Maria Vuorio: Kiitollinen sammakko [The grateful frog]

5 February 2010 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Kiitollinen sammakko

Kiitollinen sammakko ja muita satuja järviseudulta
[The grateful frog and other stories from the lake country]
Kuvitus [Ill. by]: Virpi Penna
Helsinki: Tammi, 2009. 111 p.
ISBN 978-951-31-5017-4
18.20 €, hardback

There is no need to categorise Maria Vuorio’s original yet tradition-conscious prose and poetry as being for readers of a particular age. A father and son, Aatos and Justus, are spending their vacation at a summer cabin. Justus rescues a frog from a well, setting in motion a chain of events that leads the boy to see the world through different eyes. The frog happens to be the king of the frogs, and wishes to reward Justus for his good deed. The stories are wonderful explorations of humble, reticent animals – a perch, a dragonfly, a spider, a crab, a mole. A bumblebee’s leg in a cast has probably never been described with such devotion before. Today, Finnish children’s relationship with nature is limited to the surroundings of the summer cabin. But Vuorio’s view of the relationship of child with nature is still a romantic one. Dazzled by the moonlight, Justus wonders to himself, ‘Why is there such beauty, if no one ever sees it?’

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