© Otava / Katja Lösönen

Mauri Kunnas

 

At present Mauri Kunnas (b. 1950) is undoubtedly Finland’s most successful author of children’s books. To date, way over forty books of his have been published, in thirty-four languages in thirty-six countries – including Finnish and Finland –, for a total of almost 9 million copies.

His books for children have aroused enormous interest around the world. The best-known internationally is Santa Claus. It has already been translated into twenty-six languages.

Mauri Kunnas offers the reader an unparalleled joy of discovery: His brilliantly coloured illustrations are filled with rich and humorous details. He has an unrivalled gift for taking history and casting it in a new and hilarious way, as well as for giving old stories and legends his own delightful twist. And his books always exude an atmosphere which is contagiously warm and happy.

Mauri Kunnas’ first picture book was published in1975, marking the start of his spectacular career. In his spare time, Mauri Kunnas enjoys the Beatles, playing the guitar, films and history – as well as watching thunderstorms.

 

 In brief

  •  Born in Vammala, in South-West Finland, 11.2.1950
  •  1969, graduated from High School
  •  1975, graduated from University of Art and Design in Helsinki
  •  1974 daily comic strip Kotlant Jaarti (Scotland Yard) in Iltaset
  •  1974-75 editorial cartoonist with the Tampere-based daily Aamulehti
  •  1975-76 working in a Turku advertising agency
  •  1976-83 editorial cartoonist with Turun Sanomat, a Turku daily.
  •  1975-86 Nyrok City strip, first published in Intro, then in Help, and ultimately in pop magazine Suosikki
  •  1979 first illustrated book for children, Suomalainen tonttukirja (The Book of Finnish Elves)
  •  1983-84 editorial cartoonist with Finland’s leading daily, Helsingin Sanomat.
  •  Moved to Helsinki, 1983.
  •  Throughout this time he was regularly producing drawings, cartoons and illustrations for other papers, including the quality weekly Suomen Kuvalehti.
  •  Currently a full-time author/illustrator.
  •  Lives in Espoo, with his wife, Tarja
  •  Children: Jenna (b. 1983), Noora (b. 1987)
  •  Pets: a cat
  •  Hobbies: The Beatles, playing guitar, cinema, history

 

Press quotes

Mauri Kunnas’ chest of stories is infinite. He is second to none in bringing to life history, myths and epics in our children’s literature. – Aamulehti

 

Works

  • Santa Claus (Joulupukki, 1981)
  • The Book Of Finnish Elves (Suomalainen tonttukirja, 1979)
  • Doghill Farm (Koiramäen talossa,1980)
  • The Doghill Kids Go To Town (Koiramäen lapset kaupungissa, 1982)
  • Winter at Doghill Farm (Koiramäen talvi, 1988)
  • The Best Sports Book (Suuri Urheilukirja, 1983)
  • The Nighttime Book (Yökirja, 1984)
  • One Spooky Night And Other Scary Stories (Hui kauhistus!, 1985)
  • Ricky, Rocky and Ringo Count on Pizza (originally published in English in USA, 1986. Finnish title Riku, Roope ja Ringo Kolme kokkia translated and published in Finnish, Otava, 1987)
  • Ricky, Rocky and Ringo’s Colorful Day (originally published in English in USA, 1986. Finnish title Riku, Roope ja Ringo Värikäs päivä translated and published in Finnish, Otava, 1987)
  • Ricky, Rocky and Ringo Go to the Moon (originally published in English in USA, 1986. Finnish title Riku, Roope ja Ringo lentävät kuuhun translated and published in Finnish, Otava, 1987)
  • Ricky, Rocky and Ringo on TV (originally published in English in USA, 1986. Finnish title Riku, Roope ja Ringo televisiossa translated and published in Finnish, Otava, 1987)
  • Twelve Gifts For Santa Claus (12 lahjaa joulupukille, 1987)
  • The Out-Of-This-World Space Book (Kaikkien aikojen avaruuskirja, 1989)
  • Front Page Story (Etusivun juttu,1990)
  • Grandpa Vampire’s Storybook (Vampyyrivaarin tarinoita, 1991)
  • The Canine Kalevala (Koirien Kalevala, 1992)
  • Fun On Wheels (Hurjan hauska autokirja, 1993)
  • Pirates Ahoy! (Apua, merirosvoja!, 1994)
  • Santa Claus And The Magic Drum (Joulupukki ja noitarumpu, 1995)
  • The Haunted Clock Of The Jolly Grumbler Inn (Majatalon väki ja kaappikellon kummitukset, 1996)
  • The Tails Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table (Kuningas Artturin ritarit, 1997)
  • Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Circus (Puhveli-Billin lännensirkus, 1998)
  • Good Night Mr Clutterbuck (Hyvää yötä, Herra Hakkarainen, 1999)
  • Doghill Martha And The Christmas Pageant (Koiramäen Martta ja tiernapojat, 2000)
  • The ABC of Mr. Clutterbuck (Herra Hakkaraisen aakkoset, 2001)
  • The Seven Dog Brothers (Seitsemän koiraveljestä, 2002)
  • Pawchester Tales: Elusive Elvis (Tassulan tarinoita 1: Ujo Elvis, 2003)
  • Pawchester Tales: Lucky’s Best-Ever Xmas Present (Tassulan tarinoita 2: Onnin paras joululahja, 2003)
  • Pawchester Tales: Seven Aunts and a Hidden Treasure (Tassulan tarinoita 3: Seitsemän tätiä ja aarre, 2004)
  • Mr. Clutterbuck Counts Sheep (and Other Things) (Herra Hakkaraisen numerot, 2004)
  • Doghill Martha and Runeberg (Koiramäen Martta ja Ruuneperi, 2005)
  • The Vikings Are Coming! (Viikingit tulevat!, 2006)
  • Tales From Doghill (Koiramäen lapset ja näkki, 2007)
  • The Seven Wonders Of Mr. Clutterbuck (Herra Hakkaraisen seitsemän ihmettä, 2008)
  • Robin Hood (Robin Hood, 2009)
  • Pawchester Tales: Hurricane Harry and the Genie in the Bottle (Tassulan tarinoita 4: Hurja-Harri ja Pullon henki, 2010)
  • Supernatural. Things that go bump in the night and other mysteries (Kummallisuuksien käsikirja, 2011)
  • Christmas Tales (Joulutarinat, 2011)
  • Treasure Island (Aarresaari, 2012)
  • The Silly Picture Dictionary (Hullunkurinen kuvasanakirja, 2013)
  • Mr Clutterbuck Counts (Herra Hakkarainen laskee, 2014)
  • My Family (Minun sukuni, 2014)
  • Great Tales (Suuret tarinat, 2014)
  • Fun Book of Animals (Hauska eläinkirja, 2014)
  • Mr. Clutterbuck’s Funny Hobbies (Herra Hakkarainen harrastaa, 2014)

 

For the youngest readers:

  • Animals (Eläimet, 2008)
  • Vroom-a-loonies (Menopelit, 2008)
  • Colours (Värit, 2009)
  • Opposites (Vastakohdat, 2009)
  • Christmas (Joulu, 2009)
  • Beep Beep! – Noisy Vehicles (Piipaa! – Meluisat menopelit, 2014)
  • Moo! – Loud Animals (Ammuu! – Äänekkäät eläimet , 2014)

 

Accordion-fold Books:

Mr. Cluttebuck is Sleeping (Herra Hakkarainen nukkuu, 2013)

 

Scrapbooks and other products:

  • The Doghill Guest Book (Koiramäen vieraskirja, 2007)
  • The Baby Book (Vauvakirja, 2008) [D]
  • Mr. Clutterbuck’s Birthday Book (Herra Hakkaraisen syntymäpäiväkirja, 2008)
  • Notebook (Muistikirja, 2008)
  • The Adventurer’s Activity Book (Seikkailijan puuhakirja, 2009)
  • Robin Hood Colouring Book (Robin Hood värityskirja, 2009)
  • Hero’s Activity Book (Sankareiden puuhakirja, 2010)
  • Our Baby’s Year (Vauvan vuosi, 2011)
  • Cooking´s Blast: The Pawchester Cookbook (Tassulan iloinen keittokirja, 2011)
  • Mr Clutterbuck´s Night Diary (Herra Hakkaraisen yöpäiväkirja, 2012)
  • The Best Sports Book’s Activity Book (Urheilupuuhakirja, 2012)
  • The Christmas activity book (Joulupuuhakirja, 2012)
  • The Treasure-Seeker’s Book of Fun (Aarteenetsijän puuhakirja, 2013)

 

Other works in Finnish:

  • Jauhot suuhun, 1978, political cartoons
  • Pelit seis, 1981, newspaper cartoons (published by Turun Sanomat)
  • Kotlant Jaarti, 1982, newspaper cartoons (published by Suomen Sarjakuvaseura)
  • Nyrok City, 1984, comic book
  • Hullunkurinen lintukirja, 1987, text by Reijo Ikävalko, children’s book (published by Gummerus)
  • Nyrok City Kollektion 2, 1993, comic book
  • Mac Moose and the Jacko Migraine Case (Mac Moose ja Jagge Migreenin tapaus, 1995), comic book
  • The best & the wörst of Nyrok City, 2000, comic book
  • Mauri Kunnas’s Early Doodles (Mauri Kunnaksen varhaisia töherryksiä, 2007), comic book
  • I, Mauri Kunnas (Minä, Mauri Kunnas, 2009), a biography
  • The Beatles (Piitles, 2012), comic book

 

Awards

  • State Literary Award 1981
  • The Finnish Comics Society Prize Puupäähattu 1981
  • Bologna Children’s Book Fair children’s panel Honorary Award 1982
  • Bologna Children’s Book Fair Diploma 1984
  • State Award for Children’s Culture 1989
  • Nortamo Prize 1989
  • Vuoden kirjapöllö prize 1989
  • Finnish picture book prize 1992
  • The Finnish Broadcasting Company’s Prize for Export Achievement 1998
  • Lempi Grand Prix 1999
  • Jenny ja Antti Wihuri Foundation Distinction Award 2001
  • Pro Finlandia Medal 2002
  • Rudolf Koivu Prize 2003
  • Kaarina Helakisa Literary Prize 2003
  • Vammala prize 2003
  • Arts Council of Pirkanmaa Diploma 2003
  • Tietopöllö Prize 2005
  • Kulttuurikuokka Recognition Award 2005
  • Vuoden Historiateos –honorary mention 2008
  • Lifetime Award for Positivity 2009
  • Annual award for working for the benefit of children 2009
  • Espoo culture award 2011
  • Aalto University Honorary Doctorate 2013
  • State Award for Public Information for a distinguished life’s work  2013

 

Works published in / Rights sold to:

Beligum (Dutch translation; Ballon Media)
Brazil (Edições Ideal, Autêntica)
Canada (Forum Publishers)
Catalogna (Editse Editorial)
China (Beijing Yuanliu Classic Culture Ltd.)
Croatia (Mozaik knjiga)
Czech Republic (Grada Publishing)
Denmark (Lamberth)
Estonia (Sinisukk, Ajakirjade Kirjastus)
Faroe islands (Bókadeildin)
Germany (Oetinger)
Greece (Psichogios)
Iceland (Edda/ Forlagid)
Italy (Il gioco di leggere)
Japan (Nekono-kotoba-sha, Kaisei-Sha)
Karelia (Karjalan Sivistysseura)
Korea (KiwiBooks, Sallim Publishing)
Latvia (Jumava)
Lithuania (Nieko Rimto)
Netherlands (Clavis )
Norway (Schibsted, Bokklubbens barn)
Poland (Media Rodzina)
Portugal (Civilizacao)
Romania (Carte Copiilor)
Russia (Rech Publishers)
Serbia (Kreativni Centar)
Slovenia (Mladinska knjiga)
Spain (Galicia, Editse Editorial)
Sweden (Rabén & Sjögren)
Switzerland (Editions 24 heures)
Thailand (Santa Village Company)
Ukraine (Tempora / Ecem Media)
USA (Archipelago / Crown)
Wales (Cymdeithas Lyfrau Ceredigion)

 

 

Published books