Sunday, October 2, 2022

Kiepaus / Vuokko Hurme, selkomukautus Hanna Männikkölahti #gift

 Middle grade. Spec fic. Chicken.

STORY: 10 year old Lenna lives in the city of Kardum with her mother, father, little sister and chicken. Everyone gets around by using cables and zip lines because the world is quite literally upside down.

This is a very original plot that's not too heavy on the sci-fi and is great for the imagination. 

LANGUAGE: This is a longer middle grade book at just over 100 pages, but there are short chapters, big font, wide margins, lots of white space and black and white illustrations throughout. Essential illustrations are a map of the city, a map of the block building where Lenna lives and character profiles. The vocabulary is not difficult and new words for readers are likely ones they'd come across in daily life. 

Because of the dystopian plot that requires some world building and book length, I would recommend this to B level readers - those beyond Emma ja Eetu but standard middle grade books are just beyond reach.

CHARACTERS: Lenna, a girl, likes pancakes made from flies and eggs, fresh water and practicing zip lining in empty apartments. She's never touched the ground, the sun is below her and she has to be careful around open windows, because if she would fall out, she would disappear for good.

Cheers for Newton the chicken.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK: If you are looking for a selkokirja that has more depth than an average easy reader book, this is it. The imagined world is amazing and readers can try to imagine what daily life would be like while living in a world tipped upside down. If adult readers have read any of Hanna Männikkölahti's other books, such as Yösyöttö, the illustrator is the same (Ina Majaniemi) and the book provides the same cozy reading moments. This book is thrilling but not scary and Lenna shows her maturity as well as her childish innocence. 

Thanks to the author, Hanna Männikölahti for providing this book as a gift to Selkokirjat in Review.

If you'd like to send a book for review, please contact me at


Monday, June 27, 2022

Vaarallinen Juhannus / Tove Jansson, selkomukautus Jolin Slotte #sponsored

Middle grade. Moomins. Juhannus.

STORY: On a hot summer day, the Moomins enjoy their afternoon on the porch in a rocking chair or near the pond. When floodwater begins to come and enter the Moomin's house, they all begin to wonder what kind of Midsummer will they have.

Another classic Moomin tale that introduces some famous characters 

LANGUAGE: The book is just over 100 pages. There are 12 chapters, with sections broken down between scenes and dialogue. Lots of black and white illustrations are included, which help with potential new vocabulary. The atmosphere and setting are important in this book, alongside character behavior and individual character storylines.

While this is a kid's book, a lot of complex events and scene changes happen in the book. I definitely encourage any reader A1.1 and up to try out a chapter, I would suggest this book as a whole more for level A1.3 and above. While there are repeating words as the story progresses, a lot of new vocabulary is added in even halfway through the book.

CHARACTERS: A character guide is included in the front with all of the major characters in the book. This is very helpful to refer to, especially when certain characters do not appear or are unveiled until later in the book.

If you collect the Muumin chocolate eggs during Easter, you may recognize some of the side characters!

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK: The Moomins are a Finnish classic and it's worth reading at least one book in the series. This is a fun book to read in spring, right around Juhannus and to compare and contract modern Midsummer to the Moomin's version. This book is a great way to meet new side characters and the enjoy the original characters and their own quirks. There's some good vocabulary especially related to weather and the theatre.

Thanks to Opike for generously providing this book for review! You can purchase this book and more from their website, #sponsored

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Näkymätön pentu / Wanda Gag, Tuomas Kilpi


Näkymätön pentu / Wanda Gag, Tuomas Kilpi

STORY: Once upon a time there were three puppies. One puppy was invisible, but they loved each other anyway. One day a ittle boy and girl come and take the two visible puppies home, leaving the invisible puppy alone. The invisible puppy goes off in search of his siblings, but loses track of them. He comes across a crow who listens to his story. The crow tells the puppy some magic words to make him visible over time. Every day when the puppy recites the words, he gains shape and form. The story  continues as the newly visible puppy tries to find his family.

This is a translated picture book of an American classic called Nothing at All from 1940. The book received the Caldecott Honor Award in 1942. 

CHARACTERS:The book is told in third person omniscient and from the perspective of the invisible puppy. Other speaking characters in the story are his siblings, the crow and the little boy and girl. 

The characterization is rather simple, the illustrations bring the story to life, showing how the puppies look different and the invisible puppy and his development into a visible puppy. The illustrations have a very classic 1940's style and new readers will be able to follow the story even if they are unable to read the text. 

LANGUAGE: Each page contains one or two illustrations along with 2 - 4 sentences of selko text. The grammar and vocabulary are not too complicated - questions, cardinal numbers, partitive plural, past tense, and dog related vocabulary.

As a picture book this is suitable for A1 and above. This is a good book for small children to read together with an adult, and it would still be good for a new lower or upper school S2 student to read. While the story is juvenile, the classic nature of the book makes it interesting and accessible to a wide audience. Adults, don't give this one a pass either, it's a good quick read where you might be surprised how much you understand, depending on your level.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK: There's a dearth of selko picture books and every new one is welcome to the collection. Many selko picture books are rather big, with lots of text and it's nice to have this one, which is a small, thin paperback with a good balance ot text and illustrations. This is a great book for families and S2 students in schools and you can't go wrong with a classic, especially with a happy ending. 

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Päivänselvä: Kotitalous / Riikka Tuohimetsä

Nonfiction. Home economics. Instructive. 

DESCRIPTION: This is a course book aimed at both teachers and students teaching home economics skills including cooking, cleaning, finances and more.

LANGUAGE: Each chapter begins with a section for teachers that has assignment suggestions and a long list of links and videos to share with students. Each chapter is in textbook format, teaching in simple Finnish with illustrations with helpful vocabulary. The book is aimed at students in grades 6 and up, which I firmly agree with, but in addition I think this book will be useful for adult immigrants from countries that have cultures different from Finland. This book may even lessen culture shock for many! It teaches about Finnish homes, tools, traditional and modern recipes, nutrition and help with budgeting and even debt management. Based on the target audience and topics in the book, I would recommend this for B1 level and up. If you are not quite a B level, the book is still worth picking up to read for sections relevant to you!

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK:  I don't know about you, but I never took home economics in school so I found this book fascinating. There are also aspects of Finnish culture and daily life that seemed so natural to Finns that left me wondering (fish cake? what?). Videos and links provided also gave me insight to sources that I wasn't aware of previously. I think that this book is relevant to all adults who have moved to Finland and not be deterred by the "coursebook" style. If you are interested in home ec topics, this book would be fun to skim through on a weekend. However, if you are looking for something a bit more intensive, there are assignments in this book which would be really fun to do over a weekend! 

Highly recommended: 5/5

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Opi neulomaan / Anna Vasala


Opi neulomaan / Anna Vasala

Nonfiction. Selkokirja. Knitting.

DESCRIPTION: In this selkokirja knitting book, Anna Vasala introduces readers to knitting terms, including supplies and techniques. She walks readers through selecting a project, beginning to knit and different techniques. Included are a few basic projects.

LANGUAGE: The book has large full color photographs, which really help to show detail in how knitting needles and yarn is held, and where the needle is placed in different movements. Using the information in the book, anyone can knit projects from this book and also use the information to pick out projects from elsewhere and still be able to understand knitting instructions. I honestly think that all beginning knitters, including native Finnish speakers, should use this book when starting out, as it condenses all the essential information into a compact package. 

I have always said that if you are learning a new language, you should read what interests you. Whether that's cooking, outer space, or knitting. If a subject is interesting to you personally, you'll be more likely to focus on the reading and pick up new vocabulary. Because of that I am recommending this book to all levels starting from A1. 

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK: You should read this book if you have never knit and want to learn how. You should read this book if you have been knitting for decades as it is always helpful to see and learn how other people knit - whether the needles are held the same way, whether stitches are knit and purled in the same way - and possibly learn a new ways to knit! 

Highly recommended 5/5