Summary: Onnimanni 3/2022


Onnimanni 3/2022 kansikuva.



The meagre Finnish media coverage of children’s literature has long been a common concern. In her editorial, Aino-Maria Kangas encourages adults to promote books and reading on social media platforms that young people actively use. The institute’s Kirjakopla-project supports this view by inspiring young people to produce their own content on social media and showing them how to make their own book tip videos.

Päivi Heikkilä-Halttunen has talked to Tuomas Marjamäki and Ulpu-Maria Lehtinen about the origins of and ambitions for their very first books for young people. Marjamäki’s children’s book Nollis (WSOY 2022) features the world’s only hornless unicorn and Lehtinen’s YA novel Kalmanperhon kutsu (S&S 2022) fuses fantasy with realism. Both authors have worked for a long time within the media industry; Marjamäki as an editor and Lehtinen as a screenwriter.

Mari Taneli’s article presents an overview of the latest christian children’s books, which include much rhymed poetry and many bible stories. The picturebooks are, according to Taneli, more versatile since their spiritual content tends to be more subtly interlaced with children’s everyday family life. Instead of providing ready-made answers, these picturebooks initiate discussions on a variety of topics with the co-reading adult.

Karoliina Suoniemi’s article voices the need for books for young people about a wider range of cultures and religious faiths, including the lack of religiosity. As an upper schoolteacher, she has noticed that students are increasingly interested in hearing and learning about different ways of viewing the world. Their fascination is often sparked by an interest in promoting peaceful intercultural relations.

Rimma Erko’s article gives an overview of the trending motif of unicorns in children’s literature. This classical and mythical creature still symbolises imagination and dreams. Yet, lately the unicorn may also represent the very opposite, such as resistance and individuality.

In the brand new Pulssi-column J. S. Meresmaa interviews notable Finnish children’s literature professionals. In this column, authors Harri Veistinen, Mila Teräs and Suvi Nurmi, along with illustrator/author Riikka Jäntti, shares news and ideas from within the trade. They all wish publishers would market books for young people more actively and that there were more room for hopefulness – and less anxiety – in these books.

The Puntari-appendix includes reviews of many new book series, as well as works by debuting writers.

Translation by Maria Lassén-Seger