We are thrilled to announce that two wonderful titles have been nominated for the Finlandia Junior Prize 2012: Hurraa Helsinki – ikioma kaupunki! (Hooray for Helsinki! Our Very Own City, Tammi 2012) written by Karo Hämäläinen and illustrated by Salla Savolainen and Puhelias Elias (Chatty Elias, Tammi 2012) written by Essi Kummu and illustrated by Marika Maijala.
Karo Hämäläinen and Salla Savolainen: Hurraa Helsinki – ikioma kaupunki! Hooray for Helsinki! Our Very Own City (Tammi 2012)
A milk jug gets broken in the morning, sending the whole family on a tram to the Hietaniemi flea market in a search of a replacement. The journey turns into a cheerful excursion to summery Helsinki and Finnish design. Each pair of pages forms an entity with the text reading like a small prose poem, which is why the book does not need to be read from cover to cover but can be dipped into. One of the clever ideas of the book is a board game with a design theme.
Hurray Helsinki! works as a picture book for the little ones, but with its high-quality execution it will fascinate readers of any age. While a little reader concentrates on studying the hustle and bustle in the Esplanade Park, an adult reads about the statues in the park from the information box. And why not use the book as a real travel guide to Helsinki?
Essi Kummu and Marika Maijala: Puhelias Elias Chatty Elias (Tammi 2012)
Today, Elias is quiet. It is Daddy week in town: Mummy is in the other home out in the country. Is it true that there is an invisible thread that connects people who are dear to each other, even when they are apart? Chatty Elias shows how we fall silent when we come face to face with the big things in life. Only the fingers that stroke Mummy’s ear express all the feelings. Together with the grown-ups, Elias tries to learn to accept longing as part of life.
Kummu and Maijala believe in children’s books not always needing to be full of action, high jinks and clowning around. They convey their big message in a way that is understated and wistful in its tone. A little boy’s silence in front the parents’ divorce is tangible. Delicate and child-like illustrations and a skilfully told story merge into a bright work of art.
The Finlandia Junior Prize is a yearly award, worth 30.000 EUR, given to the most outstanding Finnish children’s book.
Please ask for reading copies from the Agency!