Priit Põhjala

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Priit Põhjala (1982) is a semiotician, editor, publisher, and children’s writer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in semiotics and a doctoral degree in culturology from the University of Tartu. Currently, Põhjala works as an editor at the Tänapäev publishing house and writes linguistics-themed columns for the Estonian teachers’ newspaper Õpetajate Leht. He has written two children’s books that are characterised by warm humour and a fluid style. Positive reception by the author’s young audience has secured him success in the Nukits Competition.

Mr. Mati, Veterinarian
The fantastic Mr. Mati works as a zoo veterinarian. Unfortunately, his workday is too short to fully accommodate his love for animals and his job, so he has no other choice but to sometimes take work home with him. As such, Mr. Mati shares his home with bats, capybaras, raccoons, and Indian cobras, not to mention elephants and a Przewalski’s horse.
Reading sample
My Grandpa is a Cat Burglar!
Karl Priidu is a chipper schoolboy who lives with his spirited parents in a little four-apartment building near the city center. Their neighbors include Uncle Endel – a former sailor who tells the boy swashbuckling tales – and old Mrs. Helm, whose favorite activity is quarreling with the other residents. Living upstairs, right above their apartment, is the boy’s favorite aunt – Aunt Maria, with whom the boy loves to talk about the world, listen to jazz, and dance.
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2019 Tartu Prize for Children’s Literature (Childhood Prize) nominee (Mr. Mati, Veterinarian)
2018 Annual Children’s Literature Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia nominee (Mr. Mati, Veterinarian)
2018 Nukits Competition, 3rd place (My Grandpa is a Cat Burglar!)
2016 Annual Children’s Literature Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia nominee (My Grandpa is a Cat Burglar!)

Onu Mati, loomaarst (Mr. Mati, Veterinarian), Tänapäev 2018, illustrated by Anni Mäger, 108 pp
Mu vanaisa on murdvaras! (My Grandpa is a Cat Burglar!), Tänapäev 2016, illustrated by Hillar Mets, 125 pp