Estonian children’s literature

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Children’s literature is fiction written by adults for children. Children’s reading material can naturally contain other texts as well, but this does not ...
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  • Fairy tale is the foundation of (Estonian) children’s literature

    The ancient and mighty source of Estonian literature, which still provides material, is oral heritage – folk songs, fairy tales, puzzles, proverbs, merry tales – in which ...
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  • First steps of Estonian children’s literature in the 18th and 19th centuries

    Estonian children’s literature emerged in the mid-19th century, in the form of stories for children with religious, moralising and didactic content. This was considered ...
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  • Rapid development of children’s literature

    The early 20th century introduced new ideas to Estonian children’s literature. The first Estonian-language magazine for children, Lasteleht (“Children’s Gazette”), appeared in 1901 ...
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  • The first golden era of Estonian children’s literature

    The independent Republic of Estonia (1918-1940) encouraged the development of a national culture. The precondition of intellectual advancement was a rising standard of education and ...
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  • Weapon and tool

    The Soviet occupations (1940-41 and 1944-91) touched all fields of life, and children’s literature was no exception. It was heavily censored, as it was ...
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  • Back to childish mentality

    By the early 1950s, Soviet literature had reached a dead end. The gulf between real life and what passed for realism in literature was enormous ...
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  • New quality

    The early 1960s saw a new quality introduced to children’s writing. In 1959, Vladimir Beekmann published Aatomik (“Little Atom”), with nuclear energy depicted as ...
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  • Thematic expansion in the 1980s

    Children’s literature of the 1980s is characterised by thematic expansion: an attempt to tackle various aspects of life, a yearning for the past and ...
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  • Children’s literature amid the turmoil of social change

    The regaining of independence in the early 1990s saw rapid development and radical changes in every field of life, including children’s literature. It was ...
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  • Children’s literature amid the turmoil of social change (part II)

    To make everything look more contemporary in the 1990s, fairy tales were supplemented with a spirit of enterprise (such as the rabbit’s hairdresser in ...
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  • Children’s literature in the 21st century

    Children’s literature in the current century has been characterised by a surprisingly large number of newcomers, whether young beginners or middle-aged authors who are ...
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