What’s far away can actually be really close by…
Author: Anja Portin
Illustrator: Sanna Pelliccioni
Finnish original: Matias ja kaikki mikä oli jossain kaukana
Publisher: S&S, 2021
Genre: children’s picture books
Number of pages: 36 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original, English translation
Matias is a little boy who looks at the dark sky at night and wonders what it must be like far away. What would the Moon look like, close up? Where does the Sun go at night? And what’s beyond the stars?
Matias decides to find out. He goes to the city to get an education, taking with him a cat called Moonmoon.
The years go by, the Sun and the Moon continue to make way for one another, and Matias’s thoughts soar higher and higher. But how to find someone to share them with?
Matias and Everything that Was Far Away is a poignantly beautiful story about human curiosity and longing. It is written by Finlandia Junior Prize-winning Anja Portin, who was inspired by the astronomical magic-lantern pictures made by her great-grandfather in the early 20th century. Sanna Pelliccioni, a versatile artist who has illustrated dozens of children’s books, conjures up magical images from some of these enchanting old slides.
At night, in his dreams, Matias wanders through space, in deserted landscapes, searching for something, without really knowing what.
“How easy it is to walk here. Mountains, valleys, ice, strange ravines… What can this place be? Does anyone live here, anyone I could drink a cup of tea with?”