Alexandra Salmela: Mother Giraffe and Other Silly Adults

A wildly unconventional book of tales with warped situations in which grown-ups act silly and children rule the roost.

Author: Alexandra Salmela
Illustrator: Martina Matlovičová
Finnish original: Kirahviäiti ja muita hölmöjä aikuisia
Publisher: Teos, 2013
Genre: Children’s fiction, illustrated
Number of pages: 94 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original, English sample, French sample
Rights sold:  Czech, Albatros; Hungary, Scolar; Serbian, Obodsko slovo; Slovakia, Artforum; Turkey, Dinozor Coçuk (Ayrıntı Yayınları)

Meet a magnetic knight, a headless dad, Gloop Beast and Frankfish who are all involved in the most incredible and side-splitting events. There’s a lesson in this book: if, for instance, a silly adult is wrapped up in adult matters or makes you do boring chores, you can hop onboard a pirate ship and become friends with a mermaid.

The 21 short stories of Mother Giraffe and Other Silly Adults are not preachy. The heroes are either children or childlike beings whose ideas and dreams give birth to new worlds – as well as breathtakingly miraculous and wonderful plot twists and adventures! Sometimes the realities of children and grown-ups smack into one another, but there’s nothing imagination cannot solve.

Two celebrated authors have combined their forces and put together this book. The writer Alexandra Salmela has won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize with her debut novel; the illustrator Martina Matlovičová is among the most prestigious illustrators in Slovakia. The result is a revolutionary children’s book with stories that work seamlessly with fascinating drawings and collage.

Salmela’s imagination flexes like a child at play. Without calcified thoughts, it is boundless from the smallest hole in the ground right up to the furthest space.”
– Savon Sanomat newspaper

“The few-page-long stories blaze in the genuine realm of childhood make-believe, overflowing with absurd elements.”
– Aamulehti newspaper

“Whilst entertaining, Salmela educates – adults, not children. She stands up for ordinary children, freedom and imagination.  […] The Slovakian illustrator Martina Matlovičová’s boisterous collage pictures match the mood and are pleasant to return to.”
– Lapsemme magazine

Also available: 
The Fantastickle Friend (2019)
Antihero (2015)
27, or Death Makes an Artist (2010)

About the author:
Alexandra Salmela