Andres Jaaksoo (b. 12. V 1945) is a Estonian children’s writer and specialist in children’s literature. He has arranged the publication of Estonian and other nations’ children’s literature, translated and interpreted many children’s authors and written about the history of children’s literature. The most influential part of his work belongs to the Soviet period.
Jaaksoo was born in the village of Väika-Kareda in Koigi parish, Järvamaa county, the son of a driver. From 1959 to 1963 he attended Paide secondary school, and from 1963 to 1965 studied Estonian philology at Tartu State University. There followed three years in the Soviet army. In 1959, as a school pupil, he established the inter-school almanac Noorte Looming ('Young Creation'). From 1969 he worked in the editorial offices of children’s and young people’s magazines and in posts at Estonian publishing houses dealing in children’s literature. From 1991 to 1994 he was the director of the Tiritamm publishing house. Jaaksoo was a member of the jury of the international Hans Christian Andersen prize in 1992 and 1996.
One of Jaaksoo’s most significant literary works has been the compilation of the 14-volume anthology of Estonian children’s literature (1997-2004). Children’s books that have appeared with Andres Jaaksoo’s participation, especially the series of fairy tales initiated by him, Saja rahva lood ('Stories of a Hundred Nations', published 1973-1992, some volumes 2006-2007), have aroused an interest in getting involved with literature for many young Estonians.
L. P. (Translated by C. M.)
Books in Estonian
Kes on kes ja mis on mis eesti lastekirjanduses. Tallinn: Eesti raamat, 1987, 397 lk.
Eestikeelne lastekirjandus. 1. Ilukirjandus 1940–1987. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1989, 562 lk.
Jukagiiri muinasjutte. Lastele jutustanud Andres Jaaksoo. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1978, 25 lk. [Sari 'Saja rahva lood'.]
Viimane päev, esimene päev. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1980, 94 lk.