Aino Tietäväinen
Ville Tietäväinen
Publication date
Format info
48 pages, size 215 x 280 mm

Just a Bad Dream

Vain pahaa unta

-   Aino Tietäväinen

Giant bunnies are chasing me in the woods! A horse quarry is on fire. Dad has turned into a stickman. Policemen are just resting in their armchairs, and horrid chopped onion is being pushed into my eyes…

Just a Bad Dream is a touching story about a little girl’s bad dreams and the consoling dialogue that develops between her and her father thorough their discussions about the strangeness of dreams. The story unfolds through an amazing mix of storybook illustrations and the graphic strip storytelling.


About the authors

Aino Tietäväinen (b. 2005) inspired this book with the bad dreams she had between ages 3 and 6.

Ville Tietäväinen (b. 1970) is an exceptionally talented cartoonist, illustrator and graphic designer. He has been awarded several times for his artwork. In 2011 he was selected to receive the most distinguished cultural prize in Finland, the Finnish Cultural Foundation Award. He won the 2011 Graphic Novel Finlandia Prize for his graphic novel Invisible Hands, which has also been published in Arabic (Sefsafa), German (Avant), French (Casterman) and Swedish (Epix). Tietäväinen’s previous graphic novel, Birds and Seas (2003), was also published in France by Delcourt.

“Aino, I thought we should give our book a good short name, something a child could easily say, like: Just a bad dream”

“But I have a better name: The secret world of dreams… I thought the book should have a grown-up name.”

“And Daddy…would it not be better if I’d draw all the dreams, since I’m the one who saw them and know exactly how they look?”

“And Daddy…once we’ve sold our book, I will get all the money, right? Since they are my dreams?”


Rights sold

Danish (Rosinante & Co.)


Prizes, awards and nominations

2014 Shortlisted for The Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize
2014 Finnish Literary Export Prize
2013 Shortlisted for the Finlandia Junior Prize


Reading materials

Finnish edition
English sample
Full Swedish sample translation

A sample available in English also in Books from Finland online


Praise for the work

“It is impossible to describe nightmares better than Just a Bad Dream. Ville Tietäväinen’s skilful, fearless artistry, combined with his child’s art, creates a direct and unprecedented account that doesn’t trivialise its subject matter or sweep terror under the carpet.”– Etelä-Saimaa newspaper

“The book charmed the whole family: we adults and our 3, 6 and 11 year olds. The illustrations and texts were entertaining, combined with little Aino’s comments about Daddy being tired. They also made us stop and think about how children perceive the world.” – Tarja Kuittinen, Ilta-Sanomat tabloid

“This book from the Tietäväinen power duo is an arresting work: a tribute to childhood, bad dreams and the touching relationship he shares with his daughter. I don’t recall many graphic novels that have made this kind of impression on both the young and old.” – Nadja Sarell, Kuvittaja magazine