Summary: Onnimanni 2/2017

In the editorial, Johanna Hulkko ponders the importance of authors visiting schools. The visits shed light on how books are born and encourage children to read and write. The opening article presents the Institute’s new Punni-prize, which honours a debut work for children or young adults or a brave, new work by an experienced writer or illustrator. The first Punni-prize has been awarded Elina Hirvonen and Ville Tietäväinen for their picturebook Näkymätön (Lasten Keskus). Jenni Erkintalo’s picturebook for toddlers Millainen minä? (Etana Editions) and Laura Merz’s and Aino Järvinen’s animal book Tuhat ja yksi otusta (Etana Editions) were highly commended.

Kerttu Jokela has interviewed Swedish Karin Sohlgren, whose company NDIO produces bilingual picturebooks together with the London based publishing house Mantra Lingua. Such books are in demand since there are many immigrants in Sweden. Bilingual picturebooks are already available in over 30 languages and using these books also many adults have learned to read.

Kaisa Laaksonen presents the nationwide project Suuri lukuseikkailu, which encourages children to read during Finland’s centenary celebration year. The programme includes e.g. seminars, exhibitions, campaigns, and theme days arranged by schools, libraries and centres for children’s culture. Authors and illustrators participate in these events both live and virtually.

Based on The Swedish Institute for Children’s Book’s survey of books published in 2016, Kerttu Jokela presents works that mirror norms in terms of e.g. family life, the search for identity, bullying, difference, trends and forbidden love.

Maaria Rousu has interviewed Anna Anttonen and Kati Inkala, who teach at the Oulu-based Valve School of Literary Arts for Children, about their exhibition Dream Tapestries (Unikudelmia), which is based on 31 new and classic Finnish books about dreams and night-time. The adventurous and versatile exhibition is mostly based on children’s books.

Hanna Järvenpää has explored how the digital world appears in current books about young people’s everyday lives in general and in particular in Geoff Rodkey’s Tapper Twins-books where the protagonists use technology to handle everyday matters and relationships, but where digital communication also enables bullying.

Päivi Nordling writes about easy-to-read books that are in demand by many different groups including immigrants, the elderly and children with poor reading skills. Too few easy-to-read books are being published, and those available are hard to find. Nordling urges publishers to produce attractive easy reading for children.

Emma Kaukiainen is impressed by the realistic drama series 13 reasons why. Despite the serious subject matter, the series includes warm-hearted depictions of human relationships. Kaukiainen concludes that the series is one of the rare adaptations that meet the standards of the original novel.

In the news section, we learn e.g. that the Finnish nominations for the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize 2017 are: Minna Lindeberg and Jenny Lucander’s Vildare, värre, Smilodon (Wilder, Worse, Smilodon, Förlaget, 2016) and Inka Nousiainen and Satu Kettunen’s Yökirja (Night Diary, Tammi 2015).

Translation: Maria Lassén-Seger