Jukka Laajarinne: Ruoalla ei saa leikkiä [Don’t play with your food]

5 February 2010 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Ruoalla ei saa leikkiä
[Don’t play with your food]
Kuvitus [Ill. by]: Martti Ruokonen
Helsinki: WSOY, 2009. 60 p.
ISBN 978-951-0-35040-9
18.20 €, hardback

Jukka Laajarinne (born 1970) exercises his obsession with challenging authority again, stretching the boundaries of traditional children’s literature. It seems that becoming a father has made him wonder at the dominant role of food in everyday life: this book deals broadly with food, eating, and food culture. The impetus for the stories might be an ordinary figure of speech or adage that is taken apart and played with. For instance, King Midas, familiar from Greek mythology, who turned everything to gold with his touch, is transformed in Laajarinne’s retelling into a sticky-fingered kid who makes a mess of everything around him. Martti Ruokonen’s graphic illustrations are stark and even coarse in places, their colour choices and rounded forms reminiscent of visual images made for the first books for babies.

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