Saku Heinänen: Zaida ja lumienkeli [Zaida and the snow angel]

29 January 2015 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Zaida ja lumienkeliZaida ja lumienkeli
[Zaida and the snow angel]
Kuvitus [Ill. by]: Saku Heinänen
Helsinki: Tammi, 2014. 207 pp., ill.
ISBN 978-951-31-7631-0
€25.90, hardback

The adopted child’s story is already a familiar one from old classics of girl’s literature. This debut novel by Saku Heinänen, the story of Zaida, a girl adopted from India, draws on this tradition, yet Heinänen (born 1968), a professor in graphic design at Aalto University, succeeds in creating a fresh and original setting and sympathetic central characters. Zaida is used to talking openly with her parents, but bullying at school makes her withdraw into her shell. She gets her strength from a soul sister who understands her bad moods. This tension is what gives this novel its extraordinary suspense. Heinänen’s book doesn’t paint a child’s everyday life as idyllic – there are many kinds of secrets in one little family. Zaida’s uncle is prone to drink and melancholy, but the two are still close. Heinänen also illustrated the book and designed his own font – Freya – just for the book. His wife is children’s book author and illustrator Christel Rönns.

Translated by Lola Rogers


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