My Life at the Bottom

2020 AUGUST PRIZE NOMINEE and a selection for the White Raven Catalogue 2021!

An enchanting story about the ongoing climate change told by the voice of an axolotl, how the environment is affected, and changed.

Each year, several species go extinct, disappearing from the surface of the earth forever. A perfect being, the result of millions of years of evolution, no longer exists.

An axolotl is a small smiling amphibian that lives its entire life at the larval stage, which means that it never really grows up. Nowadays, it is believed to exist in the wild only, in a lake in Mexico – but not even that is certain.

In this picture book of an astonishing axolotl, we possibly meet the last of its kind. He thrives in his own pool where he hangs out with tiger salamanders, collects treasures, and spies on what the peculiar two-legged beings on the beach come up with. But as it gets hotter and hotter, the pool gets cloudy, and everyone moves on. The poor axolotl is left all alone. Everything changes one day when a giant wave sweeps away everything, and the axolotl embarks on a journey to the unknown. 

Linda Bonsestam’s happy, ecological, and existential book about life on earth – the fragile, but at the same time robust. A surprising and moving story about climate change and just how dull it is to play alone. A touching story combined with beautifully detailed illustrations of the wonders of the underworld.

 

 

2020 AUGUST PRIZE NOMINEE and a selection for the White Raven Catalogue 2021!

An enchanting story about the ongoing climate change told by the voice of an axolotl, how the environment is affected, and changed.

Each year, several species go extinct, disappearing from the surface of the earth forever. A perfect being, the result of millions of years of evolution, no longer exists.

An axolotl is a small smiling amphibian that lives its entire life at the larval stage, which means that it never really grows up. Nowadays, it is believed to exist in the wild only, in a lake in Mexico – but not even that is certain.

In this picture book of an astonishing axolotl, we possibly meet the last of its kind. He thrives in his own pool where he hangs out with tiger salamanders, collects treasures, and spies on what the peculiar two-legged beings on the beach come up with. But as it gets hotter and hotter, the pool gets cloudy, and everyone moves on. The poor axolotl is left all alone. Everything changes one day when a giant wave sweeps away everything, and the axolotl embarks on a journey to the unknown. 

Linda Bonsestam’s happy, ecological, and existential book about life on earth – the fragile, but at the same time robust. A surprising and moving story about climate change and just how dull it is to play alone. A touching story combined with beautifully detailed illustrations of the wonders of the underworld.

 

 

info

  • Year of publication

    2020

  • Original title

    Mitt bottenliv

  • Page count

    42

  • Original publisher

    Förlaget M

  • Original language of publication

    Swedish

Reviews

  • Mia Österlund, Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper

    ”Bondestam is a phenomenal colorist. In My Life at the Bottom, which is her second solo project, she follows up on the success of the innovative Goodnight on Earth (2018). The expression has deepened, the portrayal of the characters has gained more weight[…]With her description of the tsunami, she places herself in the group of illustrators who, like Tove Jansson, allude to Japanese Katsushika Hokusai's’ famous woodcuts of a tsunami "Under the wave outside Kanagawa" (1832). It is deliciously performed and Bondestam is deservedly one of the most appreciated picture book artists in the Nordic region, with international reach.”

  • Erika Hallhagen, Svenska Dagbladet newspaper

    "In her wonderful picture book, Bondestam manages to summarize the big and the small by allowing a small endangered animal to depict its corner of the world where it becomes more and more lonesome the more we humans (in the book called "lugs") evolve."

  • August Prize Jury

    “My Life at the bottom offers a humorous and hopeful climate story…The work shows Linda Bondestam’s mastery by the use and enrichment of the picture book’s entire range."

  • Sissel Ray, Ibby Finland

    "Bondestam's book addresses climate change and the impact of humans, on everything that exists around them, even things invisible to the naked eye. With a big heart, she paints a world that has changed forever, but which still has hope for a brighter future."

Awards & Nominations

Nominations

  • Nordic Council Children's and Young People's Literature Prize

    2021

  • August Prize

    2020

  • Elsa Beskow Plaque

    2021

Milestones

2021

White Raven Catalogue

My life at the bottom. Told by a lonely axolotl is a pick for the White Raven Catalogue 2021. The Catalogue is published annually and features recommendations for children's and youth literature. The Catalogue is presented annually at the Bologna Book Fair. My Life at The Bottom was the only Finnish book to be featured in the Catalogue 2021!

Authors

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