Tundra Mouse Mountain

Riitta Jalonen, ill. Kristiina Louhi

WingedChariot Press


May 2006

‘Dreams often disappear from me if I don’t talk about them first thing in the morning. Sometimes it’s as if they never even existed.’

Personal voyages, the importance attributed to homelands that are able to be returned to and the strength of family ties bind and intersect this Spartan, yet delicately beautiful tale by Finnish author Riitta Jalonen, one of the latest continental offerings made available in the United Kingdom by WindedChariot Press.
More a full-colour, highly illustrated novella than a traditional picture book, the opening sees mother and daughter on a journey . The daughter’s enthusiasm and interest in words and in naming things provides insight into an imaginative world that that the narrative and pictures here present only a glimpse of and that readers’ imagination brings to the fore.
The couple’s journey aims to take Tundra Mouse, a flowering plant more commonly called ‘Alpine mouse-ear’ that mother collected years previously, back to the Arctic. The voyage is built up of a series of moments each one vivid in the way it sensuality, making this a memorable voyage and books. The pair pass amongst Lapland birches, pinic by the river Teno, cllect waters from the oceans and stones from the beach. A real sense of holisticity between man and environment is presented.
That the daughter has collected so many mementoes of her trip leaves one wondering whether with time’s passing another voyage into personal pasts might be made with a child of tomorrow, this book allows that and is itself a soulful treasure’

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