Edgar Valter

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21/09/1929 - 04/03/2006

Edgar Valter (1929–2006) was a graphic artist, illustrator, caricaturist, and children’s writer. He illustrated more than 250 children’s books, including masterpieces of Estonian literature authored by Eno Raud, Ellen Niit, and Aino Pervik. He himself wrote 15 works, the most popular of which are The Poku Book and its sequels. Valter’s writing stands out for its sincerity, warmth, and unusual sense of humour. He crafted stories and characters that have since become household names throughout Estonia. Nestled in the southeast of the country is even a nature-inspired Poku theme park – Pokuland. The Estonian Children’s Literature Centre in Tallinn also has a gallery dedicated to Valter’s illustrations.

The Poku Book
At first glance, the creatures named the Pokus look like tufted sedges. They live their lives discreetly, are friendly and inquisitive, but are terrified of human beings. The artist and children’s author Edgar Valter was one of the few lucky people to have ever gained their trust. His Poku Book tells about the Poku people, and details the life and times of the good-natured old Uncle Puuko at his cabin deep in the woods.
Reading sample


The Poku Book

As a writer:

2006 Nukits Competition, 2nd place (Poku Stories)
2002 The Eerik Kumari Nature Conservation Award
2001 Order of the White Star, III Class
2001 The Estonian National Culture Foundation’s award for lifetime achievement
2000 Nukits Competition, 2nd place (The Brushtails)
1996 Albu Parish’s A. T. Tammsaare Award for Literature, special prize (The Poku Book)
1996 Nukits Competition, 1st place for writing and illustrations (The Poku Book)
1995 Annual Children’s Literature Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia (The Poku Book)

Metsa pühapäev
Russian: Лесной воскресник, Таллинн: Издательство КПД 2019

Poku Stories
Lithuanian: Puokių istorijos, Vilnius: Nieko rimto 2014
Udmurt: Пукейлэн мадёсъёсыз, Ижевск: Удмуртия 2010

Pussycat and Little Owl
Latvian: Kaķītis un Ūpītis, Rīga: Zvaigzne ABC 2019

The Poku Book
Latvian: Poķu grāmata,  Rīga: Zvaigzne ABC 2019
Udmurt: Покъёс сярысь лыдзет, Ижевск: Удмуртия 2010
Lithuanian: Puokiai, Vilnius: Nieko rimto 2008
Russian: Поки, 1995 (Таллинн); 2014 (Москва)

The Poku Book + Poku Stories
Russian: Поки и все-все-все, Москва: РОСМЭН 2016

Selected works (ilustrated by the author, if not written otherwise):

Pokulood (Poku Stories), Elmatar, 2004, 2009
Pokuaabits (The Poku ABC), Elmatar, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2009
Kuidas õppida vaatama? (How Can You Learn to See?), Elmatar, 2000, 2010
Pintselsabad (The Brushtails), Elmatar, 1998, 2006
Lugu lahkest lohe Justusest ja printsess Miniminnist (The Story of the Nice Dragon Iustus and the Princess Minimin), Sinisukk, 1995; Ajakirjade Kirjastus, 2013
Pokuraamat (The Poku Book), Ulvi Postkaart, 1994, 1995; Elmatar, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2009