Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as the Market Focus at the LBF 2018

Written by Helena Nagelmaa on . Posted in News, News of Centre

The Baltic countries — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — have been confirmed as the Market Focus for the London Book Fair 2018 to mark a century since their independence.

The Market Focus Baltic Countries will be divided into two streams: a professional programme designed to enable and enhance business opportunities, and a series of cultural events celebrating Baltic authors and books.

The London Book Fair Market Focus programme, which is run in partnership with the British Council and the Publishers Association, offers UK and international publishers the chance to forge new business partnerships and expand into global markets.

Indrek Saar, Minister of Culture of Estonia: “The London Book Fair is a great platform for Estonian authors and publishers. Being the Market Focus in London 2018, gives Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian literature even more visibility and will hopefully act as a springboard to further advance the translation and international success of books by our authors.“

Jacks Thomas, Director of The London Book Fair: “Located at the crossroads between Europe and Russia, the Baltic Countries – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – enjoy a rich and cosmopolitan literary history, complementing a fascinating contemporary cultural landscape. 2018 will be a year of celebration for these three countries as they celebrate a centenary of independence, and our Market Focus programme will be part of a wider cultural showcase. We are delighted to be working once again with our partners at the British Council and the Publishers Association, to deliver cultural and professional programmes showcasing the opportunities that the Baltic countries offer.”

The London Book Fair will take place on the 10th–12thApril 2018.

Source: The London Book Fair

NEW CATALOGUE: The Best Estonian Children’s Books of All Time

Written by Helena Nagelmaa on . Posted in News, News of Centre

The small, innovative country of Estonia will be celebrating its centenary in 2018, and will also be a Market Focus country at the London Book Fair for the first time ever. It goes without saying that now is the best time to take a closer look at Estonian children’s literature!

Estonia has one of the world’s highest numbers of children’s books published annually per capita. In 2016, close to 3,800 works (780 of which were children’s titles) were published in the country, which has a population of merely 1.3 million. Estonian children’s books are exceptionally rich in fantasy, and enrapture readers with their intricate characters and fascinating dilemmas. Humour, deep bonds with nature, and strong female characters make the literature globally unique. Our books are likewise aesthetically pleasing, and are illustrated by highly-awarded professional artists.

This catalogue comprises a selection of Estonian children’s literature’s crowning works. With 19 carefully-chosen books written for children and youth of all ages and interests, it is an ideal assortment for picking out just the right title.

We invite you to discover, translate, and publish the rich range of children’s literature from Estonia!


Further information:
Helena Koch, Director of Foreign Relations,

Indrek Koff at the Gothenburg Book Fair

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Indrek Koff represents Estonia at the largest book fair in Northern Europe, Gothenburg Book Fair.

Koff is on stage on Thursday, September 28 with Polish writer Pyotr Socha and Cristina Andone from Romania, discussing the relationships between children’s literature, art and music and how to develop children’s fantasy and creativity. On Friday, September 29, on the stage of the European Union National Institutes for Culture in Stockholm (EUNIC Stockholm), Koff talks with Polish and Romanian writers on how to win the attention of young people, and the role of the writer as the storyteller and the message provider.

At the Gothenburg Estonian House, Indrek Koff will meet with Estonian children living in Gothenburg who study Estonian at the local language club under the guidance of Kaja Jakobsen.

Gothenburg Book Fair takes place from September 28 to October 1, 2017.

The performance of the Estonian writer is part of the programme of the European Union National Institutes for Culture in Stockholm (EUNIC Stockholm). The visit is made possible with help from Estonian Embassy in Stockholm, Estonian Institute, Estonian Children’s Literature Centre and Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

See also: Estonian Institute

Additional information: Estonian Institute, +372 631 4355,,

The Exhibition “Fly Towards the Beehive”

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From 5th September until 28th October 2017, the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre presents an exhibition of Polish author Piotr Socha, entitled “Fly Towards the Beehive.”

The exhibition shows illustrations from Socha’s Book “The Book of Bees”.

The exhibition has been organised by the Polish Embassy in Tallinn together with the Polish publishing house Dwie Siostry, Estonian publishing house Varrak,
and Estonian Professional Beekeepers Association.

See also: Animation of “The Book of Bees”.

Additional information:
Viive Noor, kuraator,, tel 5557 9930

Exhibition of Estonian Illustration „Once Upon a Time…“ in Minsk

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From 5th July 2017, The Art Gallery of The University of Culture in Minsk presents the exhibition “Once Upon a Time…”. It is an extraordinary exhibition introducing Estonian illustration that travelled around Italy for two years. The illustrations thematise internationally known fairy tales by the brothers Grimm.

In the exhibition, 20 Estonian artists participate with 59 works: Sveta Aleksejeva, Anu Kalm, Kristi Kangilaski, Kadi Kurema, Anne Linnamägi, Regina Lukk-Toompere, Ülle Meister, Tiia Mets, Jüri Mildeberg, Piret Mildeberg, Gerda Märtens, Viive Noor, Juss Piho, Anne Pikkov, Ulla Saar, Kertu Sillaste, Catherine Zarip, Tiina Mariam Reinsalu, Maarja Vannas-Raid and Urmas Viik.

The exhibition is open until 13th July 2017. It is organised by the Estonian Children`s Literature Centre, the Estonian Graphic Designers’ Union and by the Estonian Embassy in Minsk.

The Exhibition “It’s Always Tea-Time” has reached Szczecin, Poland

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On Thursday, 22nd June 2017, the international exhibition “It’s Always Tea-Time” will open in the Ducal Castle in Szczecin, Poland.

The exhibition “It’s Always Tea-Time” is inspired by Lewis Carroll’s book Alice in Wonderland, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015. Seventy-two artists from 19 countries participate.

The exhibition will be shown until August 13th. From there it continues its tour around Europe, moving on to Hungary, Russia and Italy.

See also: International Exhibition “It’s Always Tea-Time

Additional information: Viive Noor, Estonian Children`s Literature Centre, (+372) 55 579 930

The Opening of the Exhibition “Baltic Tale” in Vilnius

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On Sunday, 21th May 2017, the international exhibition “Baltic Tale” will open in the National Library of Lithuania. Works by three baltic illustrators are exhibited: Ulla Saar (EE), Elīna Brasliņa (LV) and Lina Itagaki (LT). All of them represent modern illustration art from the Baltic states, where besides humorous pictures, it’s the message that counts.

Ulla Saar: “Pencils and I have a long history together that may contain blood, sweat, and tears, but we’ve come a long way and we know each other through and through. By now, we get along swimmingly. When I work on a book, I try to proceed from the text and catch the tone of it in my drawings; to support and elevate it rather than compete with it.”

Elīna Brasliņa: “I try to find out something new about myself in every project, no matter how big or small. It’s easy to stick to just one style you feel comfortable with, but it’s more rewarding to challenge yourself and enter into unknown territory. Once it stops being fun, there’s no more point in doing it.”

Lina Itagaki: “When I draw, usually I never make sketches. I try to finish every drawing, adjust it till I like it. And when I start, usually I have a very vague idea or no idea what I will draw, so when I finish it is always a surprise for myself. I really like colouring with simple felt tip pens, pencils, ProMarkers, mixing them, putting many layers of them and, in the end, I do not know myself how I made it. I do not like to plan, I love to improvise!”

Estonian Artists Take Part in the International Illustration Project Pop Up

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Pop Up is an international exchange programme for outstanding and emerging illustrators and comic artists from the UK, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Estonian project manager Eva Laantee Reintamm: „Pop Up is a huge project, that Estonia has the privilege to participate in. The main mission is to develop a network to increase collaboration between UK and Baltics children’s literature organisations, but also to promote and exchange the work of outstanding illustrators and comic artists. We see it also as an opportunity to introduce Estonian illustration at the London Book Fair.“

In the project, 18 published children’s literature illustrators and comic artists from all four countries have been commissioned to work with multilingual groups of gifted 16-24 year-old visual artists in 16 universities and colleges. Guided by their artist-mentors, 160 students will produce their own illustrated stories in a distinct ‘leporello’ format, that will be published by four partner publishing houses. The resulting collection of illustrated stories – 33,000 copies of 160 original titles – will be presented alongside an exhibition of some of the best artwork during London Book Fair 2018, coinciding with the ‘Baltic Countries Market Focus’. At the same time an exciting new digital platform introducing talented illustrators to publishers, will be launched at the fair.

„The project is very unique, because while teaching the students, I constantly have to think about my own work and what is important to me as an illustrator,“ says Kertu Sillaste from Estonia. „The participants are at the age, where they start to create their first professional works. It is an honour to guide them on their way, to offer a view from an observer and to help noticing, what is unique in all of them.“

The main organiser of the illustrations’ project is Pop Up Projects CIC from the UK. The main partners from Estonia are the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre and IBBY Estonia. The participating artists are Kertu Sillaste, Ulla Saar, Joonas Sildre and Elina Sildre. Educational partners are the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn University and Pelgulinna High School. The created books will be published by the publishing house Päike ja Pilv. Estonian participation is supported by the Ministry of Culture.

Further partners:

Artists: William Grill, Alexis Deacon, Emily Hughes, Katie Harnett, Jim Stoten and Hamish Steele from the UK; Anna Vaivare, Oskars Pavlovskis, Elīna Brașlina, Reinis Pētersons from Latvia; and Akvilė Misevičiūtė, Lina Dūdaitė, Ieva Babilaitė, Rasa Joni from Lithuania.

Educational partners: Victory Academy (Rochester), MidKent College, Harlow College, University of the Creative Arts (Canterbury), City of Oxford College (Oxford & Banbury), Southampton Solent University, City College Brighton & Hove, Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge), Peterborough Regional College, London College of Communications (University of the Creative Arts), Birmingham City University and Vilnius Academy of Arts (Vilnius & Kaunas).

International partners and supporters: Arts Council England, British publishing house Nobrow & Flying Eye, Latvia’s International Writers & Translators House, Latvian publishing house kuš!, Lithuanian Culture Institute, Lithuanian Council for Culture, and the publishing house of Vilnius Academy of Arts.


The Literary Festival HeadRead at our Centre from 25th to 27th May

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During the HeadRead Literary Festival, meetings with children‘s literature authors, as well as a book fair, will take place in the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre.

Thursday, 25th May

10am – Children’s author Heli Illipe-Sootak and the illustrator of her books, Katrin Ehrlich, talk about their children’s books and cooperation. The meeting will be held in Estonian.
12pm – Kairi Look, the author of popular storybooks such as The Kooky Museum of Mr. Glass, Piia Biscuit Moves In and The Airport Bugs Fight On, will meet readers. The meeting will be held in Estonian.
5pm – Finnish fantasy author Maria Turtschaninoff’s talk with journalist Nikolai Karajev. The meeting will be held in English.

Friday, 26th May

10am – British author David Almond will give an overview about his work in the Illustration gallery.
10am – Italian writer Davide Cali will meet young readers in the fairy tale attic.
Both meetings will be held in English.
12pm – Davide Cali will meet readers in the Illustration gallery. The meeting will be held in English.

Saturday, 27th May

12pm – Book fair in the courtyard of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre. Everyone can bring along children’ books for exchange! Children can meet the mascot of the Centre, Nukitsamees (Bumpy) and participate in various activities. There is also a café!

Welcome to the Literary Festival HeadRead!

See also: The Literary Festival HeadRead

Estonian Illustrators at the Literary Festival Berliner Bücherinseln

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On Wednesday, 10th May the children’s literature festival Berliner Bücherinseln starts. The focus of this years’ festival is children’s literature from the Baltic states. Estonia will be represented by the illustrators Ulla Saar, Kertu Sillaste and Regina Lukk-Toompere.

Kertu Sillaste and Ulla Saar both organise workshops at the festival. Kertu Sillaste’s workshops will take place on 10th and 11th May, workshops by Ulla Saar on 17th, 18th and 19th May. Their works, along with Regina Lukk-Toompere’s, will also be shown at the illustration exhibition “Baltic Children’s Books Illustrations“. The exhibition is open from 10th May until 30th June at the Humboldt Library.

The literary festival Berliner Bücherinseln will take place for the eighth time this year. In ten days, 30 events take place in Germany’s capital, all of which are dedicated to children’s books and book illustration.

See also: Berliner Bücherinseln