Essi Kummu
Marika Maijala
Publication date
Format info
41 pages

Chatty Elias

Puhelias Elias

Shortlisted for the Finlandia Junior Prize in 2012.

Elias, who has just started school, is usually chatty but nowadays he’s out of sorts and out of words. Along with his sister, he has two homes: one with dad and another with mum. They share dad’s home with Marita, who has a little girl of her own. Figuring out the new family dynamics is tough and even school seems strange to begin with. Elias finds himself missing his best friend Priit, who lives so far away that Elias would have to cross the sea to visit him.

Chatty Elias deals with themes including parents splitting up and travelling between new families, from a young boy’s point of view. Maijala’s intricate illustrations seamlessly add to Kummu’s story. Chatty Elias will resonate with anyone who has ever struggled to find the right words or missed a friend, in other words: all of us.

Essi Kummu (b.1977) is a versatile author who has written highly-acclaimed short stories, novels, children’s books and screenplays.


Book 1: Chatty Elias, 2012
Book 2: Elias and the Practise Kiss, 2015
Book 3: Elias and the Wedding Waltz, 2019


4-colour illustrations
Age: 5+

Rights sold

Estonian (Fiore)

Reading materials

English synopsis
Finnish edition
Swedish translation


“Kummu’s book will delight readers with its depictions of everyday life, bravery, humour and well-rounded characters who know how to express their feelings.”– Kaleva newspaper

“The crayon illustrations represent shyness and the feeling of falling in love beautifully.”– Aamulehti newspaper

Awards and nominations

2013: Shortlisted for the Tower of Pabel Prize for the Best Translated Children’s Book of the Year in Estonia
2012: Shortlisted for the Finlandia Junior Award