Wednesday, February 21, 2018

In Hedgehog's garden

Marjo Nygård 2017: Kaikessa on itua, siilin puutarhassa

Hedgehog is an eager gardener. Its work starts already, when there is still snow on the ground. Its kitchen turns into a greenhouse, there are pots and jars everywhere filled with seedlings.

In the beginning of June, it is time to take the plants outside. Hedgehog is excited and is amazed how much energy is required to grow from seed to a big plant. In hedgehog's garden something is going on all the time. The gardener plans, creates, tries, fails and ties again.

The weeds have taken over hedgehog's garden plot, but the hedgehog sees them as wild vegetables. The first harvest is ready!

Garden is also underground.
When working on turning the vegetable garden, it remembers the mole's house underground. Don't dig too deep or the roof will collapse. Mr. Mole also loves hedgehog's veggies, so if hedgehog wants something to eat in the winter, it has to come up with something to keep the mole away. 

Hedgehog builds a new vegetable garden above the ground level and lays first a fabric, then some stone, another layer of fabric, then some leaves and soil. That will keep Mr. Mole away.

There are other visitors in Hedgehog's garden: caterpillars, plant lice and mites just to name a few. Hedgehog attacks them with nettle water.

When fall comes, Hedgehog invites Mr. Mole for a garden party, where they enjoy the yammies from Hedgehog's garden.

At this time of year (end of February)  I have already had enough of winter just like our hero the Hedgehog. I have dug out my hydrangea from the garaged, where they spent the last three months.  I try not to plant any seed, because at some point I always forget to water them and they die. I rely on the local nurseries, which I raid at the end of May and beginning of June. In April I startlooking at my garden and try to remember what I planted last fall and am always surprised to see the flowers that do show up.

This book is wonderful, it covers pest conrol, underground work and all the aspects of gardening. I hope some children will get excited about plants and animals in the garden.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sleepless bunny

 Nora Surojegin 2018: Uneton Jänö

Bunny cannot sleep. It is imagining, where sleep grows. In the moon, of course! But how to get there? With a pile of bunnies! Bunny reaches moon, which looks a lot like winter. It collects lumps of sleep and uses some of it as parachute to get back to Earth.

Next question: how to get it to work? On the top of the head? Through ears? Eat it? Suddenly Bunny wakes up and it is morning. Do not try to catch sleep, it sneaks up on you through your eyes.

Cute story written in rhyme and the illustrations are detailed and the nature looks very realistic, with the summer haze and all. I never thought moon could be covered in snow like fluff. Very imaginative. 

Bunny lands back to Earth

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Wilhelmiina Won Waak hooked on computer

Marja Aho 2011: Wilhelmiina Won Waak
Princess Wilhelmiina is a regular teenage duck. She spends her day at BeakBook and posts videos on BeakTube. Her parents are starting to worry about her. She is getting into the marrying age, but she is not interested.  King Wilhelm suggest a party, but Wilhelmina doesn't want to. But then her BeakBook page starts to get friend requests and they want to meet her.  Even a Flipperball player, who looks really nice, is interested. Wilhelmiina changes her mind and a party is held.

Wilhelmiina waits for the Flipperball player all night. None of the other boys will do: one has too flat flipper, the other has a wrong shaped beak. Wilhelmiina finds fault in all and is really sad about missing the Flipperball player.  Her parents are not pleased with her behavior.  All the boys leave disappointed. Exept one, who plays the flute and makes Wilhelmiina cheer up.

Then Wilhelmiina's brother Wiktor tells her that he arranged for all the other ducks to contact Wilhelmiina, so there would be a party. Wilhelmiina gets mad.  She also decides to write to the Flipperball player and demand an explanation. He said, he was sick and they arrange to meet the next day.

Wilhelmiina waits  and waits in the park. She left her phone home, so she could focus on the Flipperball player.  Then a fox leaps from the bush and takes Wilhelmiina to his cave. He is planning to have duck soup for dinner. Wilhelmiina is in a cage, but she persuades the fox to let her out for a while to look for recipes from the Internet. When the fox is not looking, Wilhelmiina send a message to the boy, who played the flute at the party.  He comes and rescues Wilhelmiina and the marry.

Donald Duck is very popular in Finland and I bet this book was inspired by him. Even though  the book was published in 2011 the discussion about kids using too much electronic devices is still current.