4 December 2009 | In the news
The Finlandia Junior Prize, for the best book for children and young people, was awarded on 24 November to Mari Kujanpää (born 1976) for her third book for children, Minä ja Muro (‘Me and Muro’, illustrated by Aino-Maija Metsola, Otava).
The other books shortlisted for the prize were: Omenmean vallanhaltija (‘The ruler of Omenmea’, Robustos) by Siiri Enoranta, Metalliveljet (‘The Metal Bros’, Otava) by Antti Halme, the picture book Minerva. Jääkarhun sydän (‘Minerva. The polar bear’s heart’, Otava) by Juba Tuomola, Emilian päiväkirja. Supermarsu pelastaa silakat (‘Emilia’s diary. The Super Guinea Pig saves the Baltic herrings’, illustrated by Pauliina Mäkelä, Gummerus) by Paula Noronen and Arra. Legender från Lavora (‘Arra. Legends from Lavora’, Söderströms) by Maria Turtschaninoff.
The winner of the prize, worth €30,000, was selected by the deaf hip-hop and rap artist Signmark (aka Marko Vuoriheimo, born 1978). The story of the nine-year-old schoolgirl Lauha and her only reliable companion, the teddy bear Muro, appealed to Signmark: Lauha learns how to cope, to deal with negligence and loneliness. The book works well when read together with a child and a parent, said Signmark (who is himself a father).