Timo Parvela & Jussi Kaakinen: Taro maan ytimessä [Taro at the centre of the Earth]

3 February 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Taro maan ytimessä
[Taro at the centre of the Earth]
Kuvitus [Ill. by]: Jussi Kaakinen
Helsinki: WSOY, 2010. 24 p.
ISBN 978-951-0-36718-6
€22, hardback

Illustrator Jussi Kaakinen (born 1978) is known for, among other things, his illustrations for the graphic novel version of Risto Isomäki’s sci-fi work Sarasvatin hiekkaa (‘The sands of Sarasvati’, 2008) and two children’s non-fiction books, Suomen lasten historia (‘A Finnish children’s history’, 2005) and Suomen lasten taidehistoria (‘A Finnish children’s art history’, 2009). Taro maan ytimessä is his first picture book in his own right. Kaakinen employs an experimental illustration style here, borrowing from comic book techniques, to create an appropriately fast-paced text. The children in the story are curious to find out whether they can dig deep enough in their sandbox to reach the other side of the world. Taro has a bear for a friend who constructs a machine out of old junk that can dig into the Earth and then into outer space. On their daredevil journey, the pair encounter a greedy monster worm with a sweet tooth. Their adventure ends when Taro returns home, although the space worm, making a racket in the sewers, ought to be hidden from his parents…. Taro maan ytimessä is a pacey, visually striking adventure that will be especially enthralling to boys.
Translated by Ruth Urbom

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