A comic book about a little jay, who lives in a big house with his sick mother. Outside evil jays are lurking. Minimum dialogue, because so much is to...moreA comic book about a little jay, who lives in a big house with his sick mother. Outside evil jays are lurking. Minimum dialogue, because so much is told through pictures. Oppressive and claustrophobic, and lots of layers and room for interpretation.(less)
Stories of ghosts and spirits for children based on old Finnish folk beliefs. Traditionally people used to gather together on dark evenings for a mome...moreStories of ghosts and spirits for children based on old Finnish folk beliefs. Traditionally people used to gather together on dark evenings for a moment of storytelling, and this book uses that approach. There's a frame story about a shoemaker, who tells these stories to his listeners. All of these were wonderful and weird, but the one about the protective black bird was particularly beautiful, whereas the story about the Devil's child was cute. The picture I got into my mind about its ending was kind of funny, it made me chuckle. The illustrations were quite nice as well.(less)
When I was a kid, there was a meeting place where we could play and hang out under supervision after school (in Finnish it's called "iltapäiväkerho")....moreWhen I was a kid, there was a meeting place where we could play and hang out under supervision after school (in Finnish it's called "iltapäiväkerho"). I think I was something between 7 and 10, when we hung a sheet over a table and told ghost stories inside the "tent". There were a few of us so it was hot in there, and I remember faintly that someone told the story The Green Hand but with a red high-heeled shoe, and the story about the dripping blood. I was creeped out but also fascinated. There were also books that supposedly contained urban legends, and they were wildly popular later on when I was about 11 or 12.
All this came back to me when I started reading these stories, so in part it was a very amusing nostalgia trip. Overall though most of the stories were disappointing. It may just be me, because I only enjoyed those that had actual supernatural stuff and quite macabre endings. I mean, I did not expect to find a cannibalistic story in a children's book! The stories where the point was to tell them in a low voice, and then shout the last word to make everyone jump, are probably exciting in a social setting. The rest were just meh. I don't want to spoil anything, but one of them was ridiculous and the last two were technically jokes, not ghost stories.(less)
It seems that adults can't agree on the message. I think I have to lean towards the minority here. Existing solely to be used by o...moreUm, this baffles me.
It seems that adults can't agree on the message. I think I have to lean towards the minority here. Existing solely to be used by others, and giving your love and care until you are diminished into almost nothing seems an odd, disturbing, and unhealthy idea for a children's book. It's like the tree is a mother, who just stands there and lets the boy suck up her energy. The narcissistic boy only comes to the tree when he needs something, and finally the tree almost ceases to exist after submitting itself to endless abuse, because it has forgotten that sometimes it's okay to do things for yourself. Classic martyrdom, an attitude that never fails to amaze me. In a bad way.
Or maybe this is a cautionary tale? You should not become like this boy etc. The boy is after all an idiot, who uses the tree as a commodity and a bottomless well. Unfortunately the tree allows itself to be used as a doormat, so the giving continues. However, I found no hint whatsoever anywhere (even after repeated readings) that this was meant to be a cautionary tale.
Oh well. I doubt children are going to be traumatized by this, and you can always discuss with your child while reading, but ultimately a book with a clear (not too dumbed down!) positive message that can't be misinterpreted might be a better choice. Let's celebrate relationships where both parties give something to the table. In my personal life I have seen relationships like the one of the tree and the boy, and they always end up in tears, once in a police car driving away from an abusive husband. Realizing that some actually consider this book as the ideal model of a relationship is sad and depressing. Just because you have your own hobbies and your sense of self intact, doesn't mean you don't care about others or your children. I just don't get why someone would want to become a mere shadow of themselves, and hide in corners apologizing for their existence.(less)
It was probably a mistake to read this immediately after the exhaustingly long and detailed book by Noël Riley Fitch, because Fitch had obviously had...moreIt was probably a mistake to read this immediately after the exhaustingly long and detailed book by Noël Riley Fitch, because Fitch had obviously had a lot of information and inspiration from this, so I had to read a lot of the same stuff all over again. Maybe I should have read the memoirs first? Then again, some of the things didn't quite happen in the same way as Beach remembers them, so perhaps it was more useful to find out the truth first to get the events into the right perspective.
Beach describes simply her heavy but rewarding journey with her book shop, but because her principle was to protect the privacy of her friends and to stay clear of her own personal feelings, the memoir just doesn't go that deep into the era or Beach's life. There are some nice anecdotes, like the one about the cat who chews gloves. The light approach was quite nice in a way. Although I was surprised how gently Joyce is treated, but then again I wouldn't have appreciated a bashing either. In the end a nice little book, but nothing special I'm afraid. Recommended reading only if you're interested in the book shop, and want to hear its story in Beach's own words.(less)
(Ismael from Egypt and Anu from Finland fall in love, and their daughter tells the story of her family and how to survive between two cultures.)
Egypti...more(Ismael from Egypt and Anu from Finland fall in love, and their daughter tells the story of her family and how to survive between two cultures.)
Egypti, Libya ja Suomi. Kertojan vanhemmat, egyptiläinen Ismael ja suomalainen Anu, rakastuvat ja myöhemmin perhe liikkuu kolmessa maassa tasapainotellen kahden erilaisen kulttuurin myllerryksessä. Pitkiä ja kylmiä talvia, kaupan muoviin pakattuja elintarvikkeita, puheenkin hiljentävä kuuma aurinko, katkeilevat sähköt. Hetket sekoittuvat toisiinsa, muistot kietoutuvat kehäksi, henkilöistä saadut vaikutelmat pyörivät ympyrää.
Joissain kirjoissa toisteisuus ärsyttää liian kikkailevana tyylikeinona, mutta tässä sitä on käytetty harkiten. Aina palataan sinne, mistä kaikki alkoi. Hämyiseen junavaunuun, jossa istuu enkeli, ja jossa tuli ja vesi ensimmäistä kertaa kohtaavat. ElRamlyn (nyk. Paasonen) proosa on täynnä hienoja kielikuvia, ja sanojen virta vie mukanaan jos vain malttaa keskittyä. Tunnelma on surumielinen ja viipyilevä, mutta joukkoon mahtuu myös hiukan iloa ja toiveikkuutta. Yksi niistä harvoista suomalaisista romaaneista, joista jaksan kiinnostua aihepiirin puolesta, ja jotka ovat vieläpä kaiken lisäksi todella hyviä ja taidokkaita.(less)