Sanna Mander: The Lost Key

The key is nowhere to be found. But how many things can you find in the apartment building while you look for it?

Author: Sanna Mander
Swedish original: Nyckelknipan
Finnish original: Avain hukassa
Publisher: S&S, 2017
Genre: Children’s fiction, illustrated
Number of pages: 40 pp.
Reading material: Swedish original, Finnish original, English sample

The princess is tired of her ancient castle with a thousand rooms, and has moved to a pink studio flat. The ghost next door needs help to clean up his messy place, and in the attic there’s an enchanted merry-go-round that won’t stop turning, surrounded by old boxes and fur coats. Other interesting characters of the building range from Internet trolls to secret agents–but will the reader find the key?

The rhyming verse of this exuberant and playful picture book by award-winning illustrator Sanna Mander is cleverly anchored in the present moment. The detailed and realistic illustrations will delight young readers and adults alike.

The Lost Key won the Finlandia Junior Prize 2017 as the best children’s book of the year and also the Rudolf Koivu Prize for the best children and young adult book illustration.

“For hours my search has been going on,
but my front door key is completely gone!
My memory’s great, though shorter than most,
and sometimes things quite simply get lost.

Help me, please–to search up there,
in the flats where my neighbours sit.
Then perhaps you can tell me where
my key is and who’s got it.”

– Translation by David McDuff

Also available:
My Teeny-Tiny Witch (2021)
The Secret Life of Farts (2019)
The Spectacular Book of Princesses (2018)

About the author:
Sanna Mander