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the multi-sided seal

  • author: Leelo Tungal
  • illustrator: Mārtiņš Zutis
  • translator: Guntars Godiņš

isbn: 978-9984-820-87-3

size: 14 x 18 cm

quantity: 68 pages

year: 2014

price: 5,50 €

If you love ice-cream and chocolate-glazed curd snacks; if you love to go to the theatre: if you would like to find out what people cook in Spain and Japan; if you appreciate wit and jokes – this collection of poems is a must for you.

The multi-coloured and witty book ("Südasuvi. Tammerraamat") is aimed at preschoolers and young school children.

According to the translator Guntars Godiņš, ‘If you love ice-cream and chocolate-glazed curd snacks; if you love to go to the theatre: if you would like to find out what people cook in Spain and Japan; if you appreciate wit and jokes – this collection of poems is a must for you.’

Leelo Tungal believes that ‘poetry written for children helps preserve the colourful nuances of one’s native language. Children love rhyming and puns.’ In the Latvian translation, the Estonian word games have been transformed into Latvian ones.

Leelo Tungal’s work is defined by its optimism, liveliness and directness. There is wit and humour, unexpected situations and a preconception-free approach to the language in her poems. To quote the description by the Estonian writer Piret Raud, ‘Estonians often complain that it is very hard to write verse that rhymes, claiming that all rhymes have already been used up. And yet Leelo Tungal somehow manages to come up with rhymes that make your jaw drop.’

Many of Tungal’s poems have been set to music; it was the lyrics translated by her that helped the Latvian pop singer Lauris Reiniks become popular in Estonia.

Leelo Tungal studied Estonian philology at the Tartu University and worked at a number of schools in Estonia. The founder of the Hea Laps (Good Kid) children’s magazine, she is currently holding the post of its Editor-in-Chief. Alongside children’s literature, Leelo Tungal writes poetry for grown-ups, plays, textbooks, librettos for operas and musical theatre productions, as well as plays for the Estonian Puppet Theatre. Her childhood memories from the Soviet era were published under the title of ‘Comrade Kid’. Even when describing some of the most painful and difficult childhood moments, Tungal’s prose is filled with affectionate humour. 2012 saw Tungal visit Latvia as a guest at the Poetry Ride multilingual poetry festival.

The book was translated and published with the support of the Estonian Culture Capital Foundation and Latvian Culture Capital Foundation.