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The Best Designed Estonian Books Chosen

On 9th February, the most beautiful Estonian children’s books of 2016 were announced at the National Library of Estonia. The jury valued mostly high quality illustrations, as well as collaborations of image and text forming a unique whole. 47 books by 26 publishers took part in the competition.

Viive Noor: “A first glance at the books entered into the contest revealed the great variety of styles among children’s illustrations. Some opt for a decorative approach, others aim at a more delicate and nuanced expression. There is plenty of humour and fantasy. We have many talented artists, each excelling in their unique creative style, upholding their well-established high standards, or venturing into experimentation. And there is always someone who manages to surprise. Newcomers bring in a breath of fresh air and encourage older colleagues to seek new nuances and ideas.”

The competition is organised every year by the Estonian Graphic Designers Association, the Estonian Publishers’ Association, the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre and the National Library of Estonia.


lumemeesLudwig the Snowman’s Lucky Day by Leelo Tungal. Designed and illustrated by Regina Lukk-Toompere

Very beautiful, crisp and wintry colouring, a novel approach by an established artist. Interesting play with surfaces, good focus on details. Exudes freshness and joy. A book made with a good feeling.

+ Special prize of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre:
Detailed illustrations, exciting colours. Skilled use of various techniques and vacant space. Pretty and pure, like winter snow.


The Gvanaemarandma Who Turned into a Puppy by Juhani Püttsepp. Designed and illustrated by Katrin Ehrlich

A beautiful, classic children’s book. Design and illustrations are in nice harmony. The overall impression is one of calm and balance. A book made with children in mind.




Trööömmmpffff, or Eli’s Voice by Piret Raud. Designed by Oliver Douzou, illustrated by the author

Harmonious design, excellent composition. Brilliant choice of type and colours. Well-established artist adopting a fresh and novel style, a true revelation. A perfect book, in a way.




Night Thoughts by Jonas Taul. Designed and illustrated by the author

An extremely beautifully designed black-and-white book. Distinctly fresh and attractive among books filled with colour. Pictures and design are wonderfully in tune. Delicate and sensitive. A strikingly mature and successful debut of a young artist.



Storybook by Anjuturaamatti Saar. Designed by Villu Koskaru, illustrated by Jüri Mildeberg

A solution building on unique and strong illustrations.




The Gothamiteskilplased by Eno Raud. Designed by Dan Mikkin, illustrated by Priit Pärn

New and delightful pictures by the Grand Old Man of Estonian book illustration, a true moment of surprise. Unity of form and content. Hidden subtext calls for a closer examination. Superb colouring.

+ Special prize of the Jury for illustrations.


ilustiNice by Indrek Koff. Designed and illustrated by Ulla Saar

An enchanting, funny and sweet book. A breath of fresh air, balanced design.

+ Special prize of the Estonian Graphic Designers’ Union for illustrations.