Otto and the Secret Light of Christmas by Nora Surojegin

Otto and the Secret Light of Christmas

Written by Nora Surojegin
Illustrated by Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin

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Otto and the Secret Light of Christmas by Nora Surojegin

One day Otto, an elfin adventurer, finds a postcard on the seashore showing pictures of beautiful sparkling lights in the night sky with the words, 'The light of Christmas!' If this 'Christmas' can brighten even the gloomiest Finnish winter, Otto decides he must find it. So he heads north, trudging through dark forests and skiing towards the fells of Lapland, in search of the secret light of Christmas. On his way he meets the mighty Kekri, king of the forest, Niiu, a beautiful leaf fairy, a hungry badger, a friendly bear and the infamous Ironworm. But will he ever find the mysterious light he's looking for, and will Christmas brighten Otto's winter? In this charming storybook a mother and daughter team have painted a captivating picture of the landscape, wildlife and folklore of Finland. Otto and his friends are brought to life in sensitive, detailed illustrations on every page. Each chapter features a short new episode, making this book perfect for bedtime reading.


'This lovely picture book is a very clever reflection on what we mean by the light of Christmas. [...] A really beautiful, mystical way to appreciate what we can all gain from the festive season.'

--Juno 'Otto, who had expected to find a literal ball of light at the end of his journey, finally understands that each kind creature he met was a little ray of light in the dark. But this expected epiphany at the book's end didn't lessen its impact. It still manages to be rewarding and will give young readers/listeners a lot to think about during a holiday that is often so commercialized. Since the hustle and bustle and consumerism of Christmas so often drown out the camaraderie of family and friends, no wonder it's a secret light. But it's one well-worth discovering, and Otto's story is a lovely reminder.

--Kirkus 'Otto has been looking for Christmas -- but has he found it? I'm sure I know what we have found -- a magical Christmas story to share with children of all ages. Otto and the secret light of Christmas is a story about the real meaning of Christmas, outside of any religious context and a tale that can be enjoyed by children and adults of every culture and background. It would make the perfect story to read aloud for a preschool or elementary school! Reading Otto and the secret light of Christmas aloud is absolutely charming; the authors use wonderful, poetic language. Hearing the story of Otto and his new friends you can almost feel the snow crunching under your shoes and hear the wind howling in the tree tops.

'This attractive storybook is translated from Finnish. Otto finds a postcards showing beautiful sparkling lights. He decides he must find this brightness so he heads north to find the secret light of Christmas. He meets many different characters on the way but will he find what he is looking for? Thoughtful, detailed illustrations on almost every page make this story an ideal read for the child who wants to settle in a corner with a captivating book.'

--Carousel 'The text uses complex sentence structures, rich vocabulary, and excellent dramatic pacing, with a different imaginative encounter in each chapter... Full-color illustrations in a soft-focus, mysterious style are interspersed throughout the story, with lots of full-page illustrations as well as smaller ones. Every spread has some sort of illustration to help keep readers engaged. An intriguing read-aloud for younger children and an entertaining choice for independent readers who like fantasy.

'Finnish culture and traditions woven into the story make for a fresh take on Christmas that can be read each day as the holiday approaches.'

The illustrations are beyond marvelous, especially the interior of the mupples home. This is a perfect holiday story

--Youth Services Book Review 'The illustrations were beautiful and lots of effort was put into them. The artist did a great job with blending color and using light. Each picture was a great size and one on nearly every page... This would be a fun series, and Otto could go on other journeys to figure out other holiday meanings! I was eager to see what Otto would find out, and you should read it, too.

--Midwest Book Review, December 2016 'Otto and the Secret Light of Christmas arrived too late for more timely December feature, but it's being reviewed after the fact because it's a gorgeous and unique collection of stories from Finland which deserve a place in any collection where holiday story collections are a feature. Parental read-aloud assistance or good reading skills will lend to this story of elf Otto, who lives in Finland and who finds a postcard describing the bright light of Christmas. His journey north in search of this elusive light leads him an adventure skiing through dark forests towards Lapland in search of an elusive Christmas brightness. A little over a hundred pages of story packed with text and lovely drawings makes for beautiful read-aloud recommendation promising many hours of delight in a highly recommended, different kind of holiday read.

--Midwest Book Review, January 2017

About the Author

Nora Surojegin is a writer and graphic designer from Finland. Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin is a well-known Finnish illustrator, renowned for her delicate and precise illustration style.

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Book Info


108 pages


Nora Surojegin
More books by Nora Surojegin


Floris Books

Publication date

15th September 2016



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