Monster Nanny by Tuutikki Tolonen wins Arvid Lydecken Children’s book prize!


Tuutikki Tolonen’s  Monster Nanny was awarded with Arvid Lydecken prize that dates back to the 1960’s and is given annually to an outstanding Finnish children’s book. The judges of Arvid Lydecken prize comment the winner as follows:

Tuutikki Tolonen’s Monster Nanny is an original, fresh and skilfully constructed novel, which appeals seamlessly to both juvenile and adult readers. The characters are easy to identify with, the narration flows freely, and the mystery of the monsters soon has the reader hooked. Woven through the thrilling and good-natured adventure run the themes of friendship and understanding diversity. The book is suitable both for reading aloud, a desk book at school, and for devouring at the library or at home in one’s favorite reading nook. Monster Nanny has all the ingredients of a beloved children’s classic.” – Arvid Lydecken judging panel

Book I in Tolonen’s middle-grade duology was published in Finland by Tammi in fall 2015. Book 2 will follow in the fall of 2016. Contact the Agency for an English sample of Book I! Monster Nanny has been sold to 5 territories to date! 

A blend of Where the Wild Things Are, Mary Poppins and My Neighbor TotoroMonster Nanny tells the story of a contemporary family whose daily routines are turned upside-down when a hairy, swamp-smelling creature said to be specializing in childcare shows up at their doorstep.

” The narration of Monster Nanny is joyful and sparkling. It is an excellent serial story to be read aloud in the family’s joint reading sessions.”  – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

Tuutikki Tolonen (b. 1975) is the author of several acclaimed children’s books as well as plays and academic articles. She teaches creative writing and works as an editor and reporter at Vinski, Finland’s only literary journal for children.

Illustrator Pasi Pitkänen (b. 1984) has become known for his warmly absurdist and richly detailed work on several children’s books. He has also worked at Rovio Entertainment as an illustrator, character designer and graphic designer.

Original publisher: FINLAND, Tammi
ESTONIA, Tiritamm
GERMANY, Carl Hanser Verlag
ROMANIA, Editura Univers
SPAIN (Spanish), La Galera
SPAIN (Catalan), La Galera

Reading materials:
English sample
English synopsis
Full Finnish text


About author

Tuutikki Tolonen

Tuutikki Tolonen is the author of several acclaimed children’s books, plays and academic articles. She teaches creative writing and has worked as an editor and reporter at Vinski, a Finnish literary magazine for children. For Monster Nanny she received the Arvid Lydecken award.  Her inspiration for the Monster Nanny trilogy 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.

Her other bestselling series is the Agnes-series, of which the first book "Agnes and the Garden of Dreams" was in 2021 nominated for the Arvid Lydecken Award, received an honorable mention for the Runeberg Junior Award, and won the Luku Varkaus Award. Tolonen tells that the inspiration for Agnes comes for her interest for weird and inexpicable tales, ghost stories and mysteries: "I wanted to write a book my daughter Aili, then nine, would like to read - not too long, not too scary, but very curious."


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