When you are a little person, and have just learnt to speak, you are surrounded by people who get you… But when your name begins with an R, and the first stranger comes up asking your name, and they don’t get it no matter how loud you shout your name to them – Because that R isn’t rolling…
In Finnish it’s important to get your R’s rolling, so there are speech therapists who can help children to find the right pronunciation, if it doesn’t start rolling naturally.
In 2020 I had the honor to illustrate a book called Ärrän pärinää which has fun games and exercises to teach you how to make your R roll. The book was created for families so that they can approach this playfully – Together with their child.
This spring I’ve been working on designing and illustrating a sequel for the R book – drumroll – To help children whose S isn’t hissing like it could. It’s called Ässän sihinää (Publication date TBA) All the illustrations are done, and proof copies are being printed right now! Yay! I can’t wait to see it!
I loved to work on this project and to be reminded how much the R book has been cherished by speech therapists and families. I hope the S book changes as many lives for better as it has!
This illustration is from Ärrän pärinää before it was colored.
But what happened to the R’s of the kid who needed to shout their name really loud to the strangers? They learnt to roll their R with a fun exercise they heard from a speech therapist: Whenever you are upside down, make a dn dn dn sound. After finding themselves upside down in funny ways and many places suddenly dn dn dn turned into a dRRRRnnnn, and from that day forward their R was rolling beautifully!
I’ll share illustrations from Ässän sihinää here once it’s published!
The books are written in Finnish by Alina Kaunisto.