Lost Key is a book about different homes, families and people. Written in verse, it shows different flats in an apartment building. It is the Finlandia Junior Prize winner of 2017.
Homes are only accessible with a key, and when it is lost, it needs to be found. So, we need to pop in every home and search every corner. The apartment building is full of extraordinary and extraordinarily normal tenants: noodles cooking princesses, ghosts, apes and who-knows-what. Finally, the key is found.
Illustrations in this book are delicate and full of emotion. Pastel colours and intermittent, fragile pastel pen create a dream-like atmosphere.
One of Sanna Mander’s most memorable works so far has been Punis. Snadisti kuumottava stoori (S&S 2015, ’Little Red Riding Hood. A Touch Unnerving Story’), translated into Helsinki slang (Stadin slangi) by Andrei Huhtala. Punis was an absolutely delightful reading experience, and Mander’s illustrations hit the bullseye. This is also the case with Lost Key.
The text has its own place, it is easy to find and read and the illustrations, which cover the whole spread, give even more meaning to the story. Text and illustration work seamlessly together. All the things and items mentioned in the text can be found instantly also in the picture.
Printing quality is especially delightful. The front cover is rough and uneven. It reminds me of old canvas covered books and feels luxurious. The illustration matches the size of the book perfectly and paper quality is well-picked: it is thick and smooth and reproduces Mander’s illustrations brilliantly.
This book is best suited reading aloud, over and over again. The verse is written in small print and requires an experienced reader. On the other hand, this book attracts readers of many ages and is a joy to share with others.