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

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

From the 1st of March 2018, the Culture Club Przegorzały in Kraków 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 the 24th of March 2018. It is organised by the Estonian Children`s Literature Centre, the Estonian Honorary Consulate in Krakow, the Estonian Embassy in Warsaw, Erasmus+, Culture Club Przegorzały, and the Cultural Centre Dworek.

See also: Culture Club Przegorzały 

Mika Keränen Participates in Estonian Literature Week in Finland

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From the 13th until the 15th of February, Estonian Literature Week takes place in Finland, and Mika Keranen represents Estonian children’s authors there. Keränen will meet readers in three different libraries and in one school.

During this week, literature readings of Estonian authors take place in different cities around Finland, in libraries, schools and universities. Estonian literature is also presented online in the new magazine Helmi. The publication can be obtained at the venues of the events and Helsinki’s Estonian House.

This year’s festival takes place for the fifth time. The aim of the festival is to present Estonian authors and new Estonian literature in Finland. Estonian Literature Week is organised by the Tuglas Society, Estonian Literature Centre, Estonian Children’s Literature Centre, Majaoja Foundation, Union of Estonian Societies in Finland and the Estonian Institute.

Source: ”The Tuglas Society”

The Best Designed Estonian Books Chosen

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

On Thursday, the 8th of February, the most beautiful Estonian children’s books of 2017 were announced at the National Library of Estonia. The jury valued high quality illustrations, as well as design, typography, and the appropriate choice of material.

In an outstandingly designed children’s book, all the above-mentioned characteristics are well balanced. Altogether 40 books took part in the competition.

The chosen books can be seen on the 6th floor of the National Library of Estonia from the 8th of February until the 3rd of March. The books will also be exhibited at the Bologna Book Fair 2018.

The competition of the best designed Estonian books has taken place since 1998. This year it was organised by the Estonian Graphic Designers Association, the Estonian Publishers’ Association, the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre, the National Library of Estonia, and the Association of Estonian Printing Industry.



Three Autumns by Jaanus Vaiksoo. Designed by Kadi Kurema and Anne Linnamägi. Illustrated by Kadi Kurema.

A nice ensemble. The intaglio illustrations carry the long Estonian tradition of printmaking. A skillful synthesis of print and drawing.

How the Animals Got their Tails. Designed and illustrated by Catherine Zarip.

With its stylish colour scheme and refined handling of details this volume represents the best traditions of Estonian children’s books.

Mr. Nightingale from Nightjar Street by Ellen Niit. Designed by Endla Toots. Illustrated by Priit Pärn.

A well-designed and well-balanced book. Detailed, compelling and uncompromising illustrations. Novel and unique interpretation of a children’s literature classic. Professional choice of materials.

Great Tit Spreads its Wings by Paul-Eerik Rummo. Designed by Andres Tali. Illustrated by Kaido Ole.

A surprising children’s book. A rather unexpected yet highly skilled use of top rate art. A joyful and non-clichéd approach to the literary material.

The Visit by Anti Saar. Designed and illustrated by Anna Ring.

A skillfully composed book which combines fiction with educational material. Novel, fresh and unique style of illustration. Playful and professional design.

Spezial prize of the Jury:

Susie and the Slippery Sleep by Reeli Reinaus. Designed and illustrated by Marge Nelk.

A novel approach to Estonian children’s illustration. Collage pictures that depict dreamy fantasy worlds.

Special prize of the Estonian Graphic Designers’ Union:

Please Come Yesterday by Joel Sang. Designed by Mari Kaljuste. Illustrated by Anne Pikkov.

Intelligent design springing from the style of the illustrations. Skillful use of two-colour print.
Special prize of the Estonian Graphic Designers’ Union



Physics Primer by Heli Lukner, Mare Müürsepp. Designed by Angelika Schneider

A handy science book for children, where the complex scientific material is presented in a simple yet well-structured way.

From Hurt to Pärn by Jaak Urmet. Designed and illustrated by Karel Korp

The rather eclectic material has been crafted into a fine sum total. The illustrations and layout are lively and joyful, in perfect harmony with the contents.

The Boy Who Drew Maps by Kätlin Vainola. Designed and illustrated by Ulla Saar

Dashing and sweeping illustrations combine well with the uncluttered layout; refreshing cover material.

Catherine and the Peas by Kadri Hinrikus. Designed by Endla Toots. Illustrated by Anne Pikkov

A classic, compact children’s book. Typography has regard for the young reader and the text does not smother the pictures.

Through the Black Hole by Tiit Kändler. Designed and illustrated by Eerik Kändler

A striking, dynamic science book for children; text and illustrations are proportioned in sweet harmony.

Great Tit Spreads its Wings by Paul-Eerik Rummo. Designed by Andres Tali. Illustrated by Kaido Ole

Such visual bacchanal of illustrations is a rare sight. Meant for children, but can also be enjoyed by an older generation.

Bear’s Paws by Milvi Pank. Designed by Katrin Kaev. Illustrated by Mare Hunt.

Warm and sensitive design, illustrated by merry and playful collages. Not at all a traditional approach.

Maarius, Magic, and Liisi the Werewold by Reeli Reinaus. Designed and illustrated by Marja-Liisa Plats

+ Special prize of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre

A stylish ensemble boasting outstanding design and great typography. Delightful colour scheme, albeit a bit unexpected in a children’s book.

Source: National Library of Estonia

Aino Pervik Awarded for her Lifetime Achievement

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On Thursday, the 8th of February 2018 the Estonian government approved the recipients of the National Lifetime Achievement Award for Culture. The award for her long-term distinguished activity as a children’s writer was given to Aino Pervik.

Aino Pervik (Raud) is the favourite childhood author of many Estonians. She has given her readers unforgettable moments in the company of Kaari, Kunksmoor, Arabella and many other beloved characters. She also knows how to enchant today’s children, be it by reading stories about Paula, Klabautermann, Bluephant or the King of the Valley of Woes. Aino Pervik’s message has been born by a sense of mission and love of humanity for readers of all ages. She manages to express deep life truths in a way that makes them understandable to young readers.

The National Lifetime Achievement Award for Culture is presented for outstanding long-term creative activity and the amount of the award is €64,000. Three lifetime achievement awards for culture are presented each year. Besides Aino Pervik, theatre director Merle Karusoo and texile artist Anu Raud were awarded, too.

The lifetime achievement awards will be formally presented just prior to the centenary of the Republic of Estonia, on February 20 in Läänemaa Secondary School in Haapsalu.

Source: Ministry of Culture

The Opening of the Exhibition ”Running With Wolves“ on February 2nd

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On Friday, 2nd February 2018 at 4pm the exhibition ”Running With Wolves“ opens at the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre to celebrate the beginning of the European Year of Cultural Heritage. The exhibition is open until March 17th.

27 illustrators participate in it, both old classics and new artists: Made Balbat, Katrin Ehrlich, Kadri Ilves, Kristi Kangilaski, Lembe Keskpaik, Kadi Kurema, Giulia Landonio, Anne Linnamägi, Regina Lukk-Toompere, Eve Mahhov, Ülle Meister, Jüri Mildeberg, Lucija Mrzljak, Gerda Märtens, Viive Noor, Ede Peebo, Marja-Liisa Plats, Priit Rea, Tiina Mariam Reinsalu, Ulla Saar, Elina Sildre, Joonas Sildre, Kertu Sillaste, Catherine Zarip, Jonas Taul, Maarja Vannas, Urmas Viik.

Curator Viive Noor, ”Werewolf is one of the main topics in the European cultural area and therefore there cannot be a better occassion to launch the European Year of Cultural Heritage at our centre. The exhibition is part of the exposition that will be presented at the London Book Fair in April where Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are the market focus countries. The exhibition offers an extraordinary insight into Estonian illustration art since the best artists´ works are presented.“

Marju Kõivupuu, ”Although there have been many folkloric were-creatures through the ages, the king or the queen of them has definitely been a were-wolf. Portraying a person changing into a dangerous predator was especially loved in the Middle Ages. Today, the wolf as a smart predator has become a symbol of independence and bravery. Interesting in this sense is Clarissa Pinkola Estés book ”Women Who Run With the Wolves“ where the author sees similarities between women and wolves in folklore. In her opinion, they have a lot in common, such as endurance and strength,  patience, playfulness, curiosity, courage, thoughtfulness and vitality.

Further information: Viive Noor, curator, viivenoor@gmail.com, 634 0080, 5557 9930

Christmas Exhibitions at the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre

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From November 30th 2017 until January 27th 2018 the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre presents two christmas-themed solo exhibitions: “Ludwig the Snowman’s Christmas” by Regina-Lukk Toompere and “The Story of Santa Theodor” by Urmas Viik.

Regina-Lukk Toompere (1953) graduated from the Estonian State Art Institute’s Graphic Art Department as a book designer and illustrator. She is a member of the Estonian Artists Association, the Estonian Graphic Designers Association and the Estonian Section of IBBY. Lukk-Toompere has illustrated and designed over 90 books and textbooks, as well as posters, record covers, postcards, magazines and packaging. At her solo exhibition, works from her latest books are exhibited, among others from Ludwig the Snowman’s Lucky Day (2016).

Urmas Viik (1961) graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts in graphic design, and is a member of the Estonian Artists’ Union. Viik is an interdisciplinary-, graphic-, book-, installation-, and video artist, and has taught as a professor at the Estonian Academy of Arts and Tallinn University. He has illustrated and designed over 30 books, several which have been awarded at the Tallinn Illustration Triennial, and was on the 2010 IBBY Honour List. On display in this exhibition are illustrations from Viik’s comic book The Case of Santa Theodor (2016).

The Exhibition “Secret Lives” in Tel Aviv

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On Tuesday, 28th November 2017, the exhibition “Secret Lives” will open in the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

The exhibition “Secret Lives” can be considered a group exhibition, but it feels more like a number of small solo exhibitions shown under a common name. The participating artists Regina Lukk-Toompere, Viive Noor, Kadi Kurema, and Urmas Viik are all among the most renowned illustrators in Estonia and they are also internationally known names. In addition to that all four illustrators are involved in many other areas of art (painting, printmaking and photography, creating objects and miniature plastic art, and book design). Both Lukk-Toompere, Noor, Kurema, as well as Viik, have a clearly distinctive handwriting and their own little secret world – very fairy-tale like and very personal, into which the given works on display allow a brief glimpse.

The exhibition will be shown until December 17th. It is organised by the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre, Embassy of Estonia in Tel Aviv, and by the Foreign Ministry of Estonia.


Kätlin Vainola and Ulla Saar at the Festival The Children’s Bookshow

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On November 24th at 10.30am Kätlin Vainola and Ulla Saar present their picture book Lift at the Europe House in London.

Lift is the authors’ internationally most well-known book that has been published both in German, Lithuanian and Italian. The authors will be introduced
by Nicolette Jones, children’s editor of The Sunday Times.

At 3.30pm Vainola and Saar discuss the topic “What makes a book a good candidate for translation and what are the steps needed to launch it into the world?” together with Nicolette Jones (The Sunday Times), Adam Freudenheim (publisher of Pushkin Press), Jen Shenton (manager of Waterstones, Trafalgar Square), and Emma Langley (relationship Manager at Arts Council England).

On November 25th, Vainola and Saar will host a workshop in the Estonian School in London.

The Children’s Bookshow is an annual tour of children’s authors and illustrators from the UK and abroad. The aim is to delight and inspire children with great poems, beautiful illustrations and gripping storytelling, helping teachers provide their students with a rich and exciting experience of literature and create the readers and writers of tomorrow.

See also: The Children’s Bookshow

The Opening of the Exhibition “It’s Always Tea-Time” in Budapest

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On Wednesday, 8th November 2017, the international exhibition “It’s Always Tea-Time” will open in the art gallery Deák 17 in Budapest, Hungary. 

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 December 20th. From there it continues its tour around Europe, moving on to Russia and Italy.

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

Art gallery Deák 17

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


The Winner of the 5th Tallinn Illustrations Triennal is Alessia Bravo

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The Italian author Alessia Bravo was chosen as the winner of this years’ Tallinn Illustrations Triennal for his illustrations from the book La baleine du bus 29 (written by Christine Beigel). 

The jury members were Jüri Mildeberg and Juss Piho from Estonia, Gundega Muzikante and Anita Paegle from Latvia and Piotr Socha from Poland.

The jury also gave out ten diplomas to Mohammad Barrangi Fashtami (Iran), Lina Dūdaité (Lithuania), Gosia Herba (Poland), Aušra Kiudulaité (Lithuania), Anita Kreituse (Latvia), Bente Olesen Nyström (Denmark), Marianna Oklejak (Poland), Priit Pärn (Estonia), Margarita Shchetinskaia (Russia), and Pavel Tatarnikau (Belarus).

Five special diplomas were given to Urmas Viik (Estonia), Catherine Zarip (Estonia), Laura Merz (Finland), Kadi Kurema (Estonia), as well as Ana Juan (Spain).

All works can be seen at the Tallinn Illustrations Triennial exhibition „The Power of Pictures“, which is shown in the National Library of Estonian from 3rd November until 30th November 2017.

See also: The Opening of the 5th Tallinn Illustrations Triennial

Triennial’s catalogue

More information: Viive Noor, curator, viivenoor@gmail.com