Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Princess Ebba

Päivi Honkakoski: Prinsessa Ebba
Illustrated by Ludi Wang

Ebba Lavonius was born in Helsinki 1850, but her family lived in Oulu. She was very educated and smart. In this book, the men fear her, because she can discuss all subject and is also very interested in them.  She also spoke several languages: German; French, Russian as well as Finnish and Swedish.

The book tells about her childhood in Oulu and how she is afraid she will never meet a man, who could marry her. She travels all around Europe, which was not common among single women at that time.

Finally she meets Prince Albrecht in a spa in Germany. The
Ebba Charlotta Louisa Lavonius becamezu Solms-Braunfels as she married Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfels in 1889. In the book, she seems a young girl, but she was 39, a pretty high age at the time.
Albrecht was breeding dogs

Finland is a democracy. We were thinking about getting a German king, Friedrich Karl, but due to WW I, it didn't happen.  In any case, we keenly follow the monarchs of Sweden and I am glad I found this story of a Finnish princess, even though the royalty was through marriage. Sadly Princess Ebba died poor in Italy in 1927, because of WWI.

Pictures about Braunfeld Castle

Photos of Ebbas homes in Oulu and Braunfeld

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Pikkuli, the smallest bird

Metsämarja Aittokoski: Pikkuli
Illustrated by Elli Vuorinen

Pikkuli is a small bird. Even when it (again we do not know if Pikkuli is a boy or a girl, it is always referred as "it") hatches, it needs help. Mom and Dad hear Pikkuli saying it cannot. Pikkuli's parents are trying to entourage it to break the egg. Pikkuli's brother and sister are eagerly learning how to fly, but Pikkuli is repeating "I cannot."

Eating is a problem for Pikkuli, too. Pikkuli's beak is too small for the worm. And again Pikkuli says "I can't".

Then it is time to learn to fly. Guess what? Pikkuli says " I can't" and does not even try.

Pikkuli decides to run away. It meets a woodpecker, who is trying to find food. Finally the woodpecker finds a big bug. It was worth trying, says the woodpecker to Pikkuli.  Pikkuli sees many animals, which all can do things. Pikkuli still thinks, it cannot do anything. Finally Pikkuli meets a bird, which seems to have mismatch body parts. Its neck is stuck under the water and is about to drown. Pikkuli is looking around: isn't anybody going to help the poor bird?  Then Pikkuli dives in and untangles the long neck. The odd bird, Honkkeli, says it never learns how to catch fish. Pikkuli thinks, they should try together. Then they dive and fish. Pikkuli's family is amazed at the transformation.  But Pikkuli still can not fly. Dad says none of them fly south until Pikkuli can join them. Pikkuli is happy, it is liked even though it cannot anything. Then Pikkuli tries flying and succeeds. Then the whole family flies south. Well Pikkuli dives and does other things,

I have been substituting in comprehensive school and I have seen, how kids get discouraged, if they don't succeed immediately. They do not want to practice and it is sad. I keep telling them that is why they are in school, to learn things. Very odd! The Pikkuli story is a great lesson for all children to keep trying.

You can find learning material, coloring pages and much more at Pikkuli homepage,

Pikkuli is also an animation at YLE, Pikkuli tv-series at Yle.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Albi goes to the dentist

Mikko Kunnas, Markus Majaluoma 2017: Albi käy hammaslääkärissä

Albi want white teeth and goes to the dentist. Tbe problem is that with the white teeth nobody sees him smiling.  Luckily it was only a dream.

There he gets the idea to play dentist with his friends.

Albi is a very popular children's cartoon, if the link works you can watch it at Albi the TV-series at Yle. Albi does not talk.

This is a good book since so many people are afraid of going to the dentist. And the lesson learned: white teeth do not always work. This applies to other things people want: the desired object does not necessarily bring happiness.

Albi has a whale as a patient.