Juha Virta: Sylvi Kepposen pitkä päivä [Sylvia Prank’s long day]

3 March 2009 | Mini reviews

Sylvi Kepposen pitkä päiväSylvi Kepposen pitkä päivä
[Sylvia Prank’s long day]
Kuvitus [Ill. by]: Marika Maijala
Helsinki: Otava, 2008. 33 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-1-22373-3
€ 17, hardback

The long, narrow shape of this picture book is justified, as it literally gives the reader a clear perspective on its illustrations. Sylvi is a little girl whose legs one day grow so long that she is able to leap into space. Sylvi becomes a media phenomenon and the object of universal astonishment – until her legs return roughly to their former size. The book, by Juha Virta (born 1970) and his partner Marika Maijala (born 1974), owes much to nonsense writing and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, but the story and the pictures are an amazingly well-balanced combination, expressing humour, unceremonious wonder and a childlike ability to derive pleasure from moments of absurdity.

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