Could You be so kind to recommend to me the most popular Finnish children books (evergreens)? Books should be written by Finnish author and not necessarily…

Posted
10.4.2008

Could You be so kind to recommend to me the most popular Finnish children books (evergreens)?
Books should be written by Finnish author and not necessarily translated to other languages.
I would appreciate if You could be so kind to write few sentences about authors and books as well.

Answer

Answered
15.4.2008
Last updated
18.4.2008

I will base my answer on an enquiry carried out by Helsingin Sanomat in 2004 (www.helsinginsanomat.fi/extrat/erikoissivu/1076153242285).

2080 people answered to this enquiry by giving the titles of childrens books that were dearest to them. Some can well be defined as “evergreens”. Although the answers included books by foreign autors too, I will only list those by Finnish authors.

The books on Moomins by Tove Jansson are cherished and enjoyed by young and adults. Jansson began writing the Moomin-books in 1945. She wrote 9 novels on the Moomins. Her production on the Moomins includes 9 novels, picture books and cartoons. Beside the Moomins, Jansson has plenty of other literary works. Her mother tongue was Swedish, thus her works were first published in Swedish. Tove Jansson is the Finnish author most translated into other languages. Let me add here (if you didn’t know already) that there are two official languages in Finland; Finnish and Swedish, the latter spoken by a substantial minority).

The Moomins novels include titles such as The Moomins and the great flood, Moominvalley in November, Moominsummer madness, Moominland midwinter, Moomin and the magic hat. More about the books can be easily found in the internet, for instance, using the words Moomins and English. The internet also has plenty of information on the author herself.

A reknown writer Sakari Topelius published a collection of four books over the years 1847-1852. The collection is called Lukemisia lapsille (reading for children-my translation). Topelius wrote his works in Swedish. They were later translated into Finnish. Topelius was also known as a journalist, editor and university principal.

Mestaritontun seikkailut by Aili Somersalo ranks among the most loved childrens books in the enquiry. This storybook that has become a classic was published in 1919 but reached popularity only over a long period of time. The main character is an elf (the title would be in English something like “The adventures of the master elf” (my translation- the book has not been translated into other languages, as far as I know). In the story, the wise elf, who has guarded a royal casle for hundreds of years, leaves the castle and sets to rescue the king’s daughter captured by a sorcerer.
The author has published several storybooks.

Marjatta Kurenniemi’s Onnelin ja Annelin talo (House of Anneli and Onneli-my translation) published in 1966 was followed by three more books on these two girls. In the first book, the girls find an envelope with money in it. They decide to buy a house perfect for them. In these storybooks, fantasy and reality mix in a charming way and imaginary things happen to otherwise so ordinary girls. The autor has won some important literary prizes.

Books about a rabbit called Pupu Tupuna were in the early 70’s originally intended to help children with hearing difficulties learn to read. These books written by Pirkko Koskimies have by now been enjoyed by two generations of readers. Each picturebook introduces the theme of learning of some area of life such as shopping, dressing, taking part in competitions, celebrating certain events or learning about different seasons. These books have been translated into Swedish, Danish and Russian. There are 34 books about the rabbit Pupu Tupuna such as Avulias Pupu Tupuna, Mitä nyt, Pupu Tupuna? and Pupu Tupuna..

I hope the information above will be useful.

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