A moving true story of a little girl’s journey across the sea.
Author: Eppu Nuotio, Sanna Pelliccioni (illustrations)
Finnish original: Lappukaulatyttö
Publisher: S&S, 2022
Genre: illustrated children’s fiction
Number of pages: 36 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original, English translation
One day, Heidi is told she must leave home and travel far across the sea. Not all alone, as she is going with her brother.
But in a foreign country, Heidi is separated from her brother and forced to live with a grumpy couple. Heidi can’t speak the language of her new aunt and uncle, but she understands they don’t want her to be the way she is.
Luckily, Heidi gets to spend a day with her brother and his family. Her brother’s sweater immediately understands that Heidi needs to find a nicer auntie.
Based on real memories, Sent across the Sea is the story of an often-forgotten period in Finnish history: Around 80,000 children were evacuated from Finland, mainly to Sweden, during the Second World War. Most of them returned home, but more than 15‚000 did not. In a Europe at war, their story resonates again.