Today, on 26 October, during a visit to Viljandi County, Minister of Culture Indrek Saar hands over the first baby books entitled “Pisike Puu”, which are meant as gifts to babies born in Estonia in 2015 and onwards. The gift book that aims to support children’s interest in reading and value Estonian children’s literature reaches its new owners all over Estonia from October in cooperation with local governments and libraries. The gift book has been compiled by the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre, and financed by the Ministry of Culture.
“It is important for Estonia that children read books and also that their parents read to them. To have beautiful children’s books written by our own talented writers and illustrated by our outstanding artists. We would like this beautiful book to symbolise the deep bow the Government takes before every child who is born in the Republic of Estonia,” Minister of Culture Indrek Saar said.
“The book “Pisike puu” with its title derived from the poem of the same name by poet Ott Arder and also included in the book, contains poems and stories selected from the creation of renowned and beloved authors of children’s literature. It includes old stories that many generations have grown up with and become very keen on, but also brand new tales, as well as some fairy tales and poems for children that are linked together by the wonderful illustrations of artist Catherine Zarip. This collection turned out to be exactly so varied that it would address every person engaged in the activities related to this book – the one who is reading the book to a child, the little one who listens to the book reader, and also every young reader,” Director of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre Triin Soone described the brand new gift book for children. “There is hardly a toddler, who does not enjoy looking at books or listening to stories and poems. Similarly to any other playful activity, it is just another form of play - a natural part of the daily life of a child and a basis for his or her development. A book is as important a toy to a child as any other plaything. Our role, as adults, is to introduce books to the children’s life and let them feel the joy of reading,” Soone added.
The handover of the book “Pisike puu” is combined with festive traditional events organised by Estonian local governments ato welcome the new-borns and congratulate new parents. The parents of children born in 2015 who have not received their book yet, and who are unable to participate in the festive event, have the option of turning to their local library in order to collect their child’s gift.
The first books will be ceremonially awarded as a part of the visit of Minister of Culture Indrek Saar to Viljandi County, in cooperation with the City of Viljandi, in Viljandi Traditional Music Centre on 26 October at 14:00, at the invitational monthly recognition event for babies and their parents. The event is also attended by Literary Adviser to the Ministry of Culture Asta Trummel and Director of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre Triin Soone.
The tradition of awarding gift books to babies was initiated by the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre in 2007 – the first gift book was entitled “Minu esimene raamat”. In 2008, 2009, and 2012, the baby book was entitled “Las laps loeb”, compiled by Heiki Vilep and published by Kultuurileht SA. From 2015 onwards, the gift book is once again compiled and published by the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre. The project is financed by the Ministry of Culture.
Ministry of Culture
+372 55 68 9644