Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Seesam (Open Sesame) Award 2019 - Tuija Takala - Review of 2 books - Hyvä päivä and Lauralle oikea #sponsored

The Seesam (Open Sesame!) award is given by Selkokeskus every year since 1992 to a person or company who furthers, advances the development of Finnish selkokirjat and selko-literature. Recipients in the past have been authors, illustrators, translators, publishing houses, libraries and more.

This year's award was awarded in October 2019 at the Turku book fair to Tuija Takala. She is a Finnish language instructor and has written and selko-translated many books in various genres, including classics, poetry, romance and novellas.

In this post, I'll be reviewing two books from Tuija Takala, Hyvä päivä and Lauralle oikea.

Hyvä päivä - Tuija Takala
Anecdotal. Positivity. Thin book.

STORY: This collection of super short stories reflect daily life in Finland and the small moments that count in each day.

LANGUAGE:  Each story is 2 pages in length, as little as 6 paragraphs and are individually packed with thoughts and ponderings that will leave the read with a feeling of comfort and contentment. Since there are such a wide range of stories (28 in all), the ideal language level is anywhere from an A1.2 to a C. An A language learner could pick any story and tackle it in a single sitting and understand it with little grammar and vocab check-up, while a C learner, or even a native Finnish speaker would enjoy simply picking up and reading a story here and there, drawing the enjoyment of the book out. This book has great re-readability, making it easy to go back and find favorite stories and read them again and again.

CHARACTERS:  Every story has a different narrator. They very from a person waiting at a train or bus station, a woman who received a postcard in the mail, to an older man and woman who chat in the yarn. Many stories are genderless and ageless. While this book is aimed at adults, I believe anyone from YA plus would appreciate these stories.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK:  Who wouldn't want to read a book, that when you are done reading from it, you are left smiling and feeling good? This book is great for any read, any tiem of the day, any time of the year and has excellent re-readability, making it a great book to own and keep on the bookshelf for years. The short stories are great, can be read quickly, and as a thin book (just over 60 pages), it's great to carry around with you. The book also includes pencil illustrations which add a softness to an already light, enjoyable read. It's always worth reading books by award winners, and this is a great book to start with from Tuija Takala's collection!

Highly recommend!

Thanks to Opike for generously providing this book for review.
You can purchase this book and many more from their website.
You can also find excerpts from the book, discussion questions and exercises on Opike's website!

Lauralle oikea - Tuija Takala
Romance. New adult. Self-discovery.

STORY:  Laura sits at a table with her mother. She tells her mother that she has found "the one." Her mother is reluctant to believe her, considering Laura has had crushes often int he past. On her walk home, Laura thinks about her life from childhood to the present.

LANGUAGE:  Told in first person from Laura's perspective. Set in the near present, 2018, with flashbacks to childhood, school years and working life.

This is a new adult book. In general, it is accessible to a young adult reader, but as Laura grows older into her 20's and focuses on finding a career and her own first apartment, it steps firmly into new adult.

While there is some puhekieli throughout the book, I rate this book as B1.1+. The chapters are short and overall the grammar and vocabulary are accessible to those that have advanced beyond beginner's Finnish but are not yet at a fluent level.

CHARACTERS:  Laura is a regular, average, normal girl and always has been. Her childhood and school years are spent with her mother and two best friends. Laura struggles to find what she's good at, what kind of job is right for her and she is always on the lookout for "the one."

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK:  This is a welcome genre romance book to the selkokirja world! If you already read and enjoy romance books in your own native language, this is an excellent transition into selkokirjat. It's great for the new age audience - wondering about potential relationships, experiencing bad relationships, considering whether to continue in school or not, watching as all your friends finish school with you and all go off in different directions, wondering if you'll still see each other and stay friends, trying out living on your own for the first time, wondering what you want to do for a job for the rest of your life, or even the near future. If you are asking yourself these questions now, or if you have ever experienced these in your past, you will most certainly enjoy this book! This is a fun book, a light fluffy read with some modern touches.

Congratulations to Tuija Takala for winning the Seesam award and we look forward to her future selkokirjat!

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