‘Tremble, Harry Potter!’ — Penny Peanutheart is here to stay

‘Tremble, Harry Potter!’ suggests editor Minna Pyhälahti of The Institute for the Languages of Finland (Kotus) as she writes about Cristal Snow’s use of language in Penny Peanutheart books.

‘Snow has now written the fourth part of the popular children’s book series about Penny Peanutheart: Tales from the Windnest Woods. The series tells about the growing up of a little fairy girl, Penny, and about her family, friends, and neighbours. The books are brought to life by Kati Vuorento’s etheral illustrations.

However, my greatest joy is the Finnish language in these books. Those who appreciate rich language should boldly pick up this so-called children’s book! In Snow’s hands, the language comes alive vividly. Additionally, the linguistic style of the books is polished on all levels, including sentence structures and spelling.

The series represents creative language use with colourful words and imaginative derivations. In my opinion, the flight of words and imagination is no less than that of the Harry Potter books!

Snow’s word choices do not take the easiest or most typical route.

The themes, alongside the cute and funny ones, are painful and serious: bullying, alcoholism, and domestic violence. However, they are written about both sensitively and unembellished. The main character has to make many difficult moral choices. I have repeatedly said to everyone who cares to listen that the author of these books must have – like his protagonist – a very big heart and an exceptionally beautiful soul.

…we have the main story and climax of the series still ahead of us! Such a promise is an important one for an impatient reader like me who has a craving for a high-quality continuation of such high-quality series.’