Wheezy Donkey and Wonky Monkey nominated for the Finlandia Junior Prize 2013

HipinäaasiKANSI176.inddWe are thrilled to announce that Wheezy Donkey and Wonky Monkey (Hipinäaasi apinahiisi, Tammi 2013) written by Ville Hytönen and illustrated by Matti Pikkujämsä is nominated for the Finlandia Junior Prize 2013.

Wheezy Donkey and Wonky Monkey is a tale of two lonely animals who are both somehow different. The small donkey with bad lungs says ’hee, hee’ and the large, clumsy monkey goes ’hssh, hssh’ when it hobbles around. The other animals in the forest make fun of their peculiarities, as animals sometimes tend to. ‘Wheezy donkey, wonky monkey’ they call out to the unhappy puffing donkey and the monkey shuffling along feeling sorry for himself, making them feel lonelier than ever. But then one day, the donkey and the monkey meet and everything changes. 

A warm-hearted story about friendship, Ville Hytönen’s second children’s book explores the way we are all different and, because of that, also alike. The book introduces the reader to a menagerie of colourful characters that come to life in Matti Pikkujämsä’s illustrations. This gently anarchistic and wise tale about friendship has a message: we are all different – and therefore similar.

The Finlandia Junior Prize is an annual award worth 30.000 EUR, given to the most outstanding Finnish children’s book.

Please ask the Agency for reading copies!

Matti Pikkujämsä


Matti Pikkujämsä has created illustrations for nearly a dozen children’s books as well as several national magazines and newspapers in Finland. His visual language is defined by clear lines, stylized and expressive characters and bold colours. Among his accolades has been the 2012 Rudolf Koivu Prize, a biennial award given by the Association of Visual Communication Designers in Finland to an outstanding children’s or YA book illustration.

Wonky Donkey (Hipinäaasi apinahiisi, Tammi 2013), which Pikkujämsä created together with author Ville Hytönen, was nominated for the prestigious 2013 Finlandia Junior Prize that honours the year’s best children’s book. Wonky Donkey was also named one of 2013′s three most beautiful Finnish children’s books by the Finnish Book Art Committee.

Ville Hytönen


Ville Hytönen (b. 1982) is a poet, children’s book writer, bookshop owner, columnist and publishing director at Savukeidas Publishing, which he founded at the age of 19. He lives in Tallinn, Estonia. Hytönen’s poems have been translated into 16 languages. In 2010 he received the Sammon Tekijät Award for new thinking, creativity and innovation. Awarded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, the prize is worth 50,000 euros.

Wonky Donkey (Hipinäaasi apinahiisi, Tammi 2013), which Hytönen created together with illustrator Matti Pikkujämsä, was nominated for the prestigious 2013 Finlandia Junior Prize that honours the year’s best children’s book. Wonky Donkey was also named one of 2013’s three most beautiful Finnish children’s books by the Finnish Book Art Committee.