Helsinki was established as a trading town by King Gustav I of Sweden in 1550 as the town of Helsingfors. Helsinki was plagued by poverty, wars, and diseases. The plague of 1710 killed many of the inhabitants of Helsinki. It was not until Russia defeated Sweden in the Finnish War and annexed Finland as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland in 1809 that the town became a city of means. The XV Olympiad, the 1952 Olympics were held in Helsinki. There are various theories as to how Helsinki got its name. Some people believe the name Helsinge may have originated with the medieval Swedish settlers who came from Hälsingland, in Sweden. Others think the name came from the Swedish word ‘hals’ which means neck in Swedish, and that it refers to the narrowest part of the river, the rapids. Whatever the derivation of the name, Helsinki is a great place to visit today. It is colorful, independent and strong and there is so much to do and see. Take a look inside this book and find out why it is aptly titled “Reindeer & Mermaids,” and see how much fun you can have as you read this book and see the great photographs of John D. Weigand. Once again, award winning author, attorney and former K-12 teacher, Penelope Dyan, imparts poetry and a lesson about life. Find out what that lesson is as you visit Helsinki with Dyan and Weigand, And please have fun! Life should always be fun Take the time to savor and enjoy the feel and warmth of this beautiful city. There is also a video on YouTube that goes along with this book to add to the learning experience of this large print picture book with an early reader learning vocabulary.