It’s (virtually) Christmas!

28 November 2009 | This 'n' that

Father Christmas / Santa Claus by mauri Kunnas

Father Christmas / Santa Claus by Mauri Kunnas

What to give the man who has everything? In prizewinning children’s author and illustrator Mauri Kunnas’s Twelve Gifts for Santa, Zac, one of Father Christmas’s little helpers, decides to give him twelve good deeds. Doing so is not as easy as it looks, however, and you can follow the twists and turns of the story on the Kidzone Finland advent calendar from Tuesday, 1 December, with one window opening each day until Christmas Eve.

Mauri Kunnas (born 1950) published the first of his popular picture books for children in 1980; entitled Koiramäen talossa (‘Doghill Farm’), it describes – with the accuracy of a treatise on folklore studies – life in a country farmhouse at the end of the 19th century. His hilarious canine characters, in more than forty books, have now found readers in almost thirty languages.

Kidzone Finland is an interactive website for British schoolchildren aiming to familiarise them with Finland, its culture and lifestyle. In the company of Emilia, Ville and Sofia, children are invited to explore the world of school and work, the environment, and facts about Finland by considering subjects such as a typical school day, looking after forests, helping animals, mobile phones, the internet, saunas and icebreakers.

Although favourably inclined to Finland (you don’t go to school until you’re seven! The language sounds just like it’s written! It’s where the Moomins come from!), Books from Finland‘s young reviewers found the text-rich, image-poor website tough going. Accompanied as it is by directions for teachers, however, it may work much better in the classroom.

Kidzone Finland is published by the Finnish Embassy in London and is an adapted version of a project originally developed by the Finnish Embassies in Washington, Ottawa and Berlin.

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