Here is a perfectly delightful book of folklore intermingled with current history.
Vaino Lundborg is a little Finnish boy going to school in Helsingfors at the beginning of the Russian and Finn Revolutions. He is very patriotic and helps to unload ammunition and wireless from submarines for the army of Finland. Interwoven with the main story, and appropriate to the times in which they are told, run the stories of old Finnish lore—how the Finns came into being, how the first Vaino brought prosperity and plenty to the land, and many other fascinating tales.
The author says in her foreword that very little is known of the Finns, as they have never, until the Revolution, been independent; therefore, this book is doubly interesting, for it brings before us a most vivid and dramatic piction of a country which has always beenn under the rule of an alient people.
The artist, Lempi Ostman, is herself a Finn, and has had many specimens of her work in museums all over the country. The etchings for this book have a strong, singing quality.
—from the dustjacket
Julia Davis Adams has created an exceptional book by interweaving Finnish lore with the true inspiring story of the Finland Revolution. The struggle for independence from Russia was between Finland's White Army and the Russians aided by the Finnish Red Army. The story centers around Vaino, a young boy and his family, who are fighting with the White Army in a Civil War against their fellow Red Army citizens, who are fighting for the Russians. Vaino, is named after the legendary character, Vaino, of Finnish folklore. The story weaves between the adventures of young Vaino and his family's clandestine activities to help the war effort, and stories told by the mother about the legendary Vaino to lesson the stress of the war. There are both lots of skirmishes and tells of heroism that the author describes as being told to her by actual friends who fought in the Finnish Revolution. The Finnish people had to endure many hardships prior to their redemption by the victorious White Army under Mannerheim, freeing the country of Finland from Russian domination. It was the first time in their country's history that the Finns had become a free people for Finland had always been under domination by other countries.
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