Germ of a Tale
By Hannele Huovi
In Bear Bruin's letterbox sat a mysterious parcel. Inside, he found a letter and a very tiny seed. The letter went like this: "HERE'S A LITTLE SEED FOR YOU. A STORY WAITS WITHIN. PLANT THE SEED IN THE GROUND, THEN WATER AND TEND IT WELL."
The whole business is decidedly odd, thought Bear Bruin, turning the letter over and over in his paws looking for the name of the person who had sent it. He found nothing, so he asked the Sun, but the sun just dazzled him. That evening he asked the Moon about the letter, but the Moon only smiled and the starry sky above him revealed nothing but a great big riddle.
The next morning Bear Bruin began to till a patch of soil. He hoed until it was soft, planted the seed, watered it, and settled down to wait for the story to grow. To make the time pass quickly he decided to read a book.
So he read. And as he read he built a tower out of the book, a tower from which he could see for a long way in every direction.
And he read. And the book grew a pair of wings for his shoulders, and he discovered he could fly.
He read and he flew all the way to the other side of the world and played games with the pandas.
He read as he walked, and the tracks of his paws left a trail along the path like scribbled kisses.
He read and plunged into the depths of the sea to watch the fishes dance.
He read and travelled the Milky Way. In the sky he met a great Bear who was made of stars.
He read and caught sight of a secret island in the middle of the ocean.
He read more, and from the book built a raft and sailed to the secret island.
He read and heard a growl.
He read and crawled to hide inside a dark cave.
He read, and crawled in still deeper.
Suddenly, in the darkness he heard a strange kind of sighing.
That was when Bear Bruin raised his head from the book and glanced about. A tree had grown up beside him!
The leaves on the tree soughed and trembled in the breeze. Bear Bruin sat in the shade of his little tree and felt very happy. He gazed at his pretty tree, admiring it from every side. At last he said, "Tell me the story!"
So the little tree blossomed.
|Hannele Huovi took her BA at the University of Helsinki in 1973. She graduated in Finnish Literature. She wrote her first radio-play for children already during her studying years. Hannele Huovi has also made many radio-programs for children. Her working with radio has also been important for her as an author because it has taught her as she says "to hear and listen".
Hannele Huovi has very purposefully broadened her works: In addition to all forms of children's and juvenile literature she also writes poetry and prose for adults "I simply want to learn to write many different kinds of literature", she said in an interview. Gradually Hannle Huovi has become one of the most important writers in Finland and she has received a number of literature prizes.
Huovi's output returns repeatedly to the themes of emotional growth and breaking down boundaries. A strong feeling for nature is always emphasized in Hannele Huovi's works, beauty and poetic sensibility is always present. Even when writing realistically she employs myths and finely-tuned symbolics.
Hannele Huovi is a versatile author, who in each new work detects new sides of herself as a writer. She moves as easily in novels for young people as in fairy tales for children or poetry. Hannele Huovi always takes her reader into consideration, even in her modern experiments and with an artistic originality that has refreshened the entire Finnish literature for children and young people. Humanity, warmth and tolerance are always present in her wide production.