The Norwegian illustrator, graphic designer and writer Kari Stai (47) was awarded the Brage Prize in1912 for children’s literature with her Jakob og Neikob. Tjuven slår tilbake. Her recent book “Passe Happy” (Moderately Happy) seems to have an international appeal. It will be published in Danish next month. Read more about the fascinating story about a moderately happy Norwegian boy.
The book Passe Happy is about Juri who is 12 years old and feels insecure about absolutely everything. By himself he tries to figure out love, football and how far his tongue should go into a kiss before one cannot breathe. Because, Sofi is so nice that Juri loses his breath. Juri, however, does of course not want to die. He just wishes that everything was as before. That Dad did not have to leave. That best friend Evy did not become so weird.
Why does he have so many feelings? Now, the globe is spinning too fast. If only it could stand a little bit more still.
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The book has received good reviews. Klassekampen’s Jonas Bals writes, “Stai writes about feelings I had almost forgotten” and adds, «Kari Stai writes with warmth and humor, in short sentences that make some of the pages reminiscent of a long poem, many of them beautifully illustrated by the author herself. In a surprisingly short time, she manages to establish a credible and real universe».
The book will be published by the Danish publisher Straarup & co. next month, titled «Fint nok» (Nice enough).
Published in Denmark in February
“Fint nok” is a present and nice story about what it is like to be 12 years old and completely confused about life. The book is written with lots of humor and empathy by Kari Stai and is especially aimed at children from 10-13 years.
About Kari Stai
Kari Stai comes from Inderøy municipality in Nord-Trøndelag. She has studied at Telemark University College (1996-1999), Oslo School of Drawing and Painting (1993-1996) and Oslo Academy of the Arts (2000-2005) where she majored in visual communication.
Kari has since worked especially with illustration in magazines and books. In 2008, she debuted as an author with the picture book Jakob og Neikob, “a humorous and surrealistic tale about friendship, unfriendliness and foreign countries”. In 2010, came Blodrik and Blodfabrikken. Both books are written in New Norwegian and published by Det Norske Samlaget.
The illustrations are characterized by clear lines, smooth surfaces in a few, coordinated colors, stylized figures, geometric shapes and a graphic expression.
A Moderately Happy Norwegian Boy, compiled by Tor Kjolberg