Kainuu region is located in Northern Finland, on the Finnish-Russian border. We have about 73 000 people living in the area that is comparable to Belgium in size, meaning that there are only 3,6 inhabitants per square kilometre. We have lots of wilderness and we enjoy the great outdoors in many forms. You’ll find that certain kind of connection to nature and natural way of life in many pieces of the literature from our region, both old and new.
In addition, picture books about nature and nature guides are one productive genre of literature in Kainuu, and you’ll find many of those on online bookshops! The internationally most published nature photographer in Kainuu is award-winning nature and wildlife photographer Lassi Rautiainen, who also arranges wildlife safaris.
A picture usually is worth a thousand words, but it’s always nice to have also the descriptive texts of a picture book translated. Here are some books for you about the nature and history of Kainuu that have been translated in English, but there are even more in Finnish, if you’re interested!
1995 – My Bears by Lassi Rautiainen (nature photography)
1996 – Magic Moments in the Wild North by Asle Hjellbrekke, Janos Jurka and Lassi Rautiainen (nature photography)
1999 – Bear, wolf, wolverine, lynx: in northern Europe by Erkki Pulliainen (nature photography)
2000 – Elimyssalolta Vienansalolle – Wilderness Nature on the Kainuu-Viena Karelian Border by Katja Juntunen and Outi Isokääntä (a bilingual guide to the nature of the area)
2002 – Kainuun vaaroilta ja vesiltä: The Wilds of Kainuu by Lassi Rautiainen (nature photography)
2006 – Kajaani Castle by Reijo Heikkinen tells the history of Kajaani castle, probably the northernmost stone castle in the world, and also about the life both in the castle and the town.
2004 – Back to Nature by Metsähallitus, a book with educational material for schoolchildren.
2007 – Enchanted by nature: getting acquainted with the border area nature by Outi Isokääntä presents the Finnish and Russian nature in the border regions and the human relationship with nature from varying perspectives.
2007 – Wild East by Lassi Rautiainen (nature photography)
2011 – Hossa – What the People of the Wilderness used to believe in by Metsähallitus provides information on the topical questions of our time; what has been before, how life was led before us and what elements constituted the worldview of our parents and the preceding generations? In the Hossa area, where Kainuu and Koillismaa meet and eastern influence can be felt, it is rewarding to look into the beliefs of the past.
2013 – Wildwood Tales – On the trail of the magical traditions of Upper Kainuu is a collection of folk tradition, a piece of artwork, a hiking guide, an atlas, and a live roleplaying game. Available as a free eBook!
2013 – Fighters by Lassi Rautiainen and Ilpo Kojola (nature photography)
2017 – Villiä Elämää – Wild Life Kainuu by Lassi Rautiainen (nature photography)
2018 – Hossa by Reijo Heikkinen and Risto Kormilainen, pictures by Lassi Rautiainen. A multilingual, inrormative book about Hossa national park in Suomussalmi Kainuu, with stunning pictures.