Kirjakori 2023 -statistics on children’s and youth literature in Finland in English

The annual Kirjakori statistics published by the Finnish Institute for Children’s Literature records the number of children’s and youth literature in Finland. There are a total of 1322 books in Kirjakori 2023. The number has stayed roughly the same compared to last year’s 1313. The biggest change was in the number of children’s books (including children’s novels, and collections of fairy tales and stories), which continued to increase. There were 353 children’s books, which is the most in the entire 20 year history of Kirjakori.

Kirjakori includes all of the new children’s and youth literature published in 2023, that the Institute has acquired for its collection. In addition, Kirjakori includes new editions, if there has been a significant change, for example new cover, illustrations or translation. The annual Kirjakori statistics overview is based on the books donated by creators and publishers.

For the seventh year in a row, there are more domestic books than translations. This year 51 % of the books are domestic. There are books from 129 different domestic and international publishers. 68% of all books in Kirjakori 2023 were published by the ten biggest publishers in children’s and youth fiction.

One of the big themes in children’s and youth novels was moving between different stages in young people’s lives, such as the end of childhood play, or starting secondary school, seen from the point of view of both girls and boys. The children in these books have to face strong emotions caused by the changes, and seek help with handling them, especially from friends, but also family. The stories highlight individuality and the desire to make one’s own choices, though in a way that does not jeopardize being accepted by friends. In picture books emotional skills are still a common theme, and especially dealing with negative emotions get a lot of attention.

Other themes that have strong presence in children’s and youth literature in 2023 are history and time travel, diversity and acceptance, environment, and stories based on myths or folk tradition. The popularity of audio books has not diminished the relevance of printed children’s and youth literature according to publishing numbers.

Kirjakori 2023 -statistics and overview in English

Translation: Iiris Kettunen