Otto and the Secret Light of Christmas by Nora Surojegin, illustrated by Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin
One day Otto, an elfin adventurer, finds a postcard on the seashore showing pictures of beautiful sparkling lights in the night sky with the words, “The light of Christmas!” If this “Christmas” can brighten even the gloomiest Finnish winter, Otto decides he must find it. So he heads north, trudging through dark forests and skiing towards the fells of Lapland, in search of the secret light of Christmas.
On his way he meets the mighty Kekri, king of the forest, Niiu, a beautiful leaf fairy, a hungry badger, a friendly bear and the infamous Ironworm. But will he ever find the mysterious light he’s looking for, and will Christmas brighten Otto’s winter?
In this charming storybook a mother and daughter team have painted a captivating picture of the landscape, wildlife and folklore of Finland. Otto and his friends are brought to life in sensitive, detailed illustrations on every page. Each chapter features a short new episode, making this book perfect for bedtime reading.
(Ages 6 –10 years)
Hardcover, 108 pp.
8 5/8" x 10 1/2"
“The text uses complex sentence structures, rich vocabulary, and excellent dramatic pacing, with a different imaginative encounter in each chapter... Full-color illustrations in a soft-focus, mysterious style are interspersed throughout the story, with lots of full-page illustrations as well as smaller ones. Every spread has some sort of illustration to help keep readers engaged. An intriguing read-aloud for younger children and an entertaining choice for independent readers who like fantasy.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Finnish culture and traditions woven into the story make for a fresh take on Christmas that can be read each day as the holiday approaches” —School Library Journal
“The illustrations are beyond marvelous, especially the interior of the mupples home. This is a perfect holiday story.” —Youth Services Book Review