Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fairytale of different seasons

Ebba Varma: Vuodenaikojen satu 2003
Illustrations by Martta Wendelin

Facsimile from a booklet that was published in 1945

Poems about the season. How in the spring the earth wakes up. I wonder who read these type of publications? I asked my mother and she told me that she did not have fairytales when she was a child. They hardly had any adult books. To me this was very surprising, since my parents read many children's books to us. I always thought that my mother had read a lot of books as a child and that's why we had so many books. But that is not the case.

I also wondered, what I have given to my boys that didn't exist in the 1980s. We had electronic games (and in my mind the tab games are the same category), boardgames, books, animations. Back in the 1980s we even had a videocamera. Did the technology take such a big leap back then that it is not possible to do again?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Alpo finds Alma

Jukka Lemmetty 2011: Alpo löytää Alman

Alpo is an energetic little dog. He falls off his doghouse. His friend Jalmari takes him to the zoo to be taken care of, but all the animals are too busy.

Until they meet Miss Alma, who keeps the ice cream kiosk. Alma is delightful and Alpo takes her home to his mother.

The book is full of animal humor: would you like to brush the crocodile's teeth? The book also includes a map of all the places Alpo tries to find help.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Different shapes of Moomin

Moomins keep their popularity through the year. The charachters themselves look very different from what they used to look in the 1930s, when they first appeared in the swedish Garmin-magazine. Here I have collected some ot the samples of different Moomins. Of course there is the "Strange guest at Moomin house" -book that I have already written about.

Muumien kiehtovaa maailma

(Tove Jansson text, edited by Helen Svensson 2008)
The  first book collects selected extacts from different Moomin books. The book includes the colorful stories of "Who Will Comfort Toffle?" and "What happened then". The book also includes moomin songs, small moomin dictionary  and a map of Moomin Valley.  Very compact book about Moomins.

What the Moomin's looked like in the first book: the great flood.

Moomin comic strip
The extracts are from Magician's hat, Magic Vinter and the great flood.

The first Moomin comic strips were published in "Ny tid" newspaper. Tove started the strip and then her brother Lars Jansson took over.

Who Will Comfort Toffle? -illustrations

The "Who will comfort Toffle?" book has also been made as a diarama that is located at the Tampere City library.

Moomin's as Se-Ma-For piece animation

The island adventure 

(Ann Burnett 1987)

Oddly enough, this book was first written in English. in 1978-1982 a Polish animation studio created a Moomin series. There are four different books or leaflets that have these type of moomins as illustrations.

The series is still shown in the pay tv. The series is called "Muumien maailma".

Othe Moomin characters of the 1980s tv-series

 This style was my first contact with the Moomins and that is the reason, these are also the deares.

Moomin with different colors

Elämää Muumilaaksossa, osa 2

 Based on Tove Jansson's texts, translated into Finnish by Kirsti Mäkinen

In the 1990's the Moomin charachters reach a new hight of popularity with a Japanese animation "Muumilaakson tarinoita". The Moomins had been animated in Japan before and they were hugely popular.

In the 90s the Moomins got different colors: Moomintroll is light blue, Moomin pappa is some shade of lilac, Moomin mamma is yellow and Snorkmaiden is cream color.  I assume they reflect the personalities of the characters.

I hit puberty at that time and I rebeled by not liking the Moomins. I thought they were irritating and everywhere. My 10 years younger brother watched the series, but I couldn't stand them. Since then I have changed my mind. And I guess my mother is relieved that my rebellion reached its peak with the Moomins.

These series can also be seen in the Finnish television at the moment and my boys love it. Especially the Groke. Now in the Finnish languege we do not know the gender of the creature, but it is a she. I hadn't thought about it before I ran into the Swedish version.  Does it matter that the scariest creature of the books is female?


Sirke Happola 2012

There is a book that collects all possible characters that Tove Jansson created. It has precise information on each character.

The book includes the original characters from Snork to Mymble and it elaborates each character's personality, birth, etymology and appearance.

Picture from Moomin family album.

Muumiperheen albumi

Text by  Katariina Heilala 2013
Illustration by Päivi Arenius

Even thought the 1980's Moomins are my favourite, the newest books about Moomins are fantastic. Their style reminds me about the " Who will comfort Toffle?" -book

The Moomin family album has collection of picture found at the Moomin house. Moomin mamma tells stories about the pictures.

The wild guests at Moomin house.

Täältä tulee Pikku Myy: Villit vieraat
Riina & Sami Kaarla 2011

Another new book about Moomins, where Little My is the main character.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Kieku and Kaiku (and piggy)

Mika Waltari 1934-1970
illustraded by Asmo Alho

Mika Waltari is probably the most famous Finnish writer. His most successful novel is Sinuhe, the Egyptian. Mika also wrote rhymes to the comic Kieku and Kaiku.

In the 1930s Kieku and Kaiku were the most popular comic strips there were. The comics have elaborate rhymes and educational stories. The stories reflect the values of that time: diligence, thriftiness and cooperation are good and the good will always be rewarded.

Kieku and Kaiku are young roosters that get into all sorts of trouble. The characters were influenced by Donald Duck even though the comic itself was drawn European style: the text was always at the bottom of the picture.

Logcutter's mistake
Mika Waltari prided in the comic: the words are rhymed with three syllables. He considered rhyming Kieku and Kaiku as a break from his regular work and he continued to write them after he retired from other writing.

An example of Waltari’s rhymes:
”Tässä Possu jälleen jököttää.
Puuro maistu ei, hän mököttää”

(Here piggy sits again. He doesn’t want to eat porridge, he is being grumpy)

Kieku ja Kaiku ja Possu tulevat taas -book is a collection of the best Kieku and Kaiku stirps from 1945-1962

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Little Bean

Little Bean cover
Liisa Kallio:
Pikku Papu 2010
Pikku Papu ja kukka 2011
Pikku Papun laulut 2012
Pikku Papu ja aarre 2013

Little Bean is an inventful little turtle that delight young readers. We do not know the gender of it, because the Finnish pronoun "hän" refers to both boys and girls. The illustrations use basic colors, which makes the books fresh and modern.

Little Bean tries to find a shell
Little Bean (Pikku Papu)

Little Bean is swimming and when she/he comes out of water, his/her shell has shrank! Little Bean has to find a bigger shell: can it be an eggshell

Little Bean and flower

 Little Bean and flower (Pikku Papu ja kukka)

Little Bean gets excited about gardening: he/she receives a seed. Toghether with his/her friends, bird and ladybug, they water the seed and it grows o be a beautiful flower.
In the fall the flower dies and Little Bean is sad. Luckily Bird has kept one seed.

Little Bean waters flower

Hissu, the spider, is making wool socks.

Songs of Little Bean(Pikku Papun laulut)
Poems of Little Bean are composed in to songs. The songs are composed by Soili Perkiö, who is a notable modern composer and known by all who watch Pikku Kakkonen.

Our boys' favourite is Little Bean the gardner, where the chorus is very catchy.

Little Bean and treasure -cover
Little Bean and treasure (Pikku Papu ja aarre)

Little Bean finds a message in a bottle. He understands from the message that there is a treasure somewhere. Little Bean takes a tea cup and starts to look for it. Is the treasure a string of pearls, strawberry lolly pop or what? Very exiting and the treasure is a surprise.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Maltti & Valtti: mission at Grandma's

Jerry Mikkelinen & Jussi Ollila 2014: Maltti  & Valtti: Tehtävä Mummolassa
Illustrations: Teemu Åke

Maltti and Valtti (Moderation and Asset in Finnish) are Traffic park police officers that are always getting into trouble themselves.

In this book they receive a mission from Grandma. They almost do not even get there, because first they forget their bus money. Then Valtti gets an idea to play his guitar and make some money.

Then the money gets stolen. Maltti and Valtti chase the thug and he is run down by a car. As a reward the real police officers promise to drive them any where they want.

The trajectory of a raisin from Maltti's nose.
At Grandma's house there is always so much to do. Maltti and Valtti forget what they were supposed to do. They remember when Grandma calls and tells then she is coming home early. Maltti and Valtti are very sorry they forgot their mission.

Maltti and Valtti finally arrive to Grandma's house.

Grandma isn't upset, she is very understanding and happy that Maltti and Valtti are there. They even found a book that had been missing for a long time.

Maltti makes breakfast
Maltti and Valtti is also a tv-series at Pikku Kakkonen. In the tv-series Maltti is played by Jerry Mikkelinen and Valtti by Jussi Ollila.

The tv-series started a new season this fall (2014). Previously the scenery of Maltti and Valtti takes place in the Traffic Park. The new episodes are assignments that the two of them have to do. The assignments are what to do, when you are afraid of the dark and what to do when you have lied.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Philosophical Monster

Suna Vuori
Illustrations by Katri Kirkkopelto
Hirveää parkaisi hirviö 2005
Hirmuista koulupäivää, hirviö! 2006
H niinkuin hirviö 2007

Three books about a philosophical little monster, who is trying to find his place in the world.

Hirveää, parkaisi hirviö (Horrible, cried the monster)
Little monster wakes up after having a nightmare. In it he is in an amusement park that is full of children. One kids jumps on the monster's tale, another glues a lollypop in his fur and a third child tells him he is not real.

Mother and Father try to explain existance to little monster.
What if Mother doesn't exist either? Maybe monsters are just a dream or a book that someone is reading. What if the reader closes the book and stops thinking about monsters? Does that mean that the monster stops to exist.

Mother tries to comfort little monster. She thinks that they would not know anything about it. Father wakes up and tells little monster that they are born in homecave and they shall die there, too. This leads to little monster asking, what happens when they die.

Mother tells him, there are many beliefs: some think they grow wings, others think nothing happens. The body decomposes and starts to grow forest. Little monster is worried that Mother and Father die soon. Mother says they won't die, only when little monster has children of his own, who ask difficult question, which hardly have one correct answer. Have horrible dreams!

 Hirmuista koulupäivää, hirviö!
(Have a horrible school day, monster)

Little monster is going to school for the first time and he is a bit nervous. Mother wakes him up and asks for breakfast. Father is a bit upset: did Little Monster go swimming last nigh, he looks so clean. Mother advises that he should roll down the hill, so no one will notice.

Mother also checks that Litlle Monster's breath stiks. It does, so Little monster is ready for school.

At school monsters study grinning, howling, biting, scratching and scaring. Little Monster is big and clumsy and Mother and Father call him thiker, which is just as awful as calling someone linguistically talented or delicate.

At school the teacher tells the children that they are going to be real monsters: crude, brash, lazy, dirty and behaving badly. At the end of the school year the children will bring a lot of shame to their parent.
Monster schoolchildren study their reflextions on a pond.
Little Monster meets other kids. One is Ho Polloi, who has escaped from a warzone.  The teacher takes the children ouside to examine nature.

When Little Monster comes home, he asks a lot of questions: why hadn't his parents told him about war? Was mother a girl some times? He has also decided to become vegetarian and he wants to be called Odysseys.

H niin kuin Hirviö
(H is for monster)
Odysseys is learning to read.

" Vaari arvaamatta karjahtaa: Aargh!" Little monster reads books and learns letters from AARGH to ÖRF. In Odysseys opinion letters are exiting: they make you laugh and cry, hope and fear, belive and doubt. You can do almost anything with them.

This book has 17 little stories. Some Odysseys reads from his school book and some happen to him and his friend.

Örf is a sound that a monster would make.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Curl your tongue

Anni Riipinen, Ritva Ruuska-Tuominen 2012: Kielet kippuralle - lasten loruaapinen
Illustrations: Anni Riipinen

Colorful illustrations for alphabet. Short stories for every aplhabet.

I am always intrested on what words are used with letter Ö. The usual are Öljy (oil) or Öisin (at night). This book does not restrict the text to have words with perticular letter. The text uses words that may have the letter in some place else, such as pöllö (owl).

Owls making noises, while mother is fetching food.
"Höpöt pöllöpojat ölisevät öisessä metsässä, pöllöäidin syöksähtdellessä syömisen perässä. Pöllöäiti tuo pöllöpalleroilleen yöpalaksi ötököitä. "Nyt pölinät pois ja ötököitä nokkaan!""

I like the colorful and simplified illustration and  the playful words.