Reetta Niemelä and Katri Kirkkopelto nominated for the Export Prize!

We are thrilled to share that BLACK MOON LIGHTHOUSE by Reetta Niemelä and Katri Kirkkopelto is nominated for the Torch-Bearer Prize – a prize established to promote Finnish book exports. The winner will be announced on 2nd December. Congrats Reetta and Katri!

Second in the BLACK MOON series and a prequel to the Finlandia-nominated and audience favourite 2022 BLACK MOON INN, which won the Arvid Lydecken 2022 award, the jury said of BLACK MOON LIGHTHOUSE:

“Black Moon Lighthouse is a beautifully composed, rich work which plays with language and image and has a timely message. Children’s literature at its best. The illustrations have a fresh take, and they live wonderfully with Saimi following the secret folk and the lively, enchanting, and thought-provoking story.”

BLACK MOON INN has sold to Estonia – rights are free everywhere else!

Download the materials for THE BLACK MOON series here!

Black Moon Inn

Reetta Niemelä, illustrated by Katri Kirkkopelto

Black Moon Inn starts a new magical middle-grade series irresistibly blending mythology and environmental protection!

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

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.

Black Moon Lighthouse

Reetta Niemelä, illustrated by Katri Kirkkopelto

Black Moon Lighthouse continues the charming magical adventure of Saimi and her friends of the secret folk!

Something truly mysterious is happening in Bluehill! A group called “Bedtime’s Ugliest Fears Forgotten: Orcs Out at Night” aka B.U.F.F.O.O.N, which persecutes the secret folk, is circling the streets. Indeed, it seems that some folk have gone missing already! Saimi and her friends try to find out what it’s all about, but that is hard to do when adults are disturbing them. And if that wasn’t enough, a bunch of ghosts decide to celebrate the Kekri festival. Eventually the worst fears of Saimi and her friends come true: one of them disappears!

A dangerous operation begins, illuminated by the silver-coloured heartfires of dragons shining deep from within the ground. Is it possible that the ancient lighthouse would once more shine the beacons of the secret folk?

Lasten Keskus, 2021, 310 pp.

English sample and synopsis
Finnish edition

FINLAND: Lasten Keskus (orig.)


Lasten Keskus, 2023

English synopsis

FINLAND: Lasten Keskus (orig.)

About author

Katri Kirkkopelto

Katri Kirkkopelto is an award-winning artist, illustrator, and writer. She has illustrated and written multiple popular picture books and schoolbooks, and her children’s books have also been seen on the theatre stage and publihsed in other languages.

In 2009 Kirkkopelto received the Kylli Koski award, and her works have been nominated for Finlandia Junior in 2016, 2020, and 2022 (Black Moon Inn, with Reetta Niemelä). In 2021 she won the Arvid Lydecken Award together with the writer Reetta Niemelä for Black Moon Inn. Kirkkopelto’s illustrations have been exhibited in Finland and also abroad, e.g. in the biennale in Bratislava.

About author

Reetta Niemelä

Reetta Niemelä is an award-winning children’s author. She has written poetry collections, picture books, nonfiction, study material and many beloved book series for children. For her work, she’s been awarded e.g. Kaarina Helakisa Award and for her nonfiction the Tietopöllö award.  Niemelä’s fantasy novel Black Moon Inn, illustrated by Katri Kirkkopelto, won the Arvid Lydecken Award, was nominated for Finlandia Junior and was selected as the audience favourite.

Topics related to nature and especially animals are recurring themes in Niemelä’s work. She wants to focus on how literature and language can give a voice to the silent ones.