Translation – Finland – Pieni suuri tarina huomisesta

Yet another title added to my Project that aims to translate a children’s book from every country in the world. The wonderful Réka Király delights us with this philosophical story that tries to answer one of the hardest questions of all: What does “tomorrow” mean? Pieni suuri tarina huomisesta is a poetical metaphor of time and conciousness.

Technical details: 

ORIGINALTRANSLATION
TitlePieni suuri tarina huomisestaTitleMała duża historia o jutrze
AuthorRéka KirályTranslatorDorota Kyntäjä
IllustratrorRéka Király
Year of publication2013Year of publication2016
Publishing companyWSOYPublishing companyDreams
Original languageFinnishLanguage of translationPolish
Country of originFinlandCountry of translationPoland

Review of the book

I found this book in my local bookstore and I just immediately thought it was perfect for the Translation challenge. There’s an owl who wonders about the concept of tomorrow (what it is? when does it begin?) and it starts to ask other animals to see if they can answer those questions. It turns out that the answer is not as easy as they might think. The animals know what happened yesterday and what is happening today, but they have no idea about what tomorrow will bring. So they try to hide and wait for “tomorrow” to appear to see if they can get any sense of it. But when Mouse comes with an invitation to a party dated “tomorrow” the answer seems to reveal itself.

It reminds me of that time when I was talking with a three year old and he asked me when was his birthday and I answered, “Tomorrow” and he looked a bit puzzled but didn’t say anything, and then, after a couple of hours he came back and asked me, “Is it tomorrow already?” so I had to explain him that for it to be tomorrow he had to wait until we had supper and then go to sleep and after that he would wake up and it would be tomorrow – and therefore his birthday. It always amused me how little children can be so confused about the concept of time. It’s like they’re living the present to its maximum expression.

So this book is very relevant. It’s not just beautiful to say the least, it is also really interesting for children to explore the concept of time in a way that is not scientifical.

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