The Cow with a Trap Door on Her Side

Tomi Kontio

Original title: Lehmä jonka kyljessä oli luukku

Author: Tomi Kontio

Published: 2006

Publisher: Teos

Genre: Picture Books (0-3 Years)

Pages: 36

A cow that has a trap door on its side tells the classic story of two siblings running away from home. The route is not long, but it is peculiar: inside a cow's stomach the children escape to Estonian airspace. In return for the trip, the Cow wants the ability to talk in the same eccentric manner as the children. But the children do not want to give away their eccentricity. 

The Cow with a Trap Door on Her Side represents Kontio’s writing at its best: his masterful use of language and surrealistic literary landscaping. The book does not underestimate the readers or try to be educational. It manages to capture the confusion of childhood in a refreshing manner, as the children escape into the world, transported in the cow’s stomach. Camilla Pentti’s stylized illustrations suit the lopsided style of the book perfectly.

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Rights sold:
FINLAND: Teos (orig.)

About author

Tomi Kontio

Tomi Kontio is one of the most esteemed and acclaimed poets of his generation. His debut collection of poetry Under the Ballroom Sky, which came out in 1993, received the J.H. Erkko Prize, as well as the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for the best recently published debut in 1999. Kontio’s poetry has been translated into many different languages, for example English, Spanish, Polish, Swedish, German, Czech, Hungarian, and Estonian. Tomi Kontio has been nominated for the Runeberg Prize first for The Indecent (1994), a collection of short stories, and then for his novel Deep Inside (1995).

He has published outstanding children’s books, of which the first, Daddy Grew Wings in the Spring, won the Finlandia Junior Prize for 2000. His first book for pre-school children, The Cow with a Trap Door in Her Side, came out in 2006. Illustrator Camilla Pentti received the Rudolf Koivu Prize for the book. Kontio has also written columns and song lyrics. He lives in Helsinki, and has five children.


2006, Picture Books (0-3 Years)

Tomi Kontio

The Cow with a Trap Door on Her Side