Wheezy Donkey and Wonky Monkey

Original title: Hipinäaasi apinahiisi

Published: 2013

Publisher: Tammi

Class/genre: Picture Book

Pages: 32


Nominated for the Finlandia Junior Prize 2013
One of 2013’s most beautiful children’s books (the Finnish Book Art Committee)

A tale of friendship celebrating all the things that make us different.

Two lonely creatures – a donkey with weak lungs and a clumsy monkey – are both mocked and shunned by other animals because of their respective oddities. But what happens when the donkey and the monkey meet and decide that being wheezy or wonky are, in fact, qualities to proudly sing about?

Rights sold: Estonian 


“This warm-hearted story of two creatures finding one another emphasizes the importance of accepting what makes you and others different. Although the story has a wistful tone, its beautifully colourful illustrations create a world to escape to. Each spread is a work of art that has not been disrupted by too much text. [Hytönen’s] language is expressive, and captivating when read out loud.
-Finlandia Junior Prize jury, 2013

“In Ville Hytönen’s gently educational tale, some woodland creatures poke fun at a wheezy donkey and an oddball monkey… sometimes [Illustrator Matti Pikkujämsä] creates extremely elaborate ornamentation, while other images calm the eye with spare yet colourful scraffito techniques.
-Books from Finland literary journal

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.


Ville Hytönen

Tales from Bug Forest

2014, Picture Book

Ville Hytönen

Winter in Bug Forest

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