Summary: Onnimanni 4/2017

Onnimanni wishes everyone a merry Christmas with a poem by Eppu Nuotio.

Aino Isojärvi interviews researcher Sisko Ylimartimo about her updated study of L.M. Montgomery and the Netflix series Anne with an E. According to Ylimartimo, adaptations of the Anne-books are works of art in their own right since many are unfamiliar with the original books today and each new version seeks to tell the story from a new perspective. Ylimartimo accentuates Montgomery’s duality: on the one hand, she was unconventionally witty, on the other, she had to adapt to the conventions of her time and always walked a tightrope. Still, she did create a new form of reflective, light reading and human, fallible heroines, which is why her books have stood the test of time. Isojärvi also presents Ylimartimo’s study and the Netflix series. The twofold book includes Montgomery’s autobiography The Alpine Path and Ylimartimo’s thematic study of her works.

A Finnish translation of L.M. Mongomery’s Ringa of Ingleside was published as late as 1962. Sara Kokkonen has, however, found parts of the novel translated already during the war years 1942-43 by Aune Levanto for the magazine Pohjois-Karjalan Kenttälotta. Kokkonen compares the different translations of the war novel. Whereas the magazine translation addresses young women in the Lotta Svärd Organization involved in national defence work, Kerttu Piskonen’s book translation addresses a wider readership. Kokkonen reveals that the versions differ in political emphasis and omitted sections. She calls for new Finnish translations of Montgomery’s books that are more faithful to the originals.

Hanna Järvenpää reports from the Kirjalitta children’s literature event in Tampere this November arranged, in part, by the Finnish Institute for Children’s Literature.

Kaisa Laaksonen compares differences in focus among the Nordic children’s literature institutes. She concludes e.g. that only the Swedish and Finnish institutes still have libraries that collect children’s and young adult books and research publications within the field. The Danish institute focuses mainly on research whereas the Norwegian institute concentrates on research and teaching creative writing. The differences are mainly a result of each institute’s mission and sources of funding.

Mari Taneli’s article studies books about potty training from the 21st century. In Finland, there are about 20 picturebooks on this topic, most of them translations. Half of these are board books with little text, but with tactile elements such as flaps or sound buttons. Most books clearly address either boys or girls.

Two articles deal with literary awards. Sanna Mander has won the Finlandia Prize for children’s and young adult literature for her book Nyckelknipan/Avain hukassa. Researcher and lecturer FT Päivi Heikkilä-Halttunen, who often writes for Onnimanni, has received the Institute’s Onnimanni Prize.

In the news section we learn e.g. that the Finnish nominees for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) are illustrator Linda Bondestam, illustrator and writer Kristiina Louhi, illustrator Marika Maijala, writer Timo Parvela, writer Maria Turtschaninoff, illustrator Anne Vasko, and publisher Etana Editions.

Translation Maria Lassén-Seger