The Cow with a Trap Door on Her Side

Original title: Lehmä jonka kyljessä oli luukku

Published: 2006

Publisher: Teos

Class/genre: Picture Book

Pages: 36

The Cow with a Trap Door on Her Side represents Kontio’s writing at its best: his masterful use of language and surrealistic literary landscaping. The book does not underestimate the readers or try to be educational. It manages to capture the confusion of childhood in a refreshing manner, as the children escape into the world, transported in the cow’s stomach. Camilla Pentti’s stylized illustrations suit the lopsided style of the book perfectly.

Tomi Kontio


Tomi Kontio is one of the most esteemed and acclaimed poets of his generation. His debut collection of poetry Under the Ballroom Sky, which came out in 1993, received the J.H. Erkko Prize, as well as the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for the best recently published debut in 1999. Kontio’s poetry has been translated into many different languages, for example English, Spanish, Polish, Swedish, German, Czech, Hungarian, and Estonian. Tomi Kontio has been nominated for the Runeberg Prize first for The Indecent (1994), a collection of short stories, and then for his novel Deep Inside (1995).

He has published outstanding children’s books, of which the first, Daddy Grew Wings in the Spring, won the Finlandia Junior Prize for 2000. His first book for pre-school children, The Cow with a Trap Door in Her Side, came out in 2006. Illustrator Camilla Pentti received the Rudolf Koivu Prize for the book. Kontio has also written columns and song lyrics. He lives in Helsinki, and has five children.

Bibliography