The Fox and Silence

Reetta Niemelä

Original title: Kettu ja hiljaisuus

Author: Reetta Niemelä

Illustrator: Eri Shimatsuka

Published: 2022

Publisher: Otava

Genre: Picture Books (0-3 Years)

Pages: 32

Reading material:

Full English PDF

Once upon a time there was a fox the colour of a copper pot. He had very long and sensitive ears. Loud noises keep hurting the fox's ears. It had to dig deeper and deeper into his den to get to rest his 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 Niemelä is paired with charming illustrations by textile artist Eri Shimatsuka. The Fox and Silence is Eri’s debut children’s book.

The book plays in an interactive way with the reader. The narrator speaks directly with the reader and comments on the mistakes of their narration. The reader is also invited to try using their little fingers as earplugs and to write to the fox about a place where one can find silence. [–] The smooth surfaces, twisting burrows of the animals and hefty tree trunks radiate the peace of a forest.

Marianna Lammi in Kuvittaja Magazine

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Rights sold:
FINLAND: Otava (orig.)
JAPAN: Iwanami Shoten Publishers
LATVIA: Latvijas Mediji

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.


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