Angry Birds Books

For the last few months I’ve been collaborating with Rovio Entertainment, the makers of the Angry Birds games, on a series of picture books based on the game characters. More details to come soon on when you can get a little more anger for bedtime with your kids!

Pompom and the Happy Year // Kumpulaakson Pompom ja iloinen vuosi

Pompom and the Happy Year
Otava 2009

By Nina Pirhonen

Coming soon as a smart device app!

The cover pretty much says it all. Or take a look at the author’s website. Pompom is a delightfully whimsical picture book series with a fascinating aesthetic connection to the author/illustrator’s fashion design sensibilities (Google her work for Nanso and Marimekko).

There are four books in the Pompom series. Contact the Otava Group Agency for rights information.

 

Jason

Jason

by Camilla Mickwitz

A full translation is available for review from the Ahlback agency, translated by me.

While I didn’t grow up with Finnish children’s books myself, Jason seemed familiar the first time I read it this year. To me it has the feel of a Leo Lionni or Shel Silverstein–the sort of timeless simplicity that in this case completely transcends borders between nations and cultures. Mickwitz has a particular gift for injecting seemingly straightforward stories with glimpses of the serious struggles of adult life as seen through the lens of childhood.

From the Elina Ahlback Literary Agency:

Everyday life can be an adventure!

Children have loved Jason since 1975, when the first Jason book was published. The books recount the joys and troubles of Jason and his mother’s everyday life in an insightful and entertaining way. Karen, Jason’s mother, is always busy. She can’t be late for work and must first take Jason to daycare…

Camilla Mickwitz (1937–1989) won the Finnish Award for Illustrated Books in 1982 for her Emily series. The books are based on series of animated films that received the Finnish State Film Award in 1979.

Tatu and Patu in Helsinki // Tatu ja Patu Helsingissä

2012, Otava

By Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen

Now available for purchase in Finland! Akateeminen Suomalainen

Get ready for another rollicking ride with the boys from Oddsville, this time through the 2012 World Design Capital!



See also:

Tatu and Patu’s This is Finland (Published)

Tatu and Patu’s Adventures in Outer Space (Sample)

Tatu and Patu as Superheroes! (Sample)

Tatu and Patu’s Oddball Bedtime Book (Sample)

Tatu and Patu’s Amazing Alphabet (Sample)

Alpo Finds Alma // Alpo löytää Alman

Alpo Finds Alma by Jukka Lemmetty

2011, Tapisodes and Tammi

by Jukka Lemmetty

From the developer:

In this second book in the Alpo series, Alpo sets off on a new adventure with his friend Jimmy.

When Alpo hurts his leg, Jimmy puts him in ambulance-pram and drives him to the zoo, where animals can be well looked after. But all the animals at the zoo are too busy to help Alpo. Until Alpo and Jimmy meet a wonderful lady at the ice-cream stall…

The first of the Alpo series to be available on iPhone and iPad. Choose to listen along to charming narration by Sean Connolly, or read by yourself. Tap around the page to see secret animations, bringing Jukka Lemmetty’s illustrations to life!

Available in the Android Marketplace and iTunes Appstore!

Famingo review (4 out of 5 stars): “This super cute children’s book app is the first English translation of a popular Finnish book series. The story is fun, the drawings are cute and there is there is a lot of interactive content if you explore.”

Strange Things Afoot: The Animals’ World II

Strange Things Aftoot — The Animals’ World II
by Marsa Pihlaja

Annexus, Forthcoming

Environmentally-friendly poems & facts for children and adults

Strange things are happening in the animals’ world!

In this second volume of The Animals’ World, curious things occur: frogs rain from the sky, a blackbird is sporting Ray Bans, a hippo runs out of potamus, chickens take to the streets for a freedom march, a dragon mother urges a dragon father to give up smoking, an elephant does a good turn for the environment, and much more!

While the poems are about animals, they offer surprising points of contact with human life. Colorful illustrations and amusing speech bubbles add spice to each hilarious page.

In the DID YOU KNOW? fact sections, an astute mole reports interesting, sometimes surprising things about the animals in the poems and the environment we share.

The first volume of the Animals’ World and its accompanying exhibition were nominated for the 2009 City of Helsinki Environmental Award. A dynamic exhibition based on this second volume is also on tour.

Come along for another wild adventure in the Animals’ World!

Also from Annexus Publishing:

Mother // Äiti

Tatu and Patu’s Adventures in Outer Space // Tatun ja Patun Avaruusseikkailu

Tatu and Patu's Adventures in Outer Space

Otava 2011

by Aino Havukainen & Sami Toivonen

From the 2011 Otava Foreign Rights Guide:

A universally weird intergalactic adventure that thrusts forward at hyperspeed and plunges readers into orbits of laughter!

The wildly fast-paced and utterly wacky series of adventures continues – this time, the brothers from Oddsville have a go at sci-fi. Tatu and Patu take off on an adventure across the universe – their mission is to defend galactic peace and perform other important feats of derring-do.

Tatu and Patu build their own spaceship for the trip. It’s not long before the interstellar adventure shuttle I.T.S.  Bananas shoots up into the sky. Space cadet A.T.L. Antic and star pilot Styrox Box, also known as Mr. Cool, head towards the furthest reaches of the universe. As the boys are checking whether there is air in the rings of Saturn, something bright, fast, and incredibly huge crashes into them. The wings of their spaceship catch on fire and they just barely escape to the safety of the Star Union mother ship.

There, they encounter not only their greatly admired Ro-He, commander of the Star Union, but also an enormous problem: a state of emergency has been announced throughout the entire universe, because an immense, unknown destructive force is moving through the solar systems. Planets have disappeared, and all the orbits are completely out of whack.

With the help of Antic and Box and the little girl Ring-Da, the Star Union resolves its urgent problem, but they need a healthy dose of Tatu and Patu’s ingenuity and courage as well as little Ring-Da’s insights and a gigantic finger before peace is restored to the universe.

Tatu and Patu’s Adventures in Outer Space is the second book in the series Tatu and Patu’s Adventures. Tatu and Patu: Superheroes! kicked off the series to a fantastic reception, sparking comments such as: “Once more, Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen demonstrate a fine understanding of what works on little boys and girls – and older ones, too.” – kaks’plus

A sample translation in English is available.

See also:

Tatu and Patu’s This is Finland

Tatu and Patu in Helsinki

Tatu and Patu as Superheroes!

Tatu and Patu’s Oddball Bedtime Book

Tatu and Patu’s Amazing Alphabet

Tatu and Patu as Superheroes! / Tatu ja Patu Supersankareina

Otava, 2010.
By Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen

From Otava.fi:

Super fast, super fun, super weird! Super oddballs Tatu and Patu kick off their new, fantastic Incredible Adventures series!

Tatu thinks superheroes are awesome. “Just think how great it would be to run faster than a tall building or leap speeding bullets in a single bound. Or wait, was it….”

Tatu and Patu’s dream comes true: with the help of a televisioactive laser beam they transform from ordinary Oddsvillians into superheroes, who set out to battle super scoundrels and struggle against misrepresentation! They become Active Boy, protector of the weak and hurried, and Measure Man, defender of all that is good and precise in the world.

Soon enough, Hypercyberman needs their super skills to find out where all of the beautiful, old buildings of Ridiculopolis have disappeared to and who left a giant box labelled Ultramodern Administrative Centre of Excellence in the place where city hall used to be.

The unprecedented, breakneck pace and insane action will keep Oddsville fans of all ages riveted. Catchy slogans and super moves included at no extra charge!

Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen have been honoured with many awards, including the Finlandia Junior Prize. Their super-popular boys from Oddsville have made astounding breakthroughs in the real world, too: the rights to Tatu and Patu books have been sold to thirteen different countries and have already been published in translation by such publishing houses as Clavis, Édition Glénat, Kaisei-sha, Rabén & Sjögren, and Thienemann.

Also see Tatu and Patu’s This is Finland the Oddball Bedtime Book and my article in Books from Finland.

(A full English sample is available upon request)

12 Samples — More Details to Come

I’m behind on updates, so I’m going to list work here that I need to create individual entries for later. Contact me for the actual samples if I haven’t posted them yet.

Samples:

Laittomat [Outside the Law] by Tuomas Lius (LIKE)
Tuomas Lius — Outside the Law — Sample Translation (PDF)
Fully synopsis also available.
Pakonopeus [Escape Velocity] by Taavi Soininvaara (Otava)
Taavi Soininvaara — Escape Velocity — Sample (PDF)
Viides tuuli [The Fifth Wind] by Päivi Honkapää (WSOY)
Päivi Honkapää — The Fifth Wind — Sample (PDF)
Meren alku [The Beginning of the Sea] by Päivi Honkapää (WSOY)
Päivi Honkapää — The Beginning of the Sea — Sample (PDF)
Kaisa Lipposen vaihtokaupat [Cassie Stevens Makes a Trade] by Samuli Valkama (Tammi)
Tärisevä traktori [The Trembling Tractor] by Hannu Hirvonen (Tammi)
Suurkontio Tahmapää rakentaa [Big Bear Stickyhead Builds] by Hannele Huovi (Tammi)
Maalla [In the Country] by Tapani Bagge (Tammi)
Alpo löytää kotiin [Alpo Finds His Way Home] by Jukka Lemmetty (Tammi)
Ahaa! sanoi Pikkuruu [Aha! Said Pikaroo] by Hannele Huovi and Kristiina ja Louhi (Tammi)
Soita minulle, Kukka Kaalinen! [Play for Me, Callie Flower] by Sari Peltoniemi (Tammi)
Histamiini ja Koni Alakulo [Histamine and Naggy Crestfall] by Raili Mikkanen (Tammi)

Oddball Bedtime Book / Tatun ja Patun Outo unikirja

Otava, 2008

By Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen

From the Otava Rights Catalog:

An indispensable book for anyone who sleeps! This book has everything, from instructions for choosing a bedtime toy to a troubleshooting chart for insomniacs. As a bonus, the book includes the world’s most boring bedtime story. When goddaughter Satu is coming to spend the night at Tatu and Patu’s house, the boys go all out in preparation. Since they’ll have to put her to bed, they’ve composed a new treatise entitled On Dreams, Drowsiness, Bedtime, and Lovely Lullabies or O.D.D.B.A.L.L.

The book explains how to choose the perfect bedtime toy to achieve the optimum stuffed-toy density. There is a troubleshooting diagram for when sleep just won’t come. The boys also figure out how the length of fingernails affects back-scratching and how the soulfulness quotient of a lullaby affects the sleeper’s ability to achieve drowsiness.

The book also tells what really happens when you sleep and leads Tatu and Patu on a wild adventure in dreamland. The true meaning of sleep is made clear, and the terrifying consequences of prolonged night-owling are only too clearly revealed.

Going to Bed
(A full English translation is available upon request.)

Previously published: This is Finland. Also see Tatu and Patu in Helsinki, Tatu and Patu’s Adventures in Outer Space, Tatu and Patu: Superheroes!, and Tatu and Patu’s Amazing Alphabet.

This is Finland / Tatun ja Patun Suomi

Otava Publishing. 2007. 48 pages. In 5th printing.

This is a children’s book written and illustrated by Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen (2007). It was awarded the 2007 Finlandia Prize for Children’s Literature. The artwork is pure genius–it captures contemporary Finnishness like few things I’ve seen. Even visiting Finland probably won’t give you nearly as intimate a look into what is important to Finns both in terms of where they’ve come from historically and what modern life is about. And it’s hilarious.

Sample pages:

Finnish oddities, Part 1: Sauna
Finnish oddities, Part 2: Rye bread
Tatu as Santa Claus

Article in Books from Finland (see links at left).

My article on the work of translating This is Finland.

Suomalainen.com bookstore listing.

The Girl and the Jackdaw Tree / Tyttö ja naakkapuu

Tammi, 2004.
48 pages.

Written by Riitta Jalonen and illustrated by Kristiina Louhi.

From Tammi foreign rights brochure:

A memory never ends

The Girl and the Jackdaw Tree describes a turning point in a little girl’s life, the unavoidable changes caused by her father’s death. Her thoughts and feelings relate a sensitive story – with the child pondering the happenings of her life under a tall tree. The tree is known as a Jackdaw tree as a flock of these big birds frequently nest in the safety of its branches. The girl knows how the tree must feel when the jackdaws suddenly take flight and disappear into the distance, leaving the tree on its own, missing the birds. Memories of her father arise as pictures before her eyes.

In Kristiina Louhi’s illustrations these memories fly. The images manage to convey such a scale of emotions and feelings that they can almost be tasted. They glow with the same intensity as Riitta Jalonen’s story: from descriptions of brief moments to greater ones, revealing a unique and wholesome story – a child’s magic world in which joy and sorrow are both present.

Riitta Jalonen — The Girl and the Jackdaw Tree — Translation Sample — Extract (PDF)
(A full-length illustrated translation sample is available upon request)

Vesta-Linnea’s Darkest Thought / Vesta-Linnea mieli mustana

Tammi, 2008

Nominated for the Finlandia Junior Prize!

Written by Tove Appelgren and illustrated by Salla Savolainen

From Ahlbäck Agency foreign rights guide:

Vesta-Linnea feels like her mother always takes her little sister’s side over hers, and she is suddenly very certain that no one in the family really loves her. Will anything disperse her darkest thoughts?

Tove Appelgren & Salla Savolainen — Vesta-Linnea’s Darkest Thought — Sample Translation (PDF)

(A full-length translation with images is available upon request)

Blurb at Books from Finland

Kitten and Sloppy / Kissa Killi ja Sottapytty

Tammi, 2009

Written by Tuula Korolainen. Illustrated by Christel Rönns.

From Tammi/Elina Ahlbäck Agency foreign rights guide:

Kitten’s mum is upset feeling she has to clean up after everyone else in the
family. And as if that wasn’t enough. Sloppy jumps out of the mirror – a little,
sloppy cat who looks just like Kitten. And boy, can Sloppy make a mess! He storms
from room to room putting everything in disarray, even pasting the walls with jam.
Kitten gets carried away with the mess-making, fi nding how much fun it can be.
But when Sloppy transforms the vacuum cleaner into a blower, and breaks Kitten’s
Rat Castle, little Kitten gets anxious. His old friend Brownie has to come help keep
the peace with his magic.

Tuula Korolainen — Kitten and Sloppy — Sample Translation

Sample Excerpt with Images

Tammi/Ahlbäck Agency rights guide

Butterfly Path / Perhosten polku

Tammi, 2010.

Written and Illustrated by Virpi Penna.

Virpi Pena — Butterfly Path — Sample Translation

Buttery Fly Path Images Sample

The Animals’ World / Eläinten maa

Annexus Oy 2010

Written and illustrated by Marsa Pihlaja.
Translated by Owen F. Witesman

Environment-themed poems with eye-popping illustrations.

Sample from Annexus Publishing

Aidan and Sophie / Aatos ja Sofia

Tammi, 2010.

Written by Riitta Jalonen and illustrated by Kristiina Louhi.

From the Tammi/Elina Ahlbäck Agency foreign rights guide:

Aidan and Sophie are 8- and 9-year-old friends. This book
is a sweet story of summer, closeness, games, adventures
– and of first love, from a boy’s perspective.

Through small, delicate details Riitta Jalonen communicates
the strong emotions of childhood. Kristiina Louhi’s warm and
inventive illustrations bring the magical realm of childhood
handy.

Riitta Jalonen — Aidan and Sophie — Translation Sample PDF

The Hurricane Detective Club // Etsiväkerho Hurrikaani

Tammi, 2009.

The Hurricane Detective Club and the Guardians of the Star Triangle (Etsiväkerho Hurrikaani ja tähtikolmion vartijat) by Jari Mäkipää.

The Hurricane Detective Club returns to school after a hectic summer vacation. The fall begins strangely when Principal McBride doesn’t show up for work. The club sets out to investigate the principal’s strange disappearance. The think it must have something to do with a strange symbol, the star triangle, a mystery the sleuths have tried to solve before.

As they investigate the star triangle, Jesse, Jenny, Caroline, and Matthias descend deeper into the dark secrets of Alder Ridge. Where has McBride disappeared to? What lurks behind the heavy steel doors in the cave? And is someone else trying to untangle the mystery of the star triangle?

The Hurricane Detective Club and the Guardians of the Start Triangle continues the exciting adventures of four young detectives. A hysterical supporting cast of old and new characters also comes along for the ride, including Anita Roquefort, and the strange master of comedy, Barry Buckshot.

From the Tammi/Elina Ahlbäck Agency Rights Guide:

This wonderful series began in 2004 with the publication of the Hurricane Detective Club Handbook. This fun guide gives useful tips to all budding detectives from setting up your own club to different disguises and secret codes. Jari Mäkipää has since written six detective novels, in which the four founding members of the original Hurricane Detective Club have adventures and amusing mishaps while solving mysterious incidents at their school.

Mäkipää, Jari – The Hurricane Detective Club and the Guardians of the Star Triangle — Sample Translation (PDF)


Hayhat, Feltslipper and the Big Bang / Heinähattu, Vilttitossu ja suuri pamaus

Cover of original CD

Kapsäkki Opera and Theatre Company.

A tintamaresque children’s opera by Sinikka and Tiina Nopola featuring their Heinähattu and Vilttitossu characters. I translated the songs lyrics for performance in the US.

Tatu and Patu’s Amazing Alphabet // Tatun ja Patun Oudot aakkoset

Tatu and Patu's Amazing Alphabet

Otava, 2009

From the Otava Foreign Rights website:

The alphabet is led down memory lane with the boys from Oddsville, where there’s plenty of whacky humour and earth-shaking revelations about the crazy life they’ve lived! With an extra bonus letter: the mark of Oddsville!

Tatu and Patu find a box in the attic brimming with old photos and mementoes of years gone by.

The box is a true cornucopia: there are pictures of their trip to Barbados, a shot of the curling club disco, and one of the Christmas market in Järvenpää. They’ve even made their way into pictures from newspapers and mail-order catalogues. They also find Patu’s messed-up pose from the passport photo booth among the stash.

Included along the way are familiar adventures from the past, like a group photo of the Esikko day care and a series of documentary pictures of what happened when Tatu and Patu went on a picnic with Veera.

At the very bottom of the box is a picture of Oddsville, the place they were born in, but what a shame, the picture is badly worn…

The story of the successful rise to popularity of Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen’s picture books reached a peak when their book This is Finland won the Finlandia Junior Prize in 2007.

They have also received the 2001 Rudolf Koivu Prize and the 2006 Kaarina Helakisa Award, and their book Tatu and Patu in Helsinki was nominated for the Finlandia Junior in 2003. Other adventures of the celebrated brothers from Oddsville can be found in Tatu and Patu’s Oddball Bedtime Book, Tatu and Patu Go to Work, Tatu and Patu’s Mad Machines, Tatu and Patu at the Kindergarten, as well as the four Veera books.

Havukainen and Toivonen have also published two collections of their Home Truths comics for grown-ups.

The rights to the Tatu and Patu books have been sold in more than 10 countries, to publishers such as Kaisei-sha (Japan), Édition Glénat (France), Rabén & Sjögren (Sweden) ja Thinemann (Germany).

Finding even two pages in this one that could be translated sensibly was a challenge, for obvious reasons!

The Letter B

The Letters C and D



See also:

Tatu and Patu’s This is Finland (Published)

Tatu and Patu in Helsinki (Forthcoming)

Tatu and Patu’s Adventures in Outer Space (Sample)

Tatu and Patu as Superheroes! (Sample)

Tatu and Patu’s Oddball Bedtime Book (Sample)