Monster Nanny

Reading material

Full English text
Finnish edition

Original title: Mörkövahti

Published: 2015

Publisher: Tammi

Class/genre: Middle-Grade

Pages: 303


Arvid Lydecken Prize winner 2015

Monster Nanny duology, Book I
With monochrome illustrations by Pasi Pitkänen

Mary Poppins meets Where the Wild Things Are in this prize-winning duology.

The Hellman children must make do with a nanny while their mother is away at a spa. The only problem? Their nanny is a monster.

Grah is hairy, dusty, and doesn’t talk. When the siblings discover that other neighborhood kids have been left with similar creatures, they start to wonder where the monsters came from. With the parents away, the kids work together (between bickering) to figure out the mystery of the monsters.

Tolonen seamlessly intertwines contemporary life with a world full of strange creatures. Monster Nanny is at once a refreshing change of pace and a return to timeless adventure.

Rights sold:

Original publisher: FINLAND, Tammi
BRAZIL, DarkSide Books (two-book-deal)
CHINA, Beijing Children’s Publishing House
ESTONIA, Tiritamm
FRANCE, Editions Robert Laffont (two-book deal)
GERMANY, Carl Hanser Verlag (two-book deal)
HUNGARY, Tessloff Babilon (two-book deal)
ITALY, Salani/Mauri Spagnol
LATVIA, Zvaigzne
THE NETHERLANDS, Luitingh-Sijthoff (two-book deal)
NORWAY, Gyldendal Norsk (two-book deal)
ROMANIA, Editura Univers
SLOVENIA, Mladinska knjiga (two-book deal)
SPAIN (Spanish), La Galera
SPAIN (Catalan), La Galera
SWEDEN, Rabén & Sjögren (two-book deal)
TURKEY, SEV Redhouse Kidz
WORLD ENGLISH, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
FILM RIGHTS, Scott Free Productions

The first in a duology, Tuutikki’s book won the Arvid Lydecken prize in Finland and will have wide appeal among young readers. Within its pages, children outsmart adults, sense the vulnerable emotions of the monsters, and come to depend upon themselves and new friends. Loose-lined ink illustrations add extra humor to this imaginative fantasy, and plentiful dialogue makes it prime for reading aloud.  — Booklist

“…a diverting and different read-aloud.” — Kirkus

This riddle-filled story is original, touching, incredible.” 4.5/5 stars — Livresse des Livres blog, France 

“Monster Nanny is a warm and engaging story, written with humour and wit. Children will love the oddness of the strange nannies and enjoy the thrill in uncovering the mystery that surrounds them.” — Alenka Veler, editor, Mladinska knjiga

“Monster Nanny is a children’s book that combines absurdist humour with an adventurous story. The author created a wonderful world, in which mothers are sent on a holiday and their inventive kids take care of themselves. There is a lot of humour in the dialogue and several jokes that make adults laugh as well (like the Invisible Voice). There is a lot to enjoy in this series!” — Thille Dop & Hannerlie Modderman, Luitingh-Sijthoff, The Netherlands

“I loved this fresh and funny novel. The author matter-of-factly creates a world where monsters work as nannies and bathrobes talk – there’s a classic old fashioned, Roald Dahl feel to it with the everyday and the fantastic interacting seamlessly. We’re happy to bring this clever and engaging Finnish novel to US readers.” — Margaret Raymo, senior editor, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, USA

“I am scared of monsters, but very fond of Monster Nanny! I will tell the Chinese readers: if you want a monster and a friend, pick this work up.” — Qi Yangping, editor, Beijing Children’s Publishing House, China

“Tuutikki Tolonen has written a moving and inventive story destined to became a classic and a favourite for generations of children.” —  Olga Portella, editor, and Iolanda Batallé, publishing director, La Galera, Spain

“We are really thrilled to publish Monster Nanny in French, both for its monstrously appealing humor and its wonderful artwork! Mimi, Koby, Halley, the bathrobe and the clueless parents all bring their own fantastic personal touch and it’s bound to have parents and kids alike prolong the traditional bedtime story!” – Fabien Le Roy, editorial manager for YA & children’s books, Robert Laffont

“Monster Nanny is a lovely story with a huge heart. Clearly related to classical tales with a touch of the absurd and a great sense of humour.  Tolonen and Pitkänen have created an adventurous story which is destined to be a future classic loved and read by many, many children – and their grown-ups.” – Sofia Hahr, senior editor, Rabén & Sjögren

“Themes of friendship and tolerance are woven in the thrilling and good-natured adventure. – – Monster Nanny has all the ingredients of a beloved children’s classic.” – Arvid Lydecken Prize jury

Tuutikki Tolonen

Tuutikki Tolonen is the author of several acclaimed children’s books, plays and academic articles. For Monster Nanny she received the Arvid Lydecken award. She teaches creative writing and has worked as an editor and reporter at Vinski, Finland’s only literary journal for children. Her inspiration for the Monster Nanny duology sparked during a family breakfast. “My son Leo, then six, said: ‘I heard on the radio yesterday that all moms have to go on vacation and monsters will take their places,” she says.


Tuutikki Tolonen

Monster Route

2016, Middle-Grade

Related news