Leena Krohn: My Home Is Riioraa

An engaging story about the enigma of time and childhood games.

Author: Leena Krohn
Finnish original: Kotini on Riioraa
Publisher: Teos, 2008
Genre: children’s illustrated fiction
Number of pages:  96 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original

Ruth, Raija, Little Paul, Big Paul, and the other children in the village live in the midst of games and a magical everyday life. Their most important gathering place is the lamp shop that Big Paul’s grandfather owns. They play boardgames in the attic of the shop and marvel at the words of advice that the Uncle Lamp Dealer mutters in Latin.

Big Paul is saving money for a telescope and has plans to become a scientist. Strange things happen to Little Paul, and he sees more than the others do. Many people find Little Paul strange, but Ruth knows he’s not just making things up. One day, Little Paul finds footprints that won’t leave him alone. He decides to look for the creature that left the prints and give it a name.

The lamp shop is visited by the poet Weijo as well as a pale gentleman yearning for light, who doesn’t seem to be from the land of the living at all. Other villagers include the elderly
countess of the manor and her maids, the ill-mannered reform school girls, and the fortune teller, Bella. Raija’s illness and life in a wheelchair cause sadness at first, but soon Ruth and Raija are playing new games together.

Krohn writes sagely about the world of children and creates a fond image of the games and customes of the 1950s. She opens a door to the unbelievable and the power of imagination without avoiding serious topics. My Home is Riioraa is an engaging story of the enigma of time, childhood and old age, health and sickness, and the magical pervasiveness around us.

Also available:
Things I Never Learned (2021)
Perdition (2018)
A Letter to Buddha (2016)
Mistake (2015)
Hotel Sapiens (2013)
Children of the Sun (2011)
False Window (2009)
The Bee Pavilion (2006)
Datura (2001)
Mathematical Creatures, or Shared Dreams (1992)
Umbra (1990)
Gold of Ophir (1988)
Tainaron (2006 | 1985)
Doña Quixote and Other Citizens (1983)
The Pelican’s New Clothes – A Story from the City (1976)
The Green Revolution (1970 | 2020)

About the author:
Leena Krohn