Dreaming wide awake
Argentinian artist and author Isol visited Opinmäki library in September and invited children to a very special workshop. The visit was a part of the Ibero-American culture festival Kolibri and the library was very honoured to receive such a distinguished guest. Her titles have been published in various languages and in 2013 she was awarded the prestigious ALMA prize for children's literature. In her acceptance speech she asked "What reader could be more demanding than a child? Children have a lot of things to discover and I'd better be on their high level in order to satisfy their huge capacity for curiosity. I get my inspiration from what's wild, from what's ridiculous, from that independence of culture that children enjoy."
In Opinmäki Isol gathered the children in the darkest room and introduced them to a very strange gadget. The overhead projector used in the workshop was something out of this world in the eyes of the children. The excitement was almost unbearable as the lights were switched off and Isol told the children about her book, Nocturne, the book of dreams. This beautiful piece of literature allows you to peek into dreams and it also works as a recipe book for new dreams. The best part is the illustrations that come alive in the dark. In boring daylight, you see one picture. In the dark, an entire new world is discovered. The children "charged" the pages with the bright light of the overhead projector and squealed with delight when the pictures opened up. The best part was definitely creating your own dream on the last empty page.
HelMet-libraries were very lucky to receive two Isol titles in English. They will soon be available to all readers in the capital area. We do however recommend them only to the bravest of adults. You might also want to ask a child to read them with you, just in case.
Text: Ira Cottier, Opinmäki library
Photos: Laura Gazzotti/Kolibri