Sari Peltoniemi: Gattonautti ja muita arkisatuja [The cattonaut and other everyday tales]

24 January 2013 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Gattonautti ja muita arkisatuja
[The cattonaut and other everyday tales]
Kuvitus [Ill. by]: Liisa Kallio
Helsinki: Tammi, 2012. 67 pp.
ISBN 978-951-31-6576-5
€19.90, hardback

There has been a desperate shortage of short stories and fairy tales for a long time. Now Sari Peltoniemi has bravely risen to this challenge. In her previous young adult novels, she cultivated the ‘new weird’ genre, in which strange and fantastical elements encroach on everyday life. This collection can be categorised as the first Finnish children’s book that makes use of that fantasy subgenre. Peltoniemi’s ten stories also pay homage to traditional Finnish folk tales: a deceased grandfather makes a reappearance to his grandson at midnight; a little sister imagines her teenage sister changing from a fairy into a troll, as in folk tales about changelings. Everyday life is wrenched into strange or absurd situations without warning. Peltoniemi’s portrayals of children display real psychological understanding and insight. The age range for this book, for reading aloud as well as independent reading, extends from preschool to older school-aged children, as the age of the main characters is not emphasised. Liisa Kallio’s child-like, rounded illustration style does indicate, however, that the intended target group is children under 10.
Translated by Ruth Urbom

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