The Swamp Ladies of Estonia

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Jüri Arrak, Panga-Rehe Jutud, 1975, coverPutting together this post of Estonian children’s books, I found myself squirming with delight and confusion. I hope something similar happens to you when scrolling through it!

Click for larger images.

Jüri Arrak, Panga-Rehe Jutud, 1975, cover
Jüri Arrak, Panga-Rehe Jutud, 1975, cover

Jüri Arrak, Panga-Rehe Jutud, 1975
Jüri Arrak, Panga-Rehe Jutud, 1975

Jüri Arrak, Panga-Rehe Jutud, 1975
Jüri Arrak, Panga-Rehe Jutud, 1975

Jüri Arrak, Panga-Rehe Jutud, 1975
Jüri Arrak, Panga-Rehe Jutud, 1975

Jüri Arrak, Panga-Rehe Jutud, 1975
Jüri Arrak, Panga-Rehe Jutud, 1975

Jüri Arrak, Panga-Rehe Jutud, 1975
Jüri Arrak, Panga-Rehe Jutud, 1975

Jüri Arrak, Suur Toll, 1982
Jüri Arrak, Suur Toll, 1982
based on Toell the Great

Jüri Arrak, Suur Toll, 1982
Jüri Arrak, Suur Toll, 1982

Jüri Arrak, Suur Toll, 1982
Jüri Arrak, Suur Toll, 1982 (spread)

Jüri Arrak, Suur Toll, 1982
Jüri Arrak, Suur Toll, 1982 (title page)

Jüri Arrak, Suur Toll, 1982
Jüri Arrak, Suur Toll, 1982 (spread)

Jüri Arrak, Suur Toll, 1982
Jüri Arrak, Suur Toll, 1982

Jüri Arrak, Suur Toll, 1982, cover
Jüri Arrak, Suur Toll, 1982, cover

Jüri Arrak, Retoromaani muinasjutte
Jüri Arrak, Retoromaani muinasjutte

Jüri Arrak, Retoromaani muinasjutte
Jüri Arrak, Retoromaani muinasjutte

Jüri Arrak, Retoromaani muinasjutte
Jüri Arrak, Retoromaani muinasjutte

Jüri Arrak, Kalevipoja mälestused, 1982
Jüri Arrak, Kalevipoja mälestused, 1982

V. Jarmut (Yarmut), illus. for Timbu Limbu (1979) by Kaliju Kangur (1925-89), front and back cover
V. Jarmut (Yarmut), illus. for Timbu Limbu by Kaliju Kangur, 1979, front and back cover

V. Jarmut (Yarmut), illus. for Timbu Limbu (1979) by Kaliju Kangur (1925-89) 20
V. Jarmut (Yarmut), illus. for Timbu Limbu by Kaliju Kangur, 1979

V. Jarmut (Yarmut), illus. for Timbu Limbu (1979) by Kaliju Kangur (1925-89) 19
V. Jarmut (Yarmut), illus. for Timbu Limbu by Kaliju Kangur, 1979

V. Jarmut (Yarmut), illus. for Timbu Limbu (1979) by Kaliju Kangur (1925-89) 17
V. Jarmut (Yarmut), illus. for Timbu Limbu by Kaliju Kangur, 1979

V. Jarmut (Yarmut), illus. for Timbu Limbu (1979) by Kaliju Kangur (1925-89), back endpapers
V. Jarmut (Yarmut), illus. for Timbu Limbu by Kaliju Kangur, 1979, back endpapers

Herald Eelma, illus. for Monster from the North by Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald
Herald Eelma, illus. for Monster from the North by Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald

Herald Eelma, illus. for Monster from the North by Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald
Herald Eelma, illus. for Monster from the North by Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald

Herald Eelma, illus. for Monster from the North by Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald
Herald Eelma, illus. for Monster from the North by Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald

Herald Eelma, illus. for Monster from the North by Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald
Herald Eelma, illus. for Monster from the North by Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald

Herald Eelma, illus. for Monster from the North by Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald
Herald Eelma, illus. for Monster from the North by Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald

Peter Ulas, illus. for Old Estonian Fairy Tales, 1981
Peter Ulas, illus. for Old Estonian Fairy Tales, 1981

This one was actually published in English in 1985. I found a copy without too much trouble.

Peter Ulas, illus. for Old Estonian Fairy Tales, 1981
Peter Ulas, illus. for Old Estonian Fairy Tales, 1981

Peter Ulas, illus. for Old Estonian Fairy Tales, 1981
Peter Ulas, illus. for Old Estonian Fairy Tales, 1981

I would like to thank the two people directly responsible for this post: Denis Kostromitin (you might remember his Orchid Garden bookplate) and Anja of Happy-to-be.

Denis and Anja turned me on to Juri Arrak almost on the same day.

About two of the other books, Anja wrote: “I used to have Timbu Limbu and Monster from the North when I was little and I remember how they used to impress my imagination. They still do.” You can see more from these books at the livejournals of huapatossu and kozzza2004.

See more Arrak here, here, and here.

Previously:

Indoslovakia
Josef Lada
Mummy was a robot, daddy was a small, non-stick kitchen utensil
–The Wonderful Wizards of Lodz: Kids’ Books from Poland, part 1
–Eskimo Grasshoppers: French Children’s Books of the 30s and 40s


Will Schofield is the editor of 50 Watts (original name: A Journey Round My Skull) and Writers No One Reads. More from this author →