Estonian children’s book awards

Annual Children’s Literature Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia
The Children’s Literature Award is one of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia’s annual literary awards, which continues the tradition of recognizing outstanding Estonian writing that began in 1970 (the Cultural Endowment has given out these awards since 1995). Each year on Estonian Language Day (14 March), authors of the best original works in a number of different literary categories receive monetary prizes.

The Nukits Competition
The Nukits Competition, which the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre has organised every two years since 1992, polls Estonian readers under the age of 16, asking them to rate new children’s and young-adult books. Participants’ votes determine the most popular Estonian children’s author and illustrator. The main prize is a bronze Nukitsa trophy and the three top-rated authors and illustrators receive monetary awards. The Nukits Competition ceremony is held on International Children’s Book Day, which usually falls around 2 April.

Raisin of the Year Award
Since 2004, the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre has annually given the Raisin of the Year Award to the most unique or surprising Estonian children’s book published that year. Assessed are the author’s or artist’s work and the book as a whole. The prize is one kilogram of raisins and a monetary award. The Raisin of the Year is given during a December event held at the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre to thank our supporters.

Tartu Prize for Children’s Literature (Childhood Prize)
The Tartu Prize for Children’s Literature is given annually to the author of an outstanding children’s or young-adult book over the past year. The City of Tartu funds the award, and the Tartu City Library together with the Tartu Toy Museum organize the award ceremony. Winners are announced and the award of 2,000 euros presented on World Book Day (23 April) at the Tartu Toy Museum’s Theatre House.

“Järje Hoidja” Award of the Tallinn Central Library
The “Järje Hoidja” Award is given to the author of the Estonian children’s or young-adult book that has been checked out most from the Tallinn Central Library over the past year, thanking writers for consistently providing children and youth with worthy reading material. The award is presented prior to International Children’s Book Day on 2 April.

Good Children’s Book
The Estonian Union for Child Welfare has selected the best new children’s books every year since 2009, and the best young-adult books since 2018. Representatives of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre, the Estonian Reading Association, and children’s sections of rural and urban central libraries take part in the selection process.

5 Best-Designed Estonian Children’s Books
The competition, which was initiated in 1998 by the Estonian Graphic Designers’ Association and the National Library of Estonia, includes representatives from the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre, the Association of Estonian Printmakers, and the Estonian Publishers’ Union on its jury. The awards are meant to show appreciation for illustrated children’s books as an element of intellectual culture. Books’ overall makeup is assessed, with special attention given to the quality of illustration. The competition is held in conjunction with the selection of winners of the “25 Best-Designed Estonian Books” competition.