Maija & Anssi Hurme: Lepakkopoika [Batboy]

5 February 2015 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Kuvitus [Ill. by]: Maija Hurme
Helsinki: Schildts & Söderströms, 2014. 27 pp., ill.
ISBN 978-951-52-3361-5
€22.90, hardback
Kuvitus [Ill. by]: Maija Hurme
Helsinki: Schildts & Söderströms, 2014.
ISBN 978-951-52-3326-4
€28.90, hardback

Bat boy is a compact picture book with sparse text and abundant pictures that are well-balanced – there is never too much or too little of either. A six-year-old named Ilmari changes into a bat boy who stalks people in the dim of evening. The book describes the feelings of a boy approaching school age with sensitivity – the story deals with defiance of adult authority, rules and restrictions. Ilmari can also be thought of as a special child who experiences the world differently than other kids his age. The day care he attends is presented in both text and pictures as a prison and the adult day care workers as guards. Maija Hurme’s watercolour illustrations have an anarchic energy. The comic strip narrative supports Ilmari’s feelings of aggression. His fantasies are presented as blue-toned photographs with white borders, but the colours of the home and park settings glow with a message of safety, caring and trust.

Translated by Lola Rogers


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