Mira Mallius
Publication date
January 2021
Format info
40 pp. Age: 3+

Winter Came That Night

Sinä yönä tuli talvi

The award-winning picture book that addresses a difficult topic with grace and sensitivity.

The picture book, told from the point of view of a big brother (who is still little himself) deals with the death of the long-awaited baby brother 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 show how everyday life goes on. Both the author and the illustrator have experienced the loss of a baby. They felt compelled to make a picture book on the topic, to bring some comfort to families who must find their way in the same situation. A picture book can prove a valuable help in discussing the difficult topic with the baby’s siblings who experience the loss alongside their parents. Anna Elina and Mira are currently working on their next picture book Two Aunts Called Vera which which highlights the spectrum of childless people and different lifestyles. Publication in Summer 2023.

Rights sold

Hungarian (Kisgombos)
Latvian (Liels un Mazs)
Polish (Media Rodzina)


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

Prizes, nominations

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


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

The treatment of grief in this book is perhaps the finest I have read in a while, if ever. It went under my skin right away. Antti Leikas, author, Chairman of Oulu Authors’ Association

Grief does not pass by quickly. The child’s desire to protect his parents 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