Mauri Kunnas’s Doghill books are familiar to kids all over the world. In this, his latest Christmas-flavoured story, little Martha heads off with her mother to Porvoo, an romantic old town under a blanket of clean white snow, redolent with the magical atmosphere of the days before the Christmas holiday.
In the evening, they go to the Market Square to see when the boys from the local high school put on their Christmas pageant. The place is packed with everyone from Professor Runeberg to Hilary’s pet pig, and in front of the crowds stand five lads in fine costumes.
“Evening gentles all, good evening”, rings out the boys’ song, and the crowd is hushed. The performance contains a good few surprises. When the final song dies away there is wild applause, and the performers are carried home in triumph. Martha is enchanted by what she sees, and her eyes sparkle like the star that features in the tale. And she will not be alone, as Mauri Kunnas’s story of the King of the Moors visiting King Herod and the infant Jesus – a traditional performance in Finland even today, with its roots in medieval mystery plays – will win over all who read it!
The book also contains information about the Tiernapojat or “Star Boys” traditions and the words, notes and chords for the Christmas pageant music.