In the editorial, Tuula Korolainen discusses the financial difficulties faced by Finnish children's theatre. For instance, the internationally renown puppet theatre "Vihreä Omena" ("Green Apple") might have to close down. The main problems are the low admission fees and the decrease in audience numbers, which means that additional State funding is needed.
Korolainen's second article on "super-books" for children and young adults is a sequel to her article in the previous issue in which a list of the world's most influential children's books, according to Finnish leading experts in the field, was published. In this new article, she discusses possible "list-climbers" and scrutinises how well poetry and non-fiction books managed in the survey: poetry was recognised, but not non-fiction books.
Anna-Riitta Montin writes about the illustrator Feodor Rojankovsky, who is most well know for his works "The Tall Book of Mother Goose" (1942) and "The Tall Book of Nursery Tales". She describes the artist's youth in Russia, Poland and France where his success began. When the Second World War broke out, Rojankovsky fled to the States where he began his long, successful career. Montin also discusses Rajankovsky's working methods as well as his particular interest in nature, which made him, among other things, an excellent illustrator of animals. In many of his works you can also find traces of Russian culture.
Raija Raussi has written a report from the seminar arranged by SNI on the state of the Finnish picture book today. At the seminar it was concluded that the supply of picture books has revived since the recession, but has not yet returned to the level of the so called "golden years" of the 1980s. The criticism of picture books has also grown more scarce and much criticism neglects the illustrations. Maria Lassén-Seger presented her research on David McKee's picture book "Not Now, Bernard" and Maria Laukka talked about the illustrations of John Bauer who has influenced, for instance, Tove Jansson.
Marita Rajalin's article deals with depictions of milieu in Z. Topelius's children's books and the ways in which various illustrators have interpreted them. She notes, for instance, that contemporary artists try to create a sense of authenticity, whereas later illustrators move around in time more freely. Some 20th century illustrators have transferred Topelius' stories into a completely modern setting. The illustrators have preferred texts where the depiction of the setting is scarce and thus allows them more creative freedom. An example of such a text is the fairy tale "Vattumato". Topelius's most elaborate descriptions of setting are to be found where he introduces his main characters to new surroundings, for instance a poor cottage or school. The upper class garden- and summer villa tradition of his time, Topelius treats ironically. His ideal landscape is the countryside, beginning from the garden at home and widening into fields, roads and forests.
Sirpa Kivilaakso reports from the seminar arranged in honour of the late author Anni Swan's 125th birthday. Swan is a classic, the number of her works published comprises over a million copies, a number seldom reached within Finland.
In the news section we learn, among other things, that Jukka Itkonen has been awarded the Kaarina Helakisa-prize for his entire children's book production and Jukka Parkkinen, the Anni Swan-medal for his novel "Suvi Kinos ja elämän eväät" (1999).