[review] Juha Virta & Marika Maijala: Filippa & Co. A Runaway Piano

filippa_image

Juha Virta
Illustrations Marika Maijala
Filippa & Kumppanit. Piano karkaa [’Filippa & Co. A Runaway Piano’]
Etana Editions 2015
ISBN 978-952-7105-03-0

The illustrator Marika Maijala and the author Juha Virta have created a heart-warming picture book titled Filippa & Co. A runaway piano (Etana Editions 2015). The book starts when a piano rolls down the street in the middle of the night. The following morning, Filippa and her friends find it. She is excited because she wants to play it, but a donkey called Antero wants to use it as a table in his café. The Cat Nokonen wants to take a nap inside the piano. Filippa gets angry because she is not allowed to play. At the same time, somewhere else there is a pianist without a piano and a conductor without a sock.

Filippa & Co. was nominated as one of the best illustrations in 2015 by Grafia, the Association of Visual Communication Designers in Finland. The book is beautiful and very colourful – especially the dust wrappers. There are lots of vivid characters and interesting details. The spreads are wide, spectacular and full of strong shapes. Dimensions and sizes vary a lot. One page has a piano or a red-faced, shouting Filippa that covers the entire page. Another has a landscape with an abundance of details.

The book handles situations which are familiar to all children. For example, they have to learn that they do not always get what they want and that others also have to be heard. Music helps Filippa to feel better and it also unites people. In the end, everything gets solved with cooperation and kindness. A whole bunch of vivid characters pull together and carry the piano back where it belongs. The conductor’s missing sock is also found inside the piano. The book ends with a happy music session together.

Jutta Setälä

Also by Juha Virta and Marika Maijala:
Sylvi Kepposen pitkä päivä (Otava 2008)
Sylvi Kepposen hukkaretki (Otava 2010)
Sylvi Kepposen kirjekaveri (Otava 2012)

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