Thursday, January 24, 2019

Where did electricity go?

Text by Tiina Sarja 2018: Minne sähkö meni?
Story developed by Tiina Sarja, Mikko Posio and Henna Ryynänen
Illustrated by  Henna Ryynänen

The whole city is blacked out! Twins Akseli, Anni and their dog Voltti (a dog with a PhD)  start looking where does electricity come from. They meet a nutty professor and find out about power plants, nuclear power and even poop power in a farm.

The illustrations are great and there is so much information about energy that  (hopefully) kids have no more questions to ask. Except: what kind of tablet did the kids have, when its battery ran out so fast?

This book starts a series Anni and Akseli investigate. Can't wait for more!

Renewable energy and fossil fuels 

Wind power

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Take a subway to forest

Elli Keisteri-Sipilä 2018: Metrolla metsään
pictures from Kalasatama east Miikka Nevalainen
pictures from Kalasatama west Hanna Nikula

The book title is catchy, but misleading: there is no forest at the center of Helsinki and even in Kamppi nature is limited to the Natural History Museum (although it is worth visiting). But none the less, this is a great book! I learned that if you want to see nature in Helsinki it is more than just coastal vegetation.

And at the center of Helsinki, you can always walk around the Töölö bay. In the summertime you can rent a bike in Espoo and you can ride the bike to shore and then rent a boat! Terrific!

The book has maps, but read carefully, some locations may be a few kilometers away from the subway station. But since you are willing to walk in nature, this should not be a problem.
Metro map, very simple. 
The cows in Helsinki
At Herttoniemi is a wetland, which is protected for the birds to nest. The routes, where you can walk are marked and there are plenty of paths to follow. You can also visit some bird watching towers.  The Vanhankaupunginlahti (Old City Bay), Viikki and the Vantaanjoki area create a unique nature experience. The book mentions that from Herttoniemi you can walk all the way to Kalasatama and depending on which routes you choose, you can walk 10-12 km.

Coast can be reached with Metro. Different kind of nature
Matinkylä is in Espoo by the Gulf of Finland. When I think of nature and forest in Espoo, I think of Nuuksio national park. But there you cannot go by subway, yet. This book shows other places where you can enjoy fresh air. From Matinkylä station is a 30 minute walk to Nokkala, where you can take the coastal boats to the islands near by.  Check out Iso Vasikkasaari!

The new destinations I am going to visit with my boys are at least the Kivikko army style obstacle course and Mustavuori Grove.  On the list is already visit to the Espoo archipelago. 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Ricky the Rapper in traffic

Sinikka Nopola and Tiina Nopola: Risto Räppääjä liikenteessä
illustrated by Christel Rönns

I am glad kids are taught how to behave in traffic, since so many adults do not. This book is makes adults look silly and it is always a big hit with the kids.

The book teaches the basic traffic signs, the rules who goes first. But at least I tell my boys that in a match between a car and a pedestrian, the pedestrian always looses. The same goes for bikes. So I cannot emphasize enough that boys should be careful. You can never be sure that the drivers see the kids.

One thing that is missing from this book and is driving me nuts is in trains: people start pushing in the train even before the other people have come out! Come on.  Where are the manner schools for adults?

Visualization of Risto without reflector in
  the first picture, and below with reflectors
 and a head lamp.
In winter time  two things should be remembered: it is dark and slippery. Some how people always forget that and come November many accidents happen.

So, keep your reflectors and even lamps when you walk out side. Even in cities the street lamps only light a limited area and the people blend in the shadows.

Sometimes we get snow and the snowplow truck keep the streets clean.  In the country side, where there are no sidewalks, change sides when the truck approaches, or you'll end up like Aunt Rauha at the bottom picture.

Also the streets are very slippery, so be prepared that the cars may not stop as fast as in summer time.  So when you are walking, keep that in mind.

My favorite advice in traffic: no sudden moves! That eliminates some accidents.

Watch out for the snow plow truck!
Now, what can you do?