Tapani Bagge: Maalla [In the country]

31 January 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Maalla
[In the country]
Kuvitus [ill. by]:  Hannamari Ruohonen
Helsinki: Tammi, 2010. 64 p.
ISBN 978-951-31-4748-8
€9.50, hardback

There have been plenty of books for beginning readers with action-packed plots full of breathtaking twists and turns. Fortunately there are still books that leave room for a more ‘easy does it’ reading style. One of them is this, the sixth title in Tapani Bagge’s series about a girl called Kaisa. Kaisa travels to the countryside with her father and her father’s partner Sirkka. Their journey is overshadowed by the death of Kaisa’s grandmother, and the little girl believes that nothing at her grandma’s place will ever be the same again. Bagge’s extensive work on this material is evident in his spare, finely tuned prose. He portrays the grieving girl’s differing shades of emotion beautifully. Kaisa believes that her grandma has changed into a butterfly following her death. So the butterfly fluttering around in the attic needs to be saved – but this of course has further-reaching consequences…. Hannamari Ruohonen’s black-and-white illustrations provide a lovely depiction of care and protection in the family.
Translated by Ruth Urbom

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