Gerda Märtens’s Solo Exhibition “Scenes from the Stage of Pictures”

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

Gerda-Martens-plakatGerda Märtens’s solo exhibition features over 80 illustrations from the young artist’s published and yet unpublished books. It is open from the 3rd May until the 3rd June 2016 in the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre.

Gerda Märtens is a young, talented and unique children’s book illustrator, whose style combines the influences of Estonian and Italian illustration in the best possible way. Märtens graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with an MA in graphic art and studied illustration in Italy in the Macerata Academy of Fine Arts. She has presented her work at several exhibitions in Estonia and abroad. In addition to illustrating books, Märtens regularly collaborates with the Estonian children’s magazine Täheke.

Märtens describes the sense of being a children’s book illustrator as follows: “A book illustrator’s aim is to create a visual universe along with the rules that apply to it exclusively. A world in its creation phase starts to expand as visions in the back of an artist’s brain, and before long, it takes over the artist’s hand, pencils, and papers. When a book’s imaginary world is finished, the artist leaves its door ajar in order to invite the reader in to experience and play along.”

So far Märtens has illustrated four books. The first of them, The Drawer of Happy Bedtime Stories by Hilli Rand (published by Päike ja Pilv, 2014), earned the special prize from the Estonian Graphic Designers Association in the competition “5 Best Designed Estonian Children’s Books 2014”. The picture-book edition of Dino Buzzati’s fantasy-laden short story La Creazione (The Creation) is another remarkable work of Märtens, which was published in Italy and is aimed at slightly older readers (published by Orecchio Acerbo).

Additional information: Viive Noor, Curator of the Exhibition, The Estonian Children`s Literature Centre, (+372) 55 579 930,

The First Estonian Children’s Book in Icelandic has been Published

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

Einhver Ekkineinsdottir_kaas-1On 22nd February, Kätlin Kaldmaa’s book, The Story of Somebody Nobodysdaughter’s Father, was published in Icelandic.

Besides the fact that it is the first Estonian children’s book in Icelandic, it is the first book by an Estonian author ever to be translated directly from Estonian to Icelandic. The book was published by the publishing house Bókstafur and translated by Lemme Linda Olafsdóttir.

In order to present the book, the author Kätlin Kaldmaa and the illustrator Marge Nelk are in Iceland this week. They will meet readers and organise workshops for the public. Their visit is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Reykjavik’s Children’s Culture Festival, as well as Kulturkontakt Nord.

More information: Kätlin Kaldmaa,, (+372) 51 42 359

The Winners of the Nukits Competition are Ilmar Tomusk and Heiki Ernits

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

A72A3175On the 2nd April 2016, the winners of the Nukits competition (Young Reader’s Choice Award) were announced in the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre.

Best writers:

1. Ilmar Tomusk for his crime series (Kriminaalne suvevaheaeg, Kriminaalsed automatkajad and Kriminaalne pangapresident, Tammerraamat, 2014–2015) – 676 votes

2. Andrus Kivirähk for his book Karneval ja kartulisalat (Varrak, 2015) – 522 votes

3. Mika Keränen with his crime series (Kuldne Lurich and Küttepuuvargad, Keropää, 2014–2015) – 404 votes

Best illustrators:

1. Heiki Ernits for his illustrations of the book Karneval ja kartulisalat by Andrus Kivirähk (Varrak, 2015) – 555 votes

2. Hillar Mets for his illustrations of the crime series by Ilmar Tomusk (Kriminaalne suvevaheaeg, Kriminaalsed automatkajad and Kriminaalne pangapresident, Tammerraamat, 2014–2015) – 373 votes

3. Heiki Ernits for the illustrations of the book Nõianeiu Nöbinina ja korstnapühkija by Kristiina Kass (Tänapäev, 2015) – 313 votes

The winners were awarded a bronze statue and a prize from the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

In the Nukits competition (Young Reader’s Choice Award) children up to 16 years old can vote for their favourite writers and illustrators in libraries throughout Estonia and online. This year, children could choose their favourites from 207 books published in the years 2014 and 2015; 119 Estonian writers and 98 illustrators competed for children’s votes. 7,859 children voted altogether, 634 of them online.

The Nukits competition takes place every second year, since 1992. Previous winners can be found here.

Additional information:
Triin Soone, Director of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre,, (+372) 617 7230

Meeting with the French author Olivier Tallec on the 9th March

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

olivier tallecThe French illustrator and children’s author Olivier Tallec will present his work on the 9th March at 16:00 at the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre. The meeting is hosted by the translator and author Indrek Koff. The event is in English.

Tallec is in Estonia as part of the Francophonie Festival which takes place from the 10th to the 23rd of March in differents parts of Estonia.

Olivier Tallec was born in France in 1970, in the city of Morlaix (North Brittany). He graduated from the Duperré High School of Applied Arts. Tallec gained fame as a press illustrator through his work with Le Monde, Libération, Télérama and Elle. He is mostly known for his work in the field of children’s literature. He has illustrated many novels and short stories for children and has worked with prestigious editors like Gallimard and Flammarion. Among his most famous works are the Rita and Machin series (Ed. Gallimard) and Big Wolf, Small Wolf (Ed. Flammarion/Père Castor). In the recent years, Tallec has also started to write his own stories, including WhoWhatWho (Ed. Actes Sud).

The books of Olivier Tallec are published in foreign languages worldwide. His Big Wolf, Small Wolf series will be published in Estonian in the second half of 2016 (by Draakon & Kuu, translated by Indrek Koff).

See also:

Spring Exhibitions in the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre

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

Noor-kevadnaitus-2016-cutIn March 2016, new exhibitions were opened in the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre. In the Illustration Gallery, visitors can see the spring exhibition of Estonian authors. The Staircase Gallery presents an exhibition by Eve Mahhov and Lembe Keskpaik.

It is the third spring exhibition of Estonian artists since 2008. This year, mainly illustrations from books that have been published recently (or will be published soon) are presented. There are also a few works that have been made specially for the exhibition. In the exhibition, 25 artists participate with 71 works: Regina Lukk-Toompere, Jüri Mildeberg, Piret Mildeberg, Viive Noor, Catherine Zarip, Anne Linnamägi, Katrin Ehrlich, Priit Rea, Kadi Kurema, Priit Pärn, Olga Pärn, Anne Pikkov, Ulla Saar, Kertu Sillaste, Gerda Märtens, Kadri Ilves, Maarja Vannas, Ülle Meister, Kristina Reineller, Tiia Mets, Vera Staniševskaja, Sveta Aleksejeva, Olivia Lipartia, Giulia Landonio and Maiu Mooses.

Eve Mahhov and Lembe Keskpaik have graduated from the department of fine arts in the Estonian Academy of Arts. Among other exhibitions, they have participated in the Tallinn Illustrations Triennal in 2013 and in the Exhibition of Estonian illustrations in Russia in 2016.

The spring exhibition of Estonian artists is open until the 30th April , the exhibition by Eve Mahhov and Lembe Keskpaik until the 26th March.

Additional information:
Viive Noor, Art Curator of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre,, (+372) 5557 9930

The Exhibition “It’s Always Tea-time“ in Uusikaupunki, Finland

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tea-time-suomiThe exhibition “It’s Always Tea-Time”, which was shown in the National Library of Latvia from January until February 2016, has travelled on to the Crusell Cultural Centre in Uusikaupunki, Finland. It will be opened to the public on the 23rd February.

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 in Uusikaupunki until the 11th March. From there it continues its tour around Europe, moving on to Poland, Germany, Hungary, Russia and Italy.

Additional information: Viive Noor, Curator of the Exhibition, The Estonian Children`s Literature Centre, (+372) 55 579 930,

Kristiina Kass will take part in Estonian Literature Week in Finland

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

Kristiina Kass. Foto: Olga MakinaFrom the 13th until the 18th of February 2016, Estonian Literature Week takes place in Finland. Among other writers, the children`s literature author Kristiina Kass participates. Kass will meet readers on the 13th, 16thand 17th February in different parts of the country.

During Estonian Literature Week in Finland, literature readings of Estonian authors take place in 15 cities around Finland; in libraries, schools and universities. Estonian literature is also presented online in the new magazine Helmi.

This year’s festival is the third in a row. 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 and supported by the Estonian Cultural Endowment, local libraries and regional societies, The Society of Friends of Estonian Insitute and the Estonian Institute.

See also: The programme of Estonian Literature Week

Further information: Katariina Suurpalo, Tuglas Society,, (+358) 96 81 14 324

Exhibition of Estonian Illustrators in Russia

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On the 8th February 2016, the exhibition of Estonian illustrators “A walk on the path of fairy tale together with Charles Perrault” opened in the Central Children’s Library of A. P. Gaidar in Moscow, Russia

The curator of the exhibition, Viive Noor, took part in the opening. Noor also delivered a lecture during the seminar entitled “Illustration in nowadays children`s book” about Estonian illustration on the 9th February in Moscow.

According to Noor the exhibition is particularly special for Estonian artists because of the rare opportunity to illustrate classic fairy tale books. She underlines that the works being exhibited are made specifically for this exhibition and they have not been published anywhere else before.

The Exhibition of Estonian Illustrators in Moscow is open until the 29th of February. After that, it will move to the Art Gallery of Krasnoarmeysk and to other locations in Russia.

The following artists participate: Regina Lukk-Toompere, Viive Noor, Urmas Viik, Katrin Ehrlich, Kertu Sillaste, Ulla Saar, Gerda Märtens, Kristi Kangilaski, Priit Rea, Kadri Ilves, Vera Staniševskaja, Kadi Kurema, Ülle Meister, Ede Peebo, Giulia Landonio, Made Balbat, Lembe Keskpaik, Liisi Lukk, Eve Mahhov and Mirjam Silm.

The exhibition is supported by the Estonian Embassy in Moscow, by the Estonian Children`s Literature Centre and the Estonian Graphic Designers’ Association.

Further information: Viive Noor, Curator of the Exhibition, The Estonian Children`s Literature Centre, (+372) 55 579 930,

President Awards Estonian State Decoration to Piret Raud

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

On the 23rd February, on the eve of the 98th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves will bestow state decorations to 99 people for their services to the country. The Estonian children`s writer Piret Raud is among those to receive the award. She will be awarded the IV Class Order of the White Star.

President Ilves explains in the introduction to his resolution: “The purpose of decorations is to acknowledge Estonian people and our supporters in foreign countries for their determination in their activities and loyalty to the principles that modern Estonia relies upon: openness, democracy, knowledge, innovation.”

Piret Raud is one of Estonia’s most successful children`s book writers and illustrators. She has illustrated more than 40 books and published 14 children`s books. Her work has been translated into more than 10 languages.

Read more about Raud’s work as a children’s literature author here.
Also, have a look at her personal website here.

Kertu Sillaste’s Book Launch in England

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

Between the 5th to the 10th February, the Estonian artist Kertu Sillaste presents her book It’s Pancake Time! (Pannkoogiraamat, Päike ja Pilv 2012) in England.

Sillaste will present her book at the Hyde Park School, the Schools of South-Kensington and Marie d’Orliac of the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle. She will also conduct some public workshops in Welwyn Garden City, St. Albans and London.

Sillaste visits England as her book It’s Pancake Time! was published by Ginger Books in 2015. In the colourful and humorous book, animals work together to make delicious pancakes.

Kertu Sillaste will be in the UK as part of the Nordic Literature Project presenting Estonian, Danish and Swedish authors and hosted by the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Councillor Robert Freeman. Her trip is organised by the Estonian Embassy in London, by the publishing house Ginger Books and the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre.

Kertu Sillaste is mostly known as an illustrator. She has won numerous awards in Estonia, including the Raisin of the Year in 2015.

See also:
Sillastes full programme in the UK
Estonian World “It`s pancake time! Estonian author`s children`s book published in English”
Kertu Sillaste’s personal website

More information:
Kertu Sillaste,, (+372) 56 629 139
Kersti Kirs, Cultural Counsellor at the Estonian Embassy in London,, (+44) 77 11 76 00 67