First graders in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area get a book present from the Helmet Library

Helmet libraries and publishers will give a book gift to all first graders in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area in the school year 2023–2024. The first-grader campaign is a significant investment in the literacy of small readers. The campaign aims to provide each first grader with an age-appropriate, high-quality book of their very own. It also invites all new pupils to visit their local library either with the teacher or their family. The campaign starts in the Helmet libraries on Monday, 11 September 2023.

This year’s Finnish-language book gift is called Zakir ja kevät, written by Malin Klingenberg and illustrated by Margareta Sandin. Translation from Swedish to Finnish by Outi Menna. The book is published by Kustantamo S&S. 

In this year’s campaign book Zakir reflects on the feelings that spring evokes. His mother tells him that many people fall in love during the spring and Zakir starts to wonder if he could be one of those people. The book describes a variety of ways that love can emerge and how it can affect anyone. The book also talks about diversity and tolerance.

Books for Swedish- and Russian-speaking children 

Helmet library will also donate Swedish- and Russian-speaking children beginning their school books in their native language. Finnish and Swedish campaign have the same book, Malin Klingenberg's and Margareta Sandin's Zakir och våren (Zakir ja kevät), published by Kustantamo S&S. The Russian-language book is Jevgenija Rusinova’s Tretje sentjabrja, published by Feniks.

How does one get the book gift? 

Employees of Helsinki, Kauniainen and Vantaa libraries will invite first grade classes and their teachers to the libraries, and the book gifts will be presented during the visit. In Espoo, first-graders get their books during their class visit to a library or by visiting a local library and showing the bookmark they got from their teacher.  

Audio book for print-disabled children 

Celia’s books are available to everybody with difficulties reading ordinary books due to dyslexia, disease, injury or a corresponding reason. Celia will provide audio books of the Finnish- and Swedish-language campaign books. The child must have Celia’s online service identifiers to get the book. Ask the school or the library about the identifiers.