Children's rights highlights this autumn's book harvest in Finland

16:02, November 20, 2009      

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The United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) reaches its 20th anniversary on Nov.20, 2009.

To celebrate this event, Finnish writers and publishers have published a succession of new books for Finnish children.

Most of the newly published children's books this year attached exceptional importance to the theme of children's rights, their social concerns and emotions.

According to a Finnish report, the number of domestic children's books published this year has reached nearly 200, and translated books have surpassed 600.

Tanja Poskela, director of "Children's Center", a well-known Finnish publisher for children's literature, said children's rights as a theme was extensively heard and understood in many of this year's new books. She said the center had published a book together with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), titled An Ordinary Day -- Children's Own Rights, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the CRC.

The eight stories in this book vividly narrate and explain to children the basic points of children's rights, including the rights to good life, education, play and leisure, health care, as well as the right to be protected from violence. Based on everyday real life, author Tittamari Marttinen's thought-provoking stories help kindergarten and school-age children understand what children's rights are and how to safeguard them.

The popular Finnish children's picture series "Tatu and Patu" and Mauri Kunnas's fairy tale series continue to hot up this year. Combined with the psychological characteristics, these two series have been imperceptibly instilled in children the basic concepts of children's rights since they were first published. The two works are excellent in both pictures and texts, through which children can gain knowledge while enjoying themselves in the meantime.

The new book in the "Tatu and Patu" Series, titled Strange Alphabet, is still authored by the famous Finnish couple Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen. In this book, the main characters Tatu and Patu accidentally find some old but interesting photos that bring back their precious childhood memories from their hometown, including their group photo in kindergarten, adventures with childhood buddies, discos, holidays in Barbados, picnic by a river. Through these stories, the authors implicitly explain to children some rights they should deserve.

Maria Ilonen, director of the Finnish Institute for Children's Literature, said that, in Finland, there was a large group of talented fairy tale writers and comic strip artists who had produced large numbers of children's books, which fascinate Finnish children.

Source: Xinhua
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