Children’s books: spring deals and reviews round-up

Monster Nanny, our prize-winning adventure story for middle-grade readers written by Tuutikki Tolonen, has conquered yet another country: Czech rights were acquired by Portál.

This deal marks the 18th sold territory for the book, telling the story of three kids who get a monstrous babysitter for the summer, and which has a Hollywood adaptation in development by Scott Free Productions.

Leena Parkkinen and Jussi Karjalainen’s newest collaboration, a story book Little Brother’s Marvellous Expedition has just been published in Finland. Kainuun Sanomat newspaper gave the original edition a lovely review:

“A good children’s book does not underestimate the child. A good children’s book transports the reader to strange lands and to the solemn logic of child’s play. Adults also will enjoy reading such a book. […] Little Brother’s Magnificent Expedition is exactly that.”

Last month another one of our picture books was published in Australia and the UK: Little Mouse Helps Out by Riikka Jäntti is now available in English. The third book in the series, Little Mouse’s Christmas will be published in fall 2017 in the UK and Australia.

“Both the story and the illustrations are lovely, and there is so much to discuss with children about helping out and taking turns that I can see this becoming a firm favourite for children at storytime,” wrote the Australian magazine Eye.

Get in touch with us for reading materials for Monster Nanny, Little Brother’s Marvellous Expedition, or Little Mouse Helps Out.

Rights sold, Little Mouse series:
Original publisher: FINLAND, Tammi
AUSTRALIA, Scribble/Scribe
CHINA, Beijing Yuntu Tech
NEW ZEALAND, Scribe/Scribble
UK, Scribe/Scribble

Rights sold, Monster Nanny:
Original publisher: FINLAND, Tammi
CHINA, Beijing Children’s Publishing House
ESTONIA, Tiritamm
FRANCE, Editions Robert Laffont (two-book deal)
GERMANY, Carl Hanser Verlag (two-book deal)
HUNGARY, Tessloff Babilon (two-book deal)
ITALY, Salani/Mauri Spagnol
LATVIA, Zvaigzne
THE NETHERLANDS, Luitingh-Sijthoff (two-book deal)
NORWAY, Gyldendal Norsk (two-book deal)
ROMANIA, Editura Univers
SLOVENIA, Mladinska knjiga (two-book deal)
SPAIN (Spanish), La Galera
SPAIN (Catalan), La Galera
SWEDEN, Rabén & Sjögren (two-book deal)
WORLD ENGLISH, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
FILM RIGHTS, Scott Free Productions

About author

Leena Parkkinen

Leena Parkkinen has authored three prize-winning adults’ novels set in 20th century Europe, often about people living at the margins society. Her skillful use of detail is often imbued with an element of suspense. She has also written two children’s story books.

Parkkinen has received numerous literary awards, such as Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for the best debut (2009), Academic Bookshop’s Bestselling Debut Prize (2009), Laila Hirvisaari Award (2010) and the Kalevi Jäntti Prize (2013), in addition to being nominated for the Tulenkantaja Export Prize 2017. Her works have been translated into seven languages to date.

About author

Pasi Pitkänen

Pasi Pitkänen has become known for his richly detailed illustrative work on several children’s books such as the extremely popular Monster Nanny trilogy by Tuutikki Tolonen. He has also worked at Rovio Entertainment as an illustrator, character designer, and graphic designer. Pitkänen is the illustrator of the popular Kepler62 series and the author of two Children's titles Monster Tournament and The Island of Lost Animals.

Among Pitkänen’s hobbies are quantum physics, people-watching, B-movies, insects and baking.

About author

Riikka Jäntti

Riikka Jäntti, a 2003 graduate of University of Industrial Art of Helsinki, now part of Aalto University, is a Helsinki-based illustrator and author who has created art for both nonfiction and fairy tale books for children. Her first children’s book was published in 2005. Jäntti is best known for the adorable Little Mouse series that has publishers in 20 territories, including Australia, Nepal, and China!

In her illustrations, she uses pen and ink as well as watercolor and gouache. In 2009 Jäntti won the first-ever Tieto-Lauri, an award for children’s and juvenile non-fiction, for her illustrations in Viidakkotanssi (Jungle Dance). The book was written by Markku Löytönen about the explorer Rafael Karsten in Ecuador.

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."