Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas is almost here, Apo Apponen!

Juhani Känkänen 2013: Joulu on jo ovella, Apu Apponen!

Apo is a small boy anxiously waiting for Christmas. Is is Christmas already? Is it? What about now?

When first snow falls, Apo is ready to go sledding, but there is not enough snow.

I wonder if there are any Finnish families, where the kids do not wait for Christmas. Is it the parents fault that they have taught the kids to look forward to having presents?

The book is illustrated in a comic book fashion and it looks good and the mood of Apo is well portraited.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The wonderful Christmas of Tatu and Patu

Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen 2015: Tatun ja Patun ihmeellinen joulu

The Oddwille boys are back causing mayhem. They have been inveted to their friend's, Veera's,  house  for Christmas. Naturally, everything goes wrong from the start, when the boys accidently end up in the neighbour's house, while they are on vacation for the Holidays.

Tatu and Patu are not that familiar with the Christmas traditions,  but they seem to get it all wrong. Luckily the book has a happy ending they all have a lovely Christmas.

At the bottom left picture is illustrated
how the baking really looks like
The Best part of the book is comparing, what the boys imagined the Christmas would be like and then the reality. For example the baking seldom is as idyllic as it seems in the books. And even though there is a big mess, baking is fun.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Finnish elves for all seasons

Kirsi Manninen 2012: Tontun vuosi
photographs by Aki Paavola
English translation Malcolm Hicks

This book has also been published in English.
These elves live in Tyynelä. They show us what elves do, when it is not Christmas time.

The Finnish elf is the protector of the forrest and animals and some take part in the human activites in the household chores.  The elves cultivate hay and celebrate Kekri, the Finnish Halloween.

The elves harvestin

The book also includes old recepies for all seasons from Shrovetide pea soup to Christmas porrigde and potato casserole.

The book is illustrated with lovely photographs, which sometimes look very Swedish to me. But most of the Finnish Christmas traditions come from Sweden.
Christmas at Tyynelä

Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas poems of the Finnish Children

Edited by Ismo Loivamaa 2015: Suomen lasten joulurunot
illustrations by Rudolf Koivu

The book includes old Finnish Christmas poems and some new. Most of the poems I recognize as Christmas song that we have been singing as long as I can remember.

At the end of the book is told how the poems have changed their emphasis over the years form religious and patriotic to warmth and nearness.

Elved preparing for Christmas (Rudolf Koivu)
The illustrations are by Rudolf Koivu and in my eyes are very nostalgic.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas at Dollhouse Väinölä

Maria Malmström 2015: Nukkekoti Väinölän joulu

Dollhouse Väinölä is getting ready for Christmas. They make the traditional Christmas treats out of polymer and they look delicious!

Maria Malmström also makes Christmas decorations, my favourite is a miniature cross of Thomas, Tuomaan risti.  She also makes elves, Christmas tree, straw stars and even a engel bell.

For gifts there are instructions how to make a Star of Africa, a tradiotional Finnish board game, rocking horse, sled, doll,  Reino slipprs.

Tuomaan risti (Cross of Thomas)
The photos in this book are full of details and the instrucktions are simple enough for even me to follow. If only I had the patience.

This is the book to read, if you are looking for the Christmas spirit, even if you are not into crafts. Sometimes I forget that I was reading about a doll house and when it hit me, I was facinated how detailed everything was even though they were teeny tiny.

Dollbouse Christmas presents.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

24 steps to Christmas

Kaisa & Aleksi Kuokka 2013: 24 askelta jouluun

This  book is not a Children's book, but it is a good book to get into the Christmas spirit. It may be too much for trying to do all the book has instructions for, but you can start with some this year and then some more next year.

The book combines the traditional elements of Christmas, like Himmeli a traditional Christmas decoration with some more modern cuisine such as Spanish appertizers.

I have tried making a Himmeli but the straws split very easily, in this book they make it look really easy.

The book is illustrated with lovely pictures of the different foods and crafts.

Traditional straw decoration
The book also gives advise how wrapp gifts. I am not very good at that and this book didn't help me at all. I usually go to Pentik to see how the girls there wrap anything in a beautiful way.