Kristiina Kass

Children’s stories


Kristiina Kass (born 14 May 1970) is a children’s writer, illustrator and translator.

She was born in Tartu as the daughter of the humourist Kalju Kass and the children’s writer Asta Kass. She attended school in Tallinn and studied Finnish language and culture at the University of Helsinki (master’s degree from 2020). From the early 1990s, she has lived in Finland. Kristiina Kass has been a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union from 2008.

Kass’ first story for children appeared in the Finnish newspaper Hyvinkään Sanomat in 1999, which marks the beginning of her weekly writing of children’s stories. The greater part of the stories published in the Estonian children’s magazines Täheke and Hea Laps have also originally appeared in the Finnish press and been translated into Estonian by the author herself. She has illustrated her own and other authors’ books.

Her first book for children, Kasper ja viis tarka kassi (‘Kasper and Five Clever Cats’, 2005) received the third prize at Minu esimene raamat (‘My First Book’) children’s stories competition arranged by the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre, the Täheke magazine and Tänapäev Publishers in 2004 and in 2006 the literature award of the Estonian Railways and the newspaper Sirp. The gripping story with fairy-tale elements about the only child Kasper, who moves to a new home and his great-aunt Amaalia and her cats expresses timeless values and truths of life. The theme of Samueli võlupadi (‘Samuel’s Magic Pillow’ 2006) is the seamy side of the present-day world and shortcomings in the family and society. A fantastic turn in the plot is brought about by the magic pillow under which you can put a book which will be memorised during the night. In 2005, the book received the first prize at Minu esimene raamat competition and, in 2008, the third place in the category of writers at Nukits competition organised by the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre. At the same competition in 2012, Peeter ja mina (‘Peeter and Me’, 2009) achieved the third place and Nõianeiu Nöbinina (‘Snub-nosed Witch Girl’, 2010) the first place. Estonian Television produced a serial based on the latter in 2011. In 2015, a sequel to the book was published – Nõianeiu Nöbinina ja korstnapühkija (‘Snub-nosed Witch Girl and Chimneysweep’).

Kristiina Kass stands out as a good narrator whose stories are often centred on present-day children. An essential place in them belongs to the fairy-tale and fantasy component. For example, her fantasy stories have been collected into Õpetaja Kusti kummitab ja teisi jutte (‘Haunting Teacher Kusti and Other Stories’, 2012) which, along with the adventures of Sandman Mati and her sister Awakener Kati, includes animal stories and stories based on classical fairy tales. The book achieved the second place in the category of writers at the Nukits competition in 2014.

In 2008 she received the Estonian Cultural Endowment Scholarship Ela ja sära (‘Live and Shine’).

A. K. (Translated by I. A.)


Books in Estonian

Books for children
Kasper ja viis tarka kassi. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2005, 87 lk. [järgmised trükid: 2011, 2015, 2018]
Käru-Kaarel. Tallinn: Tiritamm, 2006, 69 lk [järgmised trükid: 2011, 2017]
Samueli võlupadi. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2006, 169 lk [järgmised trükid: 2009, 2012, 2015]
Petra lood. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2008, 123 lk [2. trükk: 2013]
Peeter ja mina. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2009, 117 lk
Nõianeiu Nöbinina. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2010, 93 lk [2. trükk: 2020]
Õpetaja Kusti kummitab ja teisi jutte. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2012, 144 lk [2. trükk: 2021]
Unelinnu pesa. Tallinn: Päike ja Pilv, 2013, 24 lk
Elle ja Kalle koduvideo. Tallinn: Päike ja Pilv, 2014, 25 lk
Sandri mikroskoop. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2014, 43 lk
Nõianeiu Nöbinina ja korstnapühkija. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2015, 158 lk
Lõvi Leo. Tallinnn: Tänapäev, 2018, 127 lk [2. trükk: 2022]