Illustrator(s)
Mira Mallius
Publication date
January 2021
Publisher
WSOY
Format info
40 pp. Age: 3+

Winter Came That Night

Sinä yönä tuli talvi

A comforting and sensitive picture book addressing a family’s grief after a miscarriage.

Winter Came That Night tells the story of a big brother whose long‐awaited little sibling never makes it home after birth. This beautiful picture book addresses a difficult subject at a child’s level, leaving an impression of comfort at the continuation of life.

The picture book, told from the point of view of the big brother, deals with the death of a baby and explores how grief transforms a family. Mallius’ light and warm illustrations and Isoaro’s sensitive text, in tune with a child’s mindset, do not shy away from grief, but they also show how everyday life goes on.

Both the author and the illustrator have been personally touched by the grief of losing a child. They wanted to make a picture book on the subject, to bring comfort to families, especially children, facing the same situation.

‘In a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage. Miscarriage remains a taboo subject, despite how common it is. It is important that we adequately support families during this time.’ — Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex/The Guardian

‘Grief does not pass by quickly. The child’s desire to protect his par-ents is highlighted in a heart-breaking scene where the boy gives his mom a ‘pram-alert’ whenever he spots a baby pram nearby during an outing.’ — Lastenkirjahylly Literary Blog

Prizes, nominations

2021, Winner of the Bothnia Prize
2022, honorary diploma from The Finnish Institute for Children’s Literature

Material

English full translation set in lay-out
Finnish edition
Info sheet with press quotes

Format, Age

40 pp., 3+

Rights sold

Latvian (Liels un Mazs)
Polish (Media Rodzina)

Praise

WINTER CAME THAT NIGHT is an extremely important children’s book about a difficult subject: the death of a child. The book delicately portrays the emptiness that forms after such an enormous loss. The way how Isoaro approaches the topic is touching and credible. In the illustrations by Mira Mallius even the sorrow has shades of solace, as it guides the reader through the familiy’s day-to-day. The story itself is told through the eyes of a big brother, but from the viewpoint of him watching and experiencing the grief of the grown-ups. Isoaro and Mallius do not underestimate the child – not the one experiencing the story nor the one reading it. The work is high quality children’s literature, also affecting the adult reader in a most poignant way. The book’s message is universal. – Bothnia Prize Jury

The language of Isoaro’s picture book debut is beautiful and captures the child narrator’s wide range of emotions. Mallius’ delicate illustrations accompany the story skillfully and, with their bright color scheme, help dealing with a difficult subject. The book provides support and comfort to families who have experienced an overwhelming loss. Despite its sad starting point, the story gives hope (…) –  The Finnish Institute for Children’s Literature