Thursday, January 28, 2016

Aapeli and Veteran Reino

Maarit Malmberg 2010: Aapeli ja sotaveteraani Reino
illustrated by Jouni Koponen

Aapeli lives next door to a  retirement home. There lives Reino, who was in the Winter and Continuation war.

Aapli knows Reino and his dog Rauha. Aapeli visits Reino often and Reino tells him about his childhood in Carelia.

He tells Aapeli about the farm and all the animals they had. Aapeli knows that Reino is old and then Reino tells him about the war.

He remembers September 10th 1939, when he had just finished his army duty. Then he received a letter to join the army. The war hadn't started yet, but the recruitment was on already.

Reino explains about mobilization, shows him photos and tellss him about his duties in the war. He served as a medic and tells about the other boys and men, who got hurt. He even carried some of them to safety.

Aapeli asks, if Reino was scared. He says yes. Everyone was scared, those in the front and those back home. Aapeli asks, why he fought. Reino says he wanted to keep his home, which he couldn't keep. But he secured other homes. Aapeli's mother shows a map, where Finland was bigger.  Many people had to move, if they wanted to stay Finnish. Reino tells Aapeli that he was sad and mad, because he couldn't go home. But the most important part was that the war was over.

In Finland we talk about veterans, who fought in the Winter and Continuation War.  There aren't many left and I do not understand why we do not talk about the younger veterans who have served for the UN. I guess it needs more time.  This book is very matter of fact and even though it is about war, I think it is suitable to be read to school children. I know that many men and women who experienced the war did not like to talk about it. My Grandpa didn't.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Muzzle in the snow

Tuula Korolainen 2012: Kuono lumessa.
illustrated by Marjo Nygärd

Tassel is sweeping her empty room. She is mad: they are moving, because humans are building a road.  Her dad understands her, he is not happy either.

Tupsu doesn't want to leave her friends and bandy friends. Her parents try to comfort her. She can visit and write letters.

The mouse family starts to ski and soon Tupsu thinks she even enjoys skiing. The ski trail is even and easy. Tupsu notices others in the forest: the bullfinch is discussing with the great tit, the black grouse is feeding in the bushes and a hare has hopped over the tracks.

Suddenly dad stops, there is blood next to the tracks.  Dad tells Tupsu that in the forest are the same dangers as in the fields: fox, weasel, owl.  Dad starts to sing and Tupsu is not afraid anymore.

It starts to snow and Tupsu starts to slow down. It feels like a rubber band is attached to her back. The rubber band is pulling her back home. Tupsu turns around and starts to ski back. But the snow has covered the tracks and Tupsu gets lost.

Tupsu sees a squirrel and asks for directions, but the squirrel doesn't know. Tupsu is starting to loose faith.  A fox surprises her and grabs her. Tupsu wiggles and falls off to a pile of snow.  A group of mice saves her.  Tupsu finds new friends and together they find Tupsu's family.

Nice story about finding new friends, the dangers of snow and adventure.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Augustin Seagul and the winter at the Lighthouse island

Pia Staff 1999: Augustin Lokki ja majakkasaaren talvi

Augustin and his friends are planning a skiing trip to the near by lighthouse.  On their way they see trawlers waiting for spring. They have some picnic and they stop for a short break before they have to climb a hill.

Suddely a blizzard surprises them and Augustin is worried. Can they find their way? Pultti, his friend sees a small house and they take shelter, where they stay for the night.

Next moring they see a baby seal. The seaguls cannot leave it alone. At the same time Eevertti from the Lighthouse comes to look for them with a sail sled.  They take the baby seal with them. Finally they arrive at the lighthouse.

They all climb up the lighthouse to see the sights and with a telescope they see seals. They baby stays in the lighthouse, where it is fed and Augustin and his friends leave.
A good story about what to do, if you get caugh in a blizzard. (Which to the modern human happens very seldom.)

But winter is finally here. Let's enjoy it!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Snow woman Amalia

Vesa Löhönen 2004: Lumiakka Amalia
illustraded by Jukka Laukkanen

Old man has been a widow for twenty years and hasn't found a new wife. His kids are constantly urging him to find a wife so he wouldn't be so lonely.

One day the snow is wet enough so he makes a wife for himself so he does not have to listen to his kids.

But the snow woman starts to talk to him.  The old man is worried. Hopefully nobody sees him talking to the snow women. That would mean trouble.

The Old Man's son comes to visit with his kids. His son is worried about this friendship between his father and the snow woman. He decides to play along and sends his father and Amalia a post card. Amalia is glad.

The story ends before we find out, what happens when the snow melts. But it is a nice story. Maybe the kids should not meddle with their parents lives.