Hannele Huovi: Karvakorvan runopurkki [Furry pooch’s jar of verse]

4 March 2009 | Mini reviews

Karvakorvan hunajapurkkiKarvakorvan runopurkki
[Furry pooch’s jar of verse]
Kuvitus [Ill. by]: Kristiina Louhi
Helsinki: Tammi, 2008. 79 p.
ISBN 978-951-31-3974-2
€ 23.30, hardback

‘Methinks,/ said the sausage dog / who loved eating verse, that / poetry is tastier than bone’. Hannele Huovi (born 1949) has written poetry, books for children, novels and fables. The masterly rhymes of Finland’s grand old lady of children’s poetry, Kirsi Kunnas (born 1924), are hard to match, but Huovi comes close. For her, Finnish is easily pliable; her rhymes do not try to be too clever, her tone of voice is warm and humorous, and often the poems are little stories in the tradition of nonsense verse. Huovi’s sense of humour matches perfectly with Kristiina Louhi’s pastel pictures which often add surprising dimensions to the poetic stories. ‘So complete / trust can be: / with your paws skywards, /with your belly bared, you can / lie in the grass.’

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