Summary: Onnimanni 4/2018

In the editorial, Päivi Heikkilä-Halttunen concludes that this year´s children´s and YA books increasingly address current societal issues. An obvious trend this autumn are the collections of heoric tales targeted to young people with the intent to inspire children of all ages to strengthen their emotional skills or to reminisce together with relatives.

Tuula Korolainen considers Sinikka and Tiina Nopola´s joint autobiography Siskossyndrooma from a contemporary perspective. The sisters´ life story offers a nostalgic view of the 1960s and 70s and sheds light on their cultural and literary awakening. Fans of their children´s book series about Risto Räppääjä, Heinähattu and Vilttitossu will also learn more about how they have formed their main characters´ identities.

Päivi Heikkilä-Halttunen has interviewed the Onnimanni prize winners 2018, Réka Király and Jenni Erkintalo who has founded the publishing company Etana Editions. Specialized in publishing picturebooks, these courageous visionaries have raised the regard for picturebooks in Finland, as well as received international recognition. Király and Erkintalo´s motto is that every picturebook artist is a cultural ambassador on a mission to raise families´ awareness of the picturebook´s visual and pedagogical impact on children´s growth and development.

Sanna Kivimäki´s article takes a critical look at the new heroic tales for young people published this autumn. Individual stories of success are in the spirit of the times and they also abound in social media, journalism and non-fiction. Still, this approach may undermine and distort a factual and realistic sense of truth.

Päivi Heikkilä-Halttunen has interviewed five people behind some of the Finnish heroic tales and found out what challenges they faced when collecting the background material, which target groups they have had in mind, and the importance of illustrations and marketing.

Paula Halkola has written a travelogue about visiting the children´s author Marjatta Kurenniemi´s (1918–2004) family estate in Taipalsaari this summer.

Leena Laakso´s article allows us to celebrate Christmas on the prairie. American author Laura Ingalls Wilder´s children´s novel The Long Winter was published in 1940. The book draws on Wilder´s own childhood memories from the winter 1880–81, which was exceptionally cold and snowy. Despite the harsh circumstances, the family celebrates a heart-warming Christmas twice.

Sara Kokkonen´s article explores various manifestations of fan fiction in Finland and abroad. Satu Koskimies and Vilja-Tuulia Huotarinen´s Emilia Kent. Runotytön paluu is the first Finnish fan fiction book published based on L. M. Montgomery´s Emily-books.

Arja Kanerva reports from IBBY´s congress in Athens this autumn. The theme of the congress was East meets West around children´s books and fairy tales.

Ismo Loivamaa and Päivi Heikkilä-Halttunen has written an obituary in honour of publishing editor Sirkka Kurki-Suonio (1939–2018) emphasising her versatile career within the field of children´s and YA literature.

In the news section, we learn e.g. that during the Helsinki book fair The Finnish Institute for Children´s Literature received the Union of Finnish Writers´ Kirjailija kiittää -prize for its persistent work for children´s and YA literature.

Translation Maria Lassén-Seger