NOMINEE FOR THE CHILDREN’S AND YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE FINLANDIA PRIZE 2023
An insightful and warm-hearted picture book exploration of diversity and family bonds.
Esther and William’s parents surprise them with a weekend getaway at their Aunt Vera’s. However, since both parents have sisters named Vera, a double booking occurs, turning the children’s weekend stay into double the fun!
Despite sharing the same first name, the aunts differ significantly in character and lifestyle. The narrative and illustrations vividly portray these distinctions, which the children also reflect against their own life at home. The cleverly built gentle story explores diversity and plurality, showing how differences enrich our lives. And as close relatives mirror each other, a heart-warming family narrative unfolds, emphasizing the significance of their relationships.
2023, Children’s and Young Adult Literature Finlandia Prize nominee
’Two Aunts Called Vera transports you from the kitchen table into the homes and lives of diverse people. The story is wonderfully insightful and meandering, yet clear at the same time. Isoaro’s language is vibrant and beautiful. The visual world of the work is unique and playful; Mallius’s compositions are exquisite, and her overall colour palette is stunning. The layout also deserves praise; every spread is a carefully considered whole. Two Aunts Called Vera is a constructive and thought-provoking reading experience.’ — Statement by the Finlandia Prize Jury
‘Isoaro’s text gives a lot of space to Mira Mallius’ visual narrative, and one can draw conclusions about the aunts’ preferences and life history from the details of the illustrations. (…) The illustrator uses light strokes to create environments and atmospheres. Mallius manages to portray a surprisingly wide range of emotions in the simplistic drawings of the characters’ eyes: concern, moodiness, tiredness, confusion, excitement, joy, sadness and even wistfulness.’ — Kuvittaja Magazine
’This picture book portrays, in an approachable and unpretentious way, how diversity and plurality are a richness.’ — Lastenkirjahylly, literary blog
English translation set in lay-out
Polish (Media Rodzina)
Latvian (Liels un Mazs)