Triple Nomination Success in the 2020 Finlandia Junior Literature Prize

04 Nov 2020

This literary awards season continues with the announcement of the nominees for the 2020 Finlandia Junior Literature Prize. 

BLUE AND THE EDGE OF THE WORLD (Molli ja maan ääri) by Katri Kirkkopelto, OTUS OPUS – ZOOLOGY POETRY (Otus Opus, Zoologipoesi) by Laura Ruohonen Erika Kallasmaa, Petri Kumela and Annika Sandelin and TATU AND PATU: TREMENDOUS TRAIN TRIP (Tatu ja Patu – Kovaa menoa kiskoilla) by Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen are among the six nominees for the most prestigious literary award in Finland. The winner will be announced on 25 November.

Katri Kirkkopelto’s delicately expressive and charming story is dedicated to all who feel wanderlust and homesick. ­­A story about friendship, homesickness and the bravery of stepping outside of one’s familiar surroundings to explore the world and experience new encounters. The book offers great support for a child’s emotional development.

Jury’s motivation:

“An endearing travelogue that tells about an adventure that does not lead too far away. Luckily wise feet know the way back home. A gorgeous picture book about wanderlust, homesickness, how to overcome oneself and dear friends, that wraps a reader into a fairy tale mist.” 

Celebrated master duo Laura Ruohonen and Erika Kallasmaa do it again! The innovative mix of poetry, art and music in this peculiar and timely collection of fact-based animal poems creates an immersive experience to the world of whimsical and wonderful small beings. Thrilling wordplay and enchanting animal art are complemented by musician Petri Kulmela’s cheerful rhythms offering readers a magical storytime in our digital age. The book was published simultaneously in both Finnish and Swedish. The Swedish translation is by Annika Sandelin.  

Jury’s motivation:

“Insightful, surprising and rhythmic rhymes that delicately illustrate the features of each different creature. Fresh and expressive illustration of the poems presents each being as individuals and utilizes each widespread in its entirety. Shared facts of each creature are fascinating picks from the animal world that form a balanced entirety together with the poems.”

Imaginative pair Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen, the creators behind the legendary wacky Oddville brothers take readers on a train journey like never before as the curious boys experience their first train ride in an entirely new comic format. Hilariousness guaranteed in the style of Tatu and Patu. Upon its release, the book was ranked as no. 1 on the best-selling books for children and Young Adults list in June-July 2020.

The vast collection of Tatu and Patu books have reached readers around the world, translated into 24 languages to date including Thai, Croatian and Hebrew. The books have sold over 1,5 million copies worldwide.

Jury’s motivation:

“This exhilarating picture book points out how seemingly everyday matters can in fact be exciting adventures. The humour-filled storyline offers joy and a chance to look at the world from new angles for readers of all ages. The rich in detail illustration is a gift that is presented to the reader each time they open the book.”

Katri Kirkkopelto’s previous nomination for the Finlandia Junior Literature Prize was in 2016. Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen received a nomination in 2012 and won the Finlandia Junior Prize in 2007. 

Our warmest congratulations to all nominees!