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Sander’s Microsope

Kristiina Kass

  • Illustrator: Marja-Liisa Plats
  • Language: Estonian
  • Tänapäev
  • 2014, 44 pp
  • ISBN: 9789949274260
  • fiction, storybook
  • Age: 7+
Rights sold: Italian

This humorous story is about a boy named Sander. Old Aunt Aili, who until this year has only given Sander knit socks or long johns for his birthday, gives him a microscope. Everyone is enthralled by the gift at first, but the more time that passes, the bigger are the problems that the microscope and the objects and creatures Sander observes with it bring along. Ordinarily, such a story would end with the boy’s mother throwing in the towel and running away from the bugs to a different city, but Kristiina Kass wouldn’t be herself if she did not give the story a real twist. And so, the author – who has implemented situational comedy in quite a few of her earlier works as well – has a jar holding a spider end up in the microscope box when Aunt Aili donates it to needy children during the church Christmas drive. The relatively shocking outcome is softened by an additional present for the child who receives that package.

The story leads a young reader to think about gifts, birthdays, and blunders. For an adult reader, however, the topic and plot resolution bring one’s thoughts to a child’s rights. Should an adult restrict a child’s natural interest, and to what extent? Why is this done so often?