Jukka Laajarinne & Timo Mänttäri: Isä vaihtaa vapaalle 
[Dad takes time off]

9 January 2014 | Mini reviews, Reviews

laajarinneIsä vaihtaa vapaalle
[Dad takes time off]
Kuvitus [Ill. by]: Timo Mänttäri
Helsinki: WSOY, 2013. 31 pp., ill.
ISBN 978-951-0-39780-0
€26.90, hardback

Isä vaihtaa vapaalle is a picture book infused with wry humour which lends itself to both realistic and fanciful readings. In the story, a girl’s father is a secret agent. He’d like to reduce his working hours to spend more time with his daughter, but his employer has other ideas. This book provides an amusing reflection of its time: parents’ job titles often do not mean much to children, so their strange roles and the heavy briefcases parents lug home start to take on a life of their own in children’s minds. The story is free from clichés about gender roles and will entertain boys and girls alike. Timo Mänttäri, making his debut as a children’s book illustrator here, depicts fast-paced, dangerous situations and amusing details. The comic book-style narrative and large, double-page illustrations create suspense in this zippy story. The words and pictures are seamlessly integrated, and the not-overlong text is balanced by the exceptionally strong, expressive visuals.

Translated by Ruth Urbom

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