaret. In a turn of events, Hurricane Harry breaks the bottle and the genie escapes. The whole town is in chaos.

Pawcherts townspeople in Rio de Janeiro
Mr. Clutterbuck’s Seven Wonders
The Pawchester townspeople also attend Mr Clutterbuck’s adventure in Mr. Clutterbuck’s Seven Wonders (Herra Hakkaraisen seitsemän ihmettä) Pawchester department store has a raffle, where the grand price is to name a place in the world to visit. Seven lucky people get to travel to all these places.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Little donkey from Hiddenland

Book cover
Lea Pennanen 1977: Piilomaan pikku aasi
Ilustrated by Maija Karma

The citizens of Hiddenland (Piilomaa) are happy donkeys, hardworking dogs and kind cats. An evil sorcerer Mukkelis Mule, the envier, moved to a nearby Secret Island (salasaari). His lazy fox servants use their binoculars to spy on Hiddenland and they get angry, because everyone is so happy. Mukkelis Mule pous raspberry juice into all streams of Hiddenland. The juice makes everyone who drinks it to fall asleep. The fox servants kidnap the donkey king and take him to the Secret Island and lock him into a tower. The donkey queen escapes and nobody knows where the king is. The donkey king writes a message to his hat and throws it out of the tower window hoping that someone will find it.

Little donkey, puppy and  black cat in
Hotel Shenanigans

Mukkelis Mule takes over and is a crappy ruler. Everyone is unhappy, they have to serve Mukkelis Mule, but he is never satisfied. Many years pass and things get worse. Far away in the mountains live a donkey mother, little donkey and a puppy in a small cottage. One night the donkey kings hat flies into the little donkeys head. All three see the message. The little donkey wants to rescue the king, but his mother says no. The little donkey and the puppy sneak away at night. The mother follows them in the morning.

The little donkey and puppy follow a path to the Razzle City (Hulinakaupunki). They meet a black cat, who sees the hat and swear loyalty to the little donkey. The group arrives to the city, the cat takes them to a Hotel Shenanigans (Hotelli Huvitus Huiputus). The hotel is full of swings, slides and ice crem stands. The cat took them there, because his friends are there. The foxes see them and a there is a huge commotion. The little donkey and his group escape.

Litle donkey and his friends fall into the "Trembling
Lantern Inn"

 The black cat’s friends take them to meet Lasse Lämppä, a scientist donkey. Lasse Lämppä is working on a telescope to seek royalty. It is not ready yet and the foxes come to his observatory. The foxes want to it into a juice ware house. Lasse Lämppä has a wind machine that blows the foxes away. The foxes will be back so the little donkey and his friends have to leave. Next the black cat takes them to the “Trembling Lantern Inn” (Väräjävän Lyhdyn majatalo), which is owned by friendly dogs. The dogs tell the little donkey, that Mukkelis Mule rhas druged everyone with juice and ice cream. The dogs suggest that little donkey leaves the city through an underground river. By the entrance to the river lives an old donkey Isaskar, who will have a boat for them. The river will take them to Juice Forest (Mehumetsä). Before little donkey can leave, the foxes capture him and take him to see Mukkelis Mule. 

Little donkey finds Aunt Rose's
magic wand
Mukkelis Mule captures them into the juice storage. Little donkey, the puppy and black cat are there only a short time, when the mother donkey rescues them. The black cat bows deeply: she is the queen donkey. Little donkey is surprised. The mother donkey tells them that she escaped with the little puppy to the montains, where the little donkey was born. Mother donkey has followed them al the way. They walk to see the old donkey Isaskar.

 Isaskar tells them that after Juice Forest they have to travel to Mirror mountain (Peilivuori), where an fox witch Picture Picture (Kuva Kuva) will try to get them lost. After the mountain they have to travel to HIHIHI-coast, where you cannot laugh. Lasse Lämppä has seenthe donkey queen through his telescope and is there to help them find the king.

The group is packing the boat and they decide to sleep. A small mouse wakes little donkey. The mouse breaks the telescope and runs of. The mouse is Mukkelis Mule’s mole. The mouse runs to Mukkelis Mule and tells all about little donkey and his company. Mukkelis Mule promises 2 kg of sugar, if the mouse shows, where they are. The group is long gone, Mukkelis Mule gets mad and the mouse gets nothing. The mouse is upset and runs to the “Trembling Lantern Inn” and tells the dogs everything.

In the Juice Valley, little donkey, puppy and black cat go for a lookout and finds a large barrel of raspberry juice that has been putting everyone to sleep. They break it and all juice runs out. When they get back to the camp: Isakar, Lasse and the mother donkey are gone. Suddenly they are taken to Rose Castle. The lady of the castle is Aunt Rose, whose magic wand the foxes have thrown away. The magic wand flew upside down so the castle is upside down. Aunt Rose keeps looking for the wand and doesn’t speak to anyone. Little donkey finds his mother, Lasse and Isaskar and decides to find the wand so they can be on their way. He finds it and all is turned right side down again. Aunt Rose is very grateful and gives them a invisibility cape. She also promises to capture every fox she sees.

The mouse that was betrayed by Mukkelis Mule finds them and tells them what Mukkelis Mule did. He can join the group. Lasse has fixed the telescope again and sees the donkey king in a tower. They hide their boat under the invisibility cape, but it gets stuck and the fox witch Picture Picture sees them. She captures them in a cave. The mouses relatives come help them and nibble a hole in the wall. Every one else gets out except Isaskar, who gets stuck in the middle. The foxes come into the cave and Isaskar kicks them. Picture Picture finds the others and locks them in a tower.

 Meanwhile the king’s birds have flown into the Razzle City. Crow Carl (Varis Vaakku)warns the townspeople not to drink juice or eat ice cream. The townspeople star chasing the foxes and go after Mukkelis Mule.

 The mice tell Picture Picture that the Mirror Mountain is made of chocolate. Mukkelis Mule has offered the witch her own chocolate as a reward. Mukkelis Mule arrives, but Picture Picture is on little donkeys side.The witch gives little donkey a mirror and sends them to the HIHIHI coast. Their boat appear and two crows are pulling it. Then the witch pours sour ice cream on Mukkelis Mule and the foxes.

On the HIHIHI coast little donkey climbs to look out for the Secret Island. Donkeys dressed in pants stop his way to Laugh Cliff (Naurukallio). They are the pantguards of the windfairy Pim. The kid fairy Pim used to gather the laughter. Now Mukkelis Mule has taken his magic mirror to control the winds. Little donkey realizes he has Pim’s mirror.

Mukkelis Mule arrives and orders little donkey to give donkey king’s hat. When he has the hat, he rules Hidden land forever. Little donkey refuses and lifts the mirror. Mukkelis Mule sees his reflection and starts to laugh. A storm arises. A twister takes little donkey to the Laugh Cliff to Pim. Little donkey gives him the mirror and Pim gives him advice: he should trust himself. Mukkeli Muuli dashes to the cliffs and reaches little donkey. The donkey throws the hat and jumps on it. The hat takes him to the Secret Island.

The royal family is unted again.
Mukkelis Mule is right behind him and the townspeople have arrived too. The donkey king sees little donkey and recognizes his hat from the tower window. The tower door is locked and Mukkelis Mule has the key. Mukkelis Mule wants to make a deal: he gets the hat and little donkey gets all the treasures in the world. Little donkey declines and starts to run towars Mukkelis Mule. He puts his head down and pushes Mukkelis Mule down. The towns people capture Mukkelis Mule and Little donkey opens the door. He tells the king who he is.

 The king and his family are taken back to Hidden Land. The king asks what should be done with Mukkelis Mule. Picture Picture wants him inside Mirror Mountain to dig up cholcolate. The townspeople want him to clean the city. Finally the king says that little donkey gets to decide. Little donkey wants Mukkelis Mule and the foxes out of the Hidden land the Picture Picture does her magic. A great party is held at Hidden Land and everyone is happy.

This story was also made as tv series.
Like many TV shows that time in Finland the pictures were still pictures that were zoomed in and out. In the book the chapters end in “and what then happens, you can hear about it later”. So ended the episodes. I do not know what I was doing, but I seldom saw two consecutive episodes and this line made me somewhat mad. I still hate tv shows that tell what is coming up after the commercial break and then they recap what happened before the adds. Very annoying. They are just filling air time!

I notices in the book that there few characters that have a name: Mukkelis Mule, Picture Picture, Isaskar, Lasse Lämppä and Aunt Rose. I am not sure what it means that the main characters are not written in capital letters: little donkey, donkey king , mother donkey and black cat. I think it is very odd.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pupu Tupuna

Pirkko Koskimies

Many children in the 1970s and 1980 learned how to read with Pupu Tupuna. Originally the books were created for children with a hearing disability, but the characters were so sweet and clear that they attracted other children as well.

The stories were fairytale like with links to the real world. It is still unknown whether Pupu Tupuna is a boy or a girl. (This is possible, because the pronoun for he and she is the same: hän. )  Pupu Tupuna lives in a red playhouse and his/her best friend is a mouse Hippi.

The first Pupu Tupuna book  (Minne menet, Pupu Tupuna?) was  published in 1972.

Pupu Tupuna is like all children. He/she is curious, gets into trouble sometimes and always learnes

Pupu Tupuna also starred in a tv-series, where still pictures were shown and a narrator read the story.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Five vivid Virtanens

Viivi is afraid to go into water
Anneli Kanto
Illustrated by Noora Katto

Vilma Virtanen ja uimataito, osa 1 2011
(Vilma Virtanen and the ability to swim)
Paavo Virtanen ja tyttöjen tavarat, osa 2 2011
(Paavo Virtanen and girls' stuff)
Kastehelmi Virtanen ja oma tahto, osa 3 2012
(Kastehelmi Virtanen and own will)
Perttu Virtanen ja kauhea kateus, osa 4  2012
(Perttu Virtanen and horrible envy)
Veera Virtanen ja esikoulu, osa 5  2013
(Veera Virtanen and preschool)
Paavo Virtanen ja pimeys, osa 6 2014
(Paavo Virtanen and darkness)

So far six books have been published about the five Virtanens. Every book deals with a problem a child of a specific age might encounter.
Paavo and girls' stuff cover

Vilma Virtanen and the ability to swim
Vilma Virtanen is five years old. She and her brother Paavo go to swimming school. All is well, but Vilma does not want to go to the water. She has taken a peek at her sister's microscope and she has seen the germs. In the lake there are amebas, water flees, cyclops and other nasty bugs.  At the end Vilma overcomes her fears and learns how to swim.

Paavo Vieranen and girls' suff
When Paavo's olde sisters Vilma and Veera are away, Paavo goes into the girls' room and admires all the beautiful things they have. Soon the room is a mess and at that moment the girls come back. Luckily boys too can play with girls's stuff.

Kastehelmi wants...
Kastehelmi Virtanen and own will
Kastehelmi is two years old and she has her own will. The older kids take her to the flee market. And the battle of wills begin already when dressing up. Then comes the walking part, the I-want- part. Soon teeth are taken to the negotiation table. The book gives advice how to deal with the little tyrants.

Perttu tells how wonderfully things are in Sweden
Perttu Virtanen and horrible envy
Perttu is three years old and not so big as his older siblings and not a baby anymore like Kastehelmi. Kastehelmi has a birthday and she gets all kinds of wonderful gifts, including a bike. Perttu is so envious. He takes the bike and decides to ride it to Sweden. That will teach them a lesson.  As a cultural note: in which other country other than Finland would a book about envy talk about Sweden?

Veera Virtanen and preschool
Veera is the eldest of the Virtanen siblings and she is going to preschool. Which is fine, since Veera knows a thing or two. But then she makes a mistake and becomes the but of the bully's joke. Preschool isn't as much fun anymore.

Paavo Virtanen and darkness
Paavo and Perttu are walking home on a dark winter evening.  The darkness makes the boys to imagine all kinds of things. Is that a werewolf?

Friday, July 11, 2014


Rölli's heart book cover
Allu Tuppurainen

Rölli is a troll like creature that lives alone in a forest. He spends his days wondering odd things in the world aan especially the odd behavior of humans.Rölli wants to be mean and evil, but it doesn’t quite work out. In his heart Rölli wants no harm. Rölli was created by Allu Tuppurainen and he had a tv show in Pikku Kakkonen. TV series Rölli was aired in 1986-2001.

Mr. Allu Tuppurainen has said that rölli isn’t a troll, but a blend of human and troll, a rölli. In the tv series Rölli sings a song related to the theme he is talking about. My favorite is “Omituisten otusten kerho” (Club for weird creatures). In this club everyone is welcome: if someone calls you a potato nose, or fat belly, join the club. The lyrics say that any physical feature can be considered weird by someone. And that you shouldn’t worry about it, just be you.
Rölli fishes in tv-series

 In 2007 was released an animated film, which main character was Rölli. This was a third film of Rölli and a first animated Rölli film. In the first two films, Allu Tuppurainen played the part of Rölli. In this animated film, Allu Tuppurainen gave voice to Rölli.

Pekka Lehtosaari 2007: Röllin sydän 
(Rölli's heart)
Illustrated by Janne Kopu and Kari Korhonen

Rölli's heart illustration
In this film, Rölli is a troll and he lives near rölli village. Rölli is just like every other lodger at Rölli Village: he likes pranks, making a mess and mischief and hates washing up, kissing and everything pretty. When he runs into a delightful and good hearted gnome girl Milli, he makes a new kind of a friend. The gnome forest is about to turn into stone and the only way to save the forest is to get a magical heart of Understanding from Winterland. In the film gnomes and röllis are total opposites and the adventure requires Rölli and Milli to work together.

 The animated Rölli is a bit different from the Rölli in the tv-series. In my mind they are two different characters, even though the creators of the animation tell that the film was made in the spirit and philosophy of the original films. I guess they couldn’t make a animation about Rölli talking to the audience and the animation film works well on its own.

Rölli's cottage in tv series
 Four Rölli films have been made this far. The two newer include many character in the rölli village.

In Powerpark, Tervajoki is Wonderland (Satumaa) based on the Rölli characters.

Rölli was selected most beloved fictional Finnish character (Satusuomalainen) in 2006.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Crocodile sweats and other animal poems.

Jukka Itkonen 2010: Krokotiili hikoaa ja muita eläinrunoja
Illustrated by Matti Pikkujämsä

These animals are kind of funny: one has ears as cabbage leaves, other is all neck. The savanna is shaking and the jungle is rutling. Who does not eat porridge, or algae? What scares a crocodile? In this book African animals live their lives in full and vivid colors. A real good will book.

The book has following poems:
Ten monkeys,
Rainbow shirt,
Horse in river,
What is it?,
Lodger of wetlands,
Long trunk,
Crocodile and children,
 Shy fish,
Hawk and Accipiter,
Bee dance, goats,
Is that true?,
Snail waddles,
This and that happens,
Termite’s nest,
Big cat sleeps,
Buffalo’s brother,
Little bird poem,
Crocodile sweats,
Zebra in the sun.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Katri Kirkkopelto 2013

Molli is a creature that lives alone in a big house. Molli has surrounded its house with signs that say "Don't come", "Stay way". One day Sisun knocks on its door. (It isn't specified, if  Molli is a boy or a girl. The pronoun hän is used for both. That is why I use "it".)

Molli is upset and chases Sisu away. Soon Molli feels lonely. It starts to study what it takes to be friends. " The best gift that you can give to a friend is a smile and laughfter." But Molli cannot smile. It practises is. Then starts the long wait. Nobody comes. Molli even changes the signs to "Come" and "Don't  stay away". Then one day Sisu returns and Molli has a friend.
All Molli's family have grumpy expressions in the pictures
Molli in Finnish means minor in musical terms. No wonder it is a little melancholy with a name like that! Sisu means guts and courage.

The illustration is delicate and very detailed. I especially like the family portrates, where no one smiles. It is just like our family. I do not understand it, photos have been taken for over hundred years but in my family it seems that taking pictures is comparable to going to the dentist.