New book about Espoo to be created as a colourful collaboration between an artist and preschool children – while the children come up with ideas for the Espoo of the future

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2020-10-30 8:43

Preschool groups have been invited to participate in the illustration work for the new Peek into Espoo picture book. The aim of the book is to describe the city in a diverse way and to encourage children to tell stories about Espoo themselves. The children’s thoughts will also be heard in the updating of the Espoo story, i.e. the city's strategy.

During autumn 2020, the Cultural Unit of the City of Espoo will produce an Espoo-themed colour picture book with illustrations provided by illustrator and graphic artist Carlos Da Cruz. The book will include drawings of each city centre. In addition, the book will contain illustrations of the northern parts of Espoo and an overview of the city.

The material created in cooperation between groups of children and the illustrator will be compiled into a book, Peek into Espoo, which will be published in December 2020. The book will be distributed to all Espoo children born in 2017 and 2018 during their fourth-year visit to the child health clinic in 2021 and 2022. In addition, the book will be delivered to all preschool groups, municipal early childhood education groups and libraries.

The pictures in the Peek into Espoo book will have no text, and they will create new stories. The book is being made in cooperation with children: children can comment on the illustrations and request changes and additions to them.

“I am really impressed by the seamless cooperation between groups of children and the artist. Making the book is a great example of how cultural education can enable experimental art to be made. In Espoo, we have long and good experience of the operating models of cultural education, such as KULPS and the Culture Call,” says Susanna Tommila, Cultural Director.

A child participating in the making of Peek into Espoo picture book.
Children can comment the sketches provided by illustrator Carlos Da Cruz. Photo: Nina Elfvengren.

The illustrator will prepare black and white sketches inspired by a previous survey, and the pictures will be provided for the use of every preschool group in Espoo. While children are exploring new destinations and discussing the area around their home or day-care centre with each other and with adults, materials will be collected for the Espoo story.

In the groups, children can explore the pictures, talk about the thoughts they arouse and, for example, go on excursions in the vicinity to explore places that are important to them. The children’s thoughts will be recorded and utilised, not only in the preparation of the book but also in the updating of the Espoo story.

Each Espoo resident has the opportunity to participate in updating the Espoo story

The Espoo story is currently being prepared for the 2021–2025 council term, and right now we are collecting residents’ views and wishes regarding Espoo’s future, to support the work of the elected bodies.

Views are being collected through two surveys: The My Future Espoo survey collects thoughts on the future of Espoo, while the My Espoo on the Map survey is a map-based survey focusing in particular on the development of the urban environment in Espoo.

We hope that our residents will take both surveys. The surveys are open until the end of October.

Take the surveys: espoo.fi/myespoo