kus mul patarei! how estonian dolls fled to latvia

  • author: Sanita Reinsone
  • illustrator: Kristīne Jurjāne

isbn: 978-9934-533-79-2

size: 16,5 x 21 cm

quantity: 109 pages

year: 2016

price: 10.00 €

The work of the folklore researcher Sanita Reinsone has arisen from author’s conversations with her kids spending summers in the North of Latvia close to the boarder of Estonia and from time to time visiting the neighbouring  country. The book is written as a tale where reality is interpreted in a fairy tale like manner freely combining knowledge and imagination. Estonia and also Latvia where many events of the plot take place are lands where the worlds of dolls and humans exist alongside. Describing Estonia as a “land of dolls” the author introduces children to the regions, language and traditions of Estonia.

Only the kids and animals can see that the dolls are alive. They move and talk but at the presence of adults they pretend to be lifeless objects. The narrative expresses an epic happening: Estonian “ordinary dolls”- various traditional toys - have unbearably taken offence because the kids have gone in for “the special ones” – modern wonders powered by batteries. The dolls decide to flee away from Estonia to Latvia. Tīmo-Nīmo – a knitted doll wearing a traditional Estonian costume – encourages the rest with an emotive slogan “Kus mul patarei!” – “Look, here are the batteries!” Thousands of Estonian dolls are heading for Latvia along various paths.

The author chooses a few brilliant characters who become the main heroes of the tale. When creating the illustrations the artist Kristīne Jurjāne has invited to “pose” many interesting toys belonging to her friends and relatives.

The children listen to dolls’ furious anger against “the specials”, but when suddenly an old Barbie appears and dances with a robot who has run out of power, it turns out that “the specials” can be as free as “the ordinary ones” if they are not powered by mechanisms or stereotypes but by children’s imagination.