Minä, Mauri Kunnas [I, Mauri Kunnas]

4 March 2010 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Minä, Mauri Kunnas
[I, Mauri Kunnas]
Muistiin merkitsi [As told to] Lotta Sonninen
Helsinki: Otava, 2009. 182 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-1-23186-8
€ 40, hardback

Mauri Kunnas (born 1950) is a cartoonist and graphic artist. His children’s books have been translated into 28 languages; the translations have sold approximately 2,5 million copies. His anthropomorphic canine characters from Koiramäki, Doghill, are well known for their adventures in historical milieus; researching these settings is one of Kunnas’ passions. His reinterpretations of Finnish literary classics are also popular: The Canine Kalevala and Seven Dog Brothers offer affectionately humorous homages to the Kalevala, the Finnish folk epic, and the classic novel by Aleksis Kivi. Joulupukki (1981), published in English as Santa Claus, is arguably the world’s best-known Finnish children’s book. In this book, Kunnas gives a lively account of his childhood and youth, as well as his influences and the different phases of his career as an illustrator. The text is complemented by photos from Kunnas’ family album and his own archives, from adventure stories he illustrated as a boy to a pair of hippy bell-bottomed jeans adorned with doodles.

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