Introducing Ahlback Agency CHILDREN’S & YA Spring 2023 Rights Guide!

We are thrilled to present our Children’s & YA Catalogue for Spring 2023: award-nominated middle-grade novels, charming picture books with the cutest animals, creeping horror for the teenagers, and painfully relatable but hopeful stories about self-image..

We’ve picked some of the hottest titles from the catalogue for you – check them out below!

View the Spring 2023 Children’s Catalogue here!


The Fox and Silence

Reetta Niemelä, ill. Eri Shimatsuka

A charming picture book about a sensitive fox and the need for silence.

Once upon a time there was a fox the colour of a copper pot. It had very long and sensitive ears. Loud noises keep hurting the fox’s ears. It had to dig deeper and deeper into its den to rest its ears. Where does the fox find silence? How would the other creatures in the forest understand that the silence is like a hammock, where one can safely fall asleep?

This beautiful story discusses sensibility and the need for silence. The touching text by award-winning poet and children’s author Reetta Niemela is paired with charming illustrations by textile artist Eri Shimatsuka.



Ted Forsström, ill. Åsa Lucander

An interactive and playful bedtime story for toddlers featuring a very loud dog with a big imagination! 

A father tries to put his child to bed, but keeps getting interrupted by Stella the dog, who starts barking hysterically. Something unexpected always happens, and the reader is treated to Stella’s lively imaginations: it may be a door opening or a car driving by, but Stella is strongly convinced it’s Grandma coming to give her food, or that squirrels have built a nest in the toaster.

Anyone who has ever tried to bring a child to bed knows how cozy yet fragile the situation is. It requires the right amount of patience and determination. The right bedtime story can be the key to a successful, quiet night.

There is a warm feeling, playful rhymes and an unusual mix of familiar ordinariness and fantastic antics. Clear recognition for anyone trying to combine cozy moments with a pet!


Dadman and the Impossible Time Knot

Arttu Unkari, ill. Kai Vaalio

The quirkiest cop in town! The Dadman Series offers fast-paced adventures and humour for all ages – especially lower middle gradeFor fans of David Walliams and Captain Underpants.

Dadman is a dad, and a policeman – but he also has a superpower! Too bad his superpower is one shared by almost all dads – an unwavering belief in himself and his own abilities. It follows that Dadman’s nine-year-old daughter Oona needs to solve all of the issues herself.

Oona and her friends find out that Dadman would never have gotten into police school without help – from them! How is that possible? The friends have no choice but to jump into a time machine and go back to Dadman’s police academy years to find out.

The four friends find themselves at the centre of a mysterious series of art theft. The case is being investigated by the police academy’s quirkiest cadets, including, of course, Dadman. Luckily, Oona and friends have a clue of their own. There is a criminal in the police school who they have already caught once.


Black Moon Inn

Reetta Niemelä, ill. Katri Kirkkopelto

Nominated for the Finlandia Prize 2022 – Audience favourite!
Winner of Arvid Lydecken Prize 2022. 

The animal-loving Saimi Salaper and her veterinarian father move to the city of Bluehill in order to set up a hospital for wild animals there. By coincidence, they buy an old inn, where one can hear weird noises behind closed doors, see rare butterflies fly past on the yard, and, at the rooftop, there seems to be… a perch for dragons.

Little by little, the house reveals its secrets to Saimi, and soon the Black Moon Inn is open for creatures of the secret folk who seek refuge there: the trolls, the fairies, and many more. But there’s a threat lurking just behind a corner, and the Inn takes both Saimi and the reader on an exciting adventure into the world of the secret folk.


Secrets of the Grimhill Sanatorium

Janne Malinen, ill. Teemu Juhani

The thoughtful and elaborate opening of a middle-grade trilogy opens the doors to the mysterious Grimhill sanatorium, where nothing is what it seems.

Oskar is a perfectly average boy living with his parents in the red brick house by the biggest market square in the city. Everything changes when he is diagnosed with a serious illness. His parents send him to the remote Grimhill sanatorium, which from the very first moments feels suspicious and off-putting – and the staff don’t make it better. It seems like they are hiding something. Together with his new friends Robin and Vilma, Oskar gets pulled into a compelling adventure as they try to find out what is behind the ominous voices in the night. And what is hiding within the cold forest which seems to enchant the children?


Diary of an Ugly Girl

Mari Kujanpää

A contemporary YA novel about the courage to be yourself and finding your own people from a Finlandia-winning author

Age 14, shoe size 42, height 175 centimetres, cup size AA and a hideously ugly face, that’s how Malva is defined. She knows she is ugly, and the other pupils remind her of it daily with words and looks. Malva escapes to art and nature. Then along comes Runo, who is passionate about the same things.

Diary of an Ugly Girl is a delicate story about how a bullied girl hating her own reflection slowly recovers from the anxiety of her looks. Everyone who has been insecure about their looks can relate to Malva’s experiences.


The Horned God

Magdalena Hai

Creeping horror for the YA audience from an internationally bestselling author!

When death touches your life, everything changes.

Lauri wakes up in the hospital after a fatal car crash and he doesn’t remember much about it. Mom is dead and now life has changed drastically.

When Lauri starts his slow recovery in a small town at his aunt’s house, he has an unpleasant feeling that everything is not right. The dead don’t stay dead and the beautiful neighbor Vilja-Maaria doesn’t want to live. When an ominous creature with antlers appears behind the window, Lauri begins to see nightmarish dreams that feel too real.