Author(s)
Kaija Pannula
Illustrator(s)
Netta Lehtola
Publication date
2019
Publisher
WSOY
Format info
64 pages

Fox Tails

Kettujuttuja

Shortlisted for the Finlandia Junior Prize, this book includes three utterly charming tales with a tail.

Fox Tails combines three beautifully illustrated stories in which a fox learns to paint, goes skiing, and makes a new friend.

Fox has decided to paint a picture. But deciding what to paint proves to be rather tricky: badger cubs never stay still; painting pictures food makes you feel hungry; and painting stars is difficult because it’s hard to see in the dark! One day he meets another fox, who teaches him that the world is full of fabulous and important subjects. You just have to be brave enough to pick up a paint brush.

Dealing with themes of grief, friendship and loneliness, Fox Tales is an utterly gorgeous book that’ll capture the imaginations of 3+ readers while teaching them important life lessons. Its three stories tackle the fragility of life, whilst bringing forwards its richness and joy.

Kaija Pannula (b. 1970) is the Finlandia Prize-nominated author of Fox Tails, which was illustrated by Netta Lehtola (b. 1996). At just 23-years-old, Lehtola was 2019’s youngest Finlandia Prize nominee. Using her background in graphic design, Lehtola’s gorgeous illustrations show the fox tending to his roses, skiing with his shadow and painting pictures.

Material

Finnish PDF
English translation, set in layout

Prizes and nominations

2019, nominated for the Finlandia Junior Prize

Rights sold

Slovakia (Ikar a.s.)

Reviews

“Netta Lehtonen’s colourful pictures perfectly complement these stories, which tackle themes of friendship, loneliness and loss. Could this become a classic like The Little Prince or The Frog and the Toad series?” — HS Viikko newspaper 

Fox Tails is a delightful story about friendship and pursuing your own passions. Lehtola’s illustrations especially capture an adult’s eye for detail and harmonious colours.” – Maaseudun tulevaisuus

“This book combines charming stories about growing up, how to handle sadness and friendship. It deals with the fragility of life, but also its richness and joy. This book’s pictures and story perfectly complement one another. Set in a peaceful and colourful world, this picture book combines traditional illustration techniques with the illustrator’s own, unprejudiced worldview beautifully, resulting in a truly touching story.” – Announcement of the Finlandia Junior Prize Jury, 2019

“The book’s stories about growth, grief and friendship merge into a single narrative that highlights the fragility of life, but also its richness and joy. The illustrations and storytelling complement each other well. This serene picture book, with its harmonious colour scheme, combines the classic picture book tradition with the unique, open-minded perspective of the illustrator in an enjoyable way, creating an appealing overall package.”– Statement of the Jury of the Finlandia Prize for Children’s and YA Literature

“Nowadays, such stylistically pure Finnish picture books are a rarity. (…)  Pannula’s three animal stories contain considerably more hearty wisdom than the number of pages would suggest. Lehtola’s nuanced illustrations follow along with the stories but also add further dimensions to them. Fox Tails has a perfect balance of text and illustration. There is neither too much nor too little of anything. Lehtola’s expressive animals are exceptionally sympathetic in their gestures and overall appearance. Although all three stories deal with big, at times very dark feelings, the narrative and the mood of the images still twist through optimism and communality toward a happy outcome in a way that is believable. This book could be marketed abroad as a window into the Finnish mental landscape. In Finland, it’s okay to mope around, sulk or withdraw into nature at times.” Lastenkirjahylly literary blog

Fox Tails is a fantastically illustrated classic picture book for young (3+) readers. The separate stories form a seamless whole in which the text and illustrations complement each other very well. The stories skilfully show how the landscape is constantly changing from season to season, but also depending on how we look at it and how we experience the things around us.” – Kirjat kertovat blog

“The text portions of these fox stories are quite short, but together with the beautiful illustrations, they tell about some pretty deep things. (…) The entire range of emotions in life seems to fit into this little book, with its skilfully unassuming narration and images.” Oksan hyllyltä blog