Blog post: Emmi Maaranen
Kun minä synnyin (When I was born) by the Portuguese Isabel Minhós Martins and Madalena Matoso begins with blackness. The narrator, a small child, is still in the mother's womb - and in the womb you can see nothing but black.
After birth, the whole world opens up to the narrator. How it feels when someone whispers in your ear. What grandma's lap smells like, and what yogurt tastes like, and how everything has its own color. Everything is new, which makes life so exciting. Life is built through observations. The book goes through the different senses and what kind of observations can be made with each sense.
The first thing that occurred to me was that with the help of such a book you can deal with the wonder of being born with a child. After all, it's pretty crazy that a child bursts into the world from a kind of state of emptiness, blackness, and experiences everything for the first time.
In the book, Minhós Martins and Matoso have reached for something wistful in a beautiful way: what life was like when everything around was new, and the most exciting thing in life was, for example, the stones found in the ground.
Illustrator Madalena Matoso has used colors in an interesting way: the work has a lot of bright colors, but also black, which is quite a rare color in children's books. I was especially enchanted by the birds repeated in the illustration, because birds are always so symbolic: even this little child still flies away from its nest.
100 Outstanding Picture Books Award, Frankfurt Book Fair 2018
Author: Isabel Minhòs Martins
Illustrator: Madalena Matoso
Title: Quando eu nasc
Finnish translator: Antero Tiittula
Publisher: Etana Editions 2019
Size: 19.5 x 22 cm
Number of pages: 32
Age group: 3+