World invasion of Finnish children’s books continues

Children newsletter 140110Finnish children’s literature continues to find new audiences abroad. Recent successes include Tiina Nopola’s spirited Siri series, Tapani Bagge’s quirky Bud and Bella picture books about the adventures of a cat and a dog, and Ville Hytönen’s Wonky Donkey, which was nominated for the prestigious Finlandia Junior Prize in 2013.

The Slovak rights to Siri and Her New Friends (Siiri ja kolme Ottoa, Tammi 2002) and Siri and the Wild Toddler (Siiri ja villi taapero, Tammi 2013) have been sold to Verbarium. The Simplified Chinese rights to the Siri series have been sold to Graphic Communications Press. Beyond the Siri series, author Tiina Nopola and her sister Sinikka Nopola are behind the classic series Hayflower and Quiltshoe (Heinähattu ja Vilttitossu) and Ricky Rapper, Finland’s most popular children’s character. Altogether Sinikka and Tiina Nopola’s books have been translated into 20 languages.

“[Tiina Nopola’s] sharp dialogue also gives room for kids’ thoughts,” Finland’s largest newspaper Helsingin Sanomat has said of the Siri series.

Turbine has acquired the Danish rights to Bud and Bella in a Whirlwind (Tahvo ja Bella pyörremyrskyssä, Tammi 2009) and Bud and Bella in a Peasouper (Tahvo ja Bella hernerokkasumussa, Tammi 2010). The three-part Bud and Bella series is illustrated by internationally acclaimed Salla Savolainen. In addition to creating stories for children, Tapani Bagge is a well-known author of crime novels. 

The Estonian rights to Wonky Donkey (Hipinäaasi apinahiisi, Tammi 2013), illustrated by award-winning Matti Pikkujämsä, have been sold to Koolibri. In its review, literary journal Books from Finland called it “a gently educational tale.”

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