Finnish Fairy Tales and Stories for Children
Marjorie E. Coutts was a writer living in Bowen Island, B.C.
During the International Year of the Child the Canadian Finnish community conceived the idea of preparing a book of Finnish fairy and folk tales so that all children could have the opportunity to know traditional tales that originated in Finland. Accordingly, a contest was staged asking the children of the Finnish community to compete in translating and illustrating the authentic folk stories. The best-written translations and the most artistic illustrations are printed in this attractive little book, with the names of the writers and illustrators following each tale. As is true in all genuine folk tales, honesty, bravery, goodness, and patient effort are promoted and foolishness is derided. There are moral lessons but no moralizing.
A folk embroidery pattern is used as border for the printed text pages. It adds finish as well as character. The children’s illustrations add charm and humour. The book is a paperback but appears to be strong enough for lasting family use, although the paper on the spine will probably break quickly and not stand hard use.
The book will be welcomed for use in library story hours, and for any school or group project that wishes to add dimension to the scant material available about Finland. Finnish Canadian families will be proud of this accomplishment and will cherish each copy.