Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Big Walrus and Little Walrus

Maire Uotila 2009: Isomursu ja pikkumursu

Little Walrus is waiting for his dad Big Walrus, who is a sailor. Satyrday is sauna day and blueberry pie day, but this Saturday is special, because dad is coming home.

Big Walrus has a surprise: he is taking Little Walrus with him. Together they see cities with trams, eat ice cream, speak mur-mur language with bears. Walrus is mursu in Finnish and therefore they can speak it.
Usually I like illustrations that are very accurate, but this book is so retro and the illustrations are black and blue that it is very cute.

I do not know anything about sailing and waiting for dad, but I can relate to the fact that Saturday is sauna day and on Saturdays Mom would have the time to bake,blueberry pies or sweet rolls.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The reptiles and amphibians of Finland

Antti Koli 2016: Suomen matelijat ja sammakkoeläimet

Since Finland is so cold, there are few reptiles and amphibians. There is only one poisonous snake and two others, which get mixed up all the time. So innocent snakes get killed far too often. Then there is a legless slowworm that gets also whacked, because people are afraid of snakes.

This book is full of photographs of these mysterious animals. Everyone should read it and try to live in peace with them.

 It is good for me to say all this, since I have never seen alive snake, so I cannot tell, how I would react to a snake.  All I know is tha my grandfather was bitten by a viper in the 1970s and he spend a week in he hospital. I am sure it was a frightening situation for my mother, but it was 40 years ago. Maybe it is time to move to the next millenium.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The mousefamily von Harmaja protects nature

Irja Nikkinen 2009: Kotimetsän paras kirja, von Harmajan hiiriperhe suojelee luontoa
illustraded by Milla Koivunen

Von Harmaja family lives a buzy life. Then Grandpa and Tiina find a eco learning book and they get the family to save water, recycle and save energy. The kids swap their toys, they stop taking baths and stop buying unnessary plastic bags.

The book teaches kids how important it is to think about the environment and make responsible choices. I am big on turning out the lights, but today the led lamps really do not spend that much energy, but I have been taught to turn them out so that is what I do.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Life in the iron age

Aira Savisaari and Janne Harju 2004: Possu Annikki, Ilves Ilomieli ja Karhu Ilmari : kertomus siitä kuinka karhu Ilmari takoi veden hopeasta onnen: kilkutteli ja kalkutteli, kolme päivää kolisteli

Pig Annikki, Bear Ilmari and Bobcat Ilomieli live near a birch rattling rapids. Annikki is worried about the food running out after a hard winter. She believes silver would make her happy. Bear Ilmari thinks about it and decides to forge a silvery blanket out of the silver of the water for Pig Annikki. After all he is a smith. After finnishing the blanket, it is so cold that they cannot sleep under it.

Then arrives the vikings, Fox Sinihammas the viking chief wants the blanket, but he does not have enough silver for it. He steels it along with pig Annikki's cauldron. Pig Annikki gets mad, not about the blanket but the pot. How is she supposed to make dinner without it?

All three go after the vikings, it turns out the blanket turns into water outside the home waters. The vikings return the cauldron and promise to help with the household chores. Bear Ilmari gives them three iron nails as a token of good will. They will trade in the future. Pig Annikki also realizes that silver does not bring happiness. The wind in the birch branches and the light of the sky is may be.

At the end is a list of different months in the iron age. There used to be seven of them. Some months like Wintermonth in November-December and Summermonth in June-July were longer than others.

I especially like the wording in this book: "possu Annikin peittoa oli paikattu: pitkin poloisen possun peittoa pötkötti paikka paikan päällä." It describes, how pig Annikki's blanket was patched.  I also liked the simplisity and teaching of the book. I guess in every Finn there still is a part of the iron age left. In my opinion, we don't need much.

This book has also been translated into French:Dame Cochon, messire l'Ours et le Lynx chanteur : ou comment Ilmari, l'Ours forgeron, en forgeant, martelant et battant pendant trois jours, transforma l'argent de l'eau en bonheur.