The merry-go-round isn’t spinning. Time isn’t passing. The little poofies sit up straight on the animals? backs and wait for the music to start, for the spinning and the fun to begin. Kettle, the littlest poofie of all, the one who never gets to ride on the merry-go-round, sighs and waits.
‘I wish time would pass more quickly. How I wish I was already big…’
A child’s time is in the hands of adults, and little Kettle has learned that children shouldn’t waste older people’s time.
Writer Timo Parvela and illustrator Virpi Talvitie, winners of the 2006 Finlandia Junior Prize for The Seesaw, have seized on something important: a child needs time with adults. The Merry-go-round measures time as children experience it, and as friends experience it: ‘Time is different with friends. With a friend, a second flies by, and you don’t even notice it. A day passes, and evening comes too quickly. In a week’s time, you can wonder many times over at the fact that you’ve found a friend. In a month, there’s time to get into a fight and make up again.’
The Merry-go-round is a good book to spend time with. Its wisdom and touching thoughtfulness speak to both children and adults in their moments of reading. The book is sensuously beautiful to look at. The text is brought to life in the expressive, colourful illustrations, like the one that shows how Lucky gives Kettle a birthday present: a sky full of twinkling stars, and all the time in the universe.
English full translation
German (Carl Hanser Verlag)
Chinese (Dandelion Children’s Book Publishing House Co. Ltd., Beijing Yanliu Classic Culture Ltd.)