Estonians featured in the Clarivoyants 2018 exhibition

Written by Kadri Naanu on . Posted in News, News of Centre

An exhibition featuring the most exciting works from the international childrens’s books projects competition Crairvoyants 2018 will open in the Galery Milano in Warsaw. The selection includes works from Estonian based Liis Sein, Eike-Ülesoo-Tikman and Julia Valtanen. The exhibition is open from May 23rd until June 3rd, 2019.

Clairvoyants is an international competition for an illustrated children’s book project in Polish or in English language. The competition is held by the Dwie Siostry publishing house and it aims to creat beautiful and valuable books for children and to discover talented artists. The competition work must include a plan or a script of the book accompanied by a summary in English and example illustrations. The competition gives the participants a chance to become known on the Polish and international book market.

530 projects were submitted to the competition and the jury selected the main prize and 3 honorary mentions. Additionally, they pointed out 40 most interesting works that will be featured in an exhibition that opens at the end of May in Warsaw. 35 countries were represented in the competition and the jury selected two projects from Estonia to the exhibition.

The exhibition features the project “Paper Boat” written by Liis Sein, illustrated by Eike Ülesoo-Tikman, and translated by Sławomira Borowska-Peterson, as well as the project “Vilo and the Music Tree” by Julia Valtanen.

The international jury included Rotraut Susanne Berner, Bernardo P. Carvalho, Anna Maria Czernow and Piotr Karski.

See also the list of the projects chosen for the exhibition and photographs of the jury work.

Illustration: Eike Ülesoo-Tikman

Exhibition “Once upon a time” opened in Opole City Library

Written by Kadri Naanu on . Posted in News, News of Centre

On 2nd April the exhibition “Once upon a time” was opened in the Opole City Library in Poland. The exhibition is a part of the 16th Children and Youth Literature Days “Power of Fairy Tales” (Moc baśni) and it features illustrations of Grimm brothers’ fairy tales by 20 Estonian artists

Viive Noor, the art expert of the Estonian Children’s Literature Center said that the artists have chosen to illustrate fairy tales that are most dear to them and everyone will find something interesting at the exhibition: “There are works that are addressed to kids and works addressed to adults. As with fairy tales in general, everyone will find something to their liking.”

Featured artists: 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 has previously been shown in Estonia, Belarus and Italy where it was exceptionally well received. Since 2018 the exhibition has traveled around in Poland.

The exhibition is organized by the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre and Estonian Embassy in Warsaw.

Illustration: Kristi Kangilaski

Andrus Kivirähk receives the “Järje hoidja” award

Written by Kadri Naanu on . Posted in News, News of Centre

Tallinn Central Library awarded the “Järje hoidja” prize to Andrus Kivirähk for his book Tilda and the Dust Angel on the International Children’s Book Day, April 2nd. 

The 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. The author receives an art work based on his book and created by the students of the Pelgulinna Gymnasium of Tallinn. Previously, the author has received the prize in 2004 for his book Limpa and the Pirates.

Driving forces of Tilda and the Dust Angel are the past, memory and remembering. The main character of the book is dust. In Kivirähk’s writing dust is grand, enticing, and beautiful. Soft, fluffy, light, and fast – this is how something that is a nuisance to most of us is described in the book. The events concentrate on Tilda, a 9-year old girl who does not remember her deceased father. When Tilda is cleaning her room, she is visited by a Dust Angel. Now memories of her father start flowing back: his green eyes and reddish beard, visits to the zoo and fun play times. Due to the father who has become dust, the girl will also learn new things about her  mother.

It is already the fourteenth time since 2004 the Tallinn Central Library awards the “Järje Hoidja” price. The award recognizes writers for consistently providing children and youth with worthy reading material. The award is presented prior to the International Children’s Book Day on 2 April. Previous winners include Anti Saar for “Pärt can’t do a backflip“ (2018), Reeli Reinaus for “The Verikambi Mill“ (2017), Ilmar Tomusk for “The Criminal Bank President: The Forensics Kids are Back” (2016), Aino Pervik „Mister Tee and Misses Coffee“ (2015). All of the previous winners may be found on the children’s page of the Tallinn Central Library.

The International Children’s Book Day is celebrated since 1967 on April 2nd, the birthday of the beloved fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen. Every year one section of IBBY (The International Board on Books for Young People) will prepare an international message and poster for the day. In 2019 the message „Book Help Us Slow Down” was prepared by the Lithuanian section of IBBY.

Photo: Dmitri Kotjuh

Small Werewolf exhibition opens in St Petersburg on March 26th

Written by Kadri Naanu on . Posted in News, News of Centre

On the 26th of March 2019 the small werewolf exhibition Running with the Wolves. Werewolf will open in the Arka Art Gallery of the Russian Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg. The exhibition features Estonian artists. 

A werewolf is a popular motive in European art that offers versatile material form many artists. This is showcased by the fact that currently there is also a big werewolf exhibition with the same title travelling in Europe. In addition to Estonian artists, the big werewolf exhibition also features works from their Latvian and Lithuanian colleagues.

The exhibition opening in Saint Petersburg will display a selection of works from Estonian artists only.

The exhibition has previously been showcased in Viljandi, Karksi-Nuia and Pihkva.

Giulia Landonio, Lucija Mrzljak, Viive Noor, Jüri Mildeberg, Made Balbat, Elina Sildre, Regina Lukk-Toompere, Urmas Viik, Gerda Märtens, Priit Rea, Lembe Keskpaik

More info:
Viive Noor
curator, art expert of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre
+372 5557 9930

illustration Lucija Mrzljak

Exhibition It’s Always Tea-Time opens in Moscow on March 19th

Written by Kadri Naanu on . Posted in News, News of Centre

A grand international illustration exhibition It’s Always Tea-Time, that showcases the works of 72 artists from 19 countries, opens in the Russian National Children’s Library on 19th of March.  

The exhibition was initially opened in the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre in 2015 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s enduringly popular book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). Since then, the exhibition has traveled from Estonia to Latvia, Finland, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.

„The majority of the artists exhibited are the cream of the crop of the world’s illustrators. All of their works are original illustrations made especially for this exhibition”, says Viive Noor, the curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition was organized by the Estonian Children’s Literature Center and it is supported by the Estonian Graphic Designers’ Association, Estonian Cultural Endowment and the Estonian Embassy in Moscow.

Viive Noor
curator, art expert of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre
+372 5557 9930

Illustration: Sari Airola 

NEW Catalogue Children’s Books From Estonia 2019

Written by Kadri Naanu on . Posted in News, News of Centre

The brand new catalogue Children’s Books From Estonia 2019 is used to introduce Estonian children’s and young-adult literature. The catalogue includes information about new popular and critically acclaimed books.

The books have been grouped based on the age groups of prospective readers and the selection includes works that have a potential to be of interest to foreign publishers. In addition to a short summary of the works, the catalogue also includes short informative introductions of the authors and illustrators. Also, the pages of the catalogue are designed with illustrations from the books introduced. Longer works are introduced with reading samples.

The catalogue was created by Helena Koch, Jaanika Palm, Anu Kehman and Ülle Väljataga.

Texts are translated into English by Adam Cullen and Susan Wilson. Cover photo is by Anne Pikkov and design by Katrin Kaev.
Printed in Estonia by Printon.

DOWNLOAD PDF: Children’s Books From Estonia

Kertu Sillaste will perform in Leipzig and Berlin in March

Written by Kadri Naanu on . Posted in News, News of Centre

An Estonian picture book author and illustrator Kertu Sillaste will introduce her book Everyone Makes Art Their Own Way to the German audience in Spring 2019. Interested parties can read the book and take part in Sillaste’s Paper Sculpture Workshop on March 21 in Leipzig during the Leipzig Book Fair and on March 22-23 in Berlin.

Everyone Makes Art Their Own Way is a book that is fun to look at and fun to read. But I am convinced that it also harbors a lot of ideas on how to create and talk about art with children. By being present at the fair as an author, I can provide children with the experience of creating art, as well as offer ideas to teachers and the fair audience on how to use the book independently“, Sillaste adds.

Sillaste will introduce her book in the Leipzig Book Fair and Pablo Neruda Elementary School on March 21st. She will also speak in Berlin and appear on March 22nd in the OstPost bookstore and on March 23rd in the Krumulus bookstore that was voted the best bookstore in Germany in 2018. Book lovers can also participate in Sillaste’s workshops in both locations.

Sillaste will participate in the Leipzig Book Fair as a part of the fair program of the Estonian Publishers’ Union and the Estonian Children’s Literature Center.

Everyone Makes Art Their Own Way is the second Sillaste’s book that has been translated to German. First introduction to her work was provided to the German audience in 2017 when the book No, It Isn’t So! was published.

Sillaste’s performances in Berlin have been organized in cooperation with the publishing house Kullerkupp. The moderator of the events in Leipzig and in Berlin is Carsten Wilms, the translaator and publisher of the books.

See also


Andrus Kivirähk received the Annual Children’s Literature Award

Written by Kadri Naanu on . Posted in News, News of Centre

The Estonian Cultural Endowment announced its Annual Literary Awards on the national language day, the 14th of March. The laureate title in the children’s literature category was awarded to the beloved author Andrus Kivirähk who received the honour for his novel Tilda and the Dust Angel.

The laureate was selected by a jury named by the literature endowment. Members of the jury included children’s author Jaanus Vaiksoo (head of the jury), literary scholar Mari Niitra and the head of the Estonian Children’s Literature Center Triin Soone. The jury made their selection from children’s books published last year. Vaiksoo noted that Tilda and the Dust Angel showcased its author’s versatility and great sense of style.

Kivirähk has noted in pre-publication interviews that this book had a different origin story than the rest of his works. First he saw pictures of a rather peculiar creature made by the artist Takinada (Irina Šabarova). She was the one who approached Kivirähk and suggested that this character could provide a basis for a story or a book.

That peculiar creature became the special lead character of the book – the dust angel. For so many people dust represents just a domestic nuisance. In this book, however, it brings the topics of past, memory and remembering to the foreground. “Kivirähk compares dust to soft moss, to kittens and to a swarm of bees. Dust can dance effortlessly and float in a sun spot. Dust is something that contains memories and the past. If there was no dust, people would have no memories”, says children’s literature researcher Jaanika Palm.

Other nominees in the children’s literature category included Aino Pervik for From BonnyHead and Beyond, Priit Põhjala for Uncle Mati, Veterinarian, Anti Saar for The Pärt Series, and Kerttu Sillaste for I am an Artist.

The Annual Children’s Literature Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia 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.

Former laureates are named here.

Info about laureates in other categories can be found here.

Piret Raud at the Leipzig Book Fair on the 22nd of March

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

On the 22nd of March 2019 Piret Raud presents her new Picture Book published by Thames & Hudson at the Leipzig Book Fair. The event takes place at 11am in Kinderforum (Lesebude 1: Halle 2, Stand 410/G411).  

One morning, the Ear wakes up. Something is completely out of the ordinary: she’s all alone. Where is the head on whom she’s lived her entire life? How should she carry on? The world is so big and I’m so alone, she mourns, confused and utterly headless! What good is an ear without a head? she sobs. Without a head, I’m no one! But then, the Ear hears a croak. Is it someone who might need her?

Piret Raud’s picture book The Ear is inspired by the life of Vincent van Gogh.

Piret Raud (1971) is the most successful contemporary Estonian children’s writer and illustrator. She graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts in graphic arts, and initially set off on the same path. After trying her hand at writing, Raud has since become the most renowned and widely-translated children’s author in Estonia. She has written 18 titles (six of which were commissioned by Japanese, French, and British publishers), has been translated into 13 different languages, and has illustrated more than 50 titles. Her writing has received spectacular recognition both at home and abroad. She was included on the 2012 IBBY Honour List as writer and in 2018 as illustrator, in the 2010 and 2013 White Ravens catalogue, and was awarded the Estonian Order of the White Star, IV Class in 2016.

See also:
The Ear (Thames & Hudson)
Leipzig Book Fair 

Poet Contra will visit the UK this March

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

The beloved poet Contra will introduce his newly translated children’s poetry collection Everyone’s the Smartest to the audience in the UK at the end of March. The book was published in English by The Emma Press.

The Author will introduce his book on the 23rd of March during the Bournville BookFest, which is a book festival dedicated to children’s literature. The performance will be bilingual and his poems will be recited both in English and in Estonian. On March 24th Contra will also visit the Estonian School Keelekindlus and on March 25th and 26th he will meet the students of Anglesey Primary School and Somerville Primary School. Additionally, the author will perform in the Burton Library and in the Macdonald Burlington Hotel.

Everyone’s the Smartest is the first book by Contra that has been translated into a foreign language. The poems were translated into English by Charlotte Geater, Kätlin Kaldmaa and Richard O’Brien. Illustrations are made by Ulla Saar. In 2020 the book will also be published by the Latvian publishing house Liels Un Mazs.

Contra’s performances in the UK are supported by the Estonian Cultural Endowment.

Photo: Dmitri Kotjuh