Tiia Toomet

Short stories Tiia Toomet

About Tiia Toomet


Tiia Toomet is an Estonian children’s writer, poet and prose writer.

She was born in Tallinn on 9 February 1947. In 1965 she finished Tallinn Secondary School No. 7; in 1970 she graduated from the Faculty of History and Philology at Tartu State University as a historian, and in 1978 from the Estonian State Art Institute having specialised in textile art.

From 1970–1973 she worked as a specialist of academic affairs at the art studio and from 1982–1983 as a home-making class instructor at Tartu State University. Thereafter she was a freelance writer for about a decade and from 1994–2007 one of the founders of the Tartu Toy Museum and its director. Tiia Toomet became a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union in 1985. In 1969 she married the writer Jaan Kaplinski. They have three sons and a daughter.

Tiia Toomet’s first short story (Simmo) appeared in the magazine Noorus in 1965. Since the mid-1970s she has published a number of children’s books many of which have also attracted attention outside Estonia.

Toomet has drawn inspiration from history, and her creation is aimed at recalling the memories of the past. Without excessive glorification, she creates a heartfelt picture of bygone times and old things and brings them closer to the present-day child. Her books, particularly those recalling the life and work in the old times, are in the list of books recommended for schoolchildren. As a valued expert, Toomet wrote one of the first history textbooks published after the restoration of Estonia’s independence – Me elame ajaloos: Eesti ajaloo õpik 5. klassile (‘We Live in History: Textbook of Estonian History for Form 5’, 1993).

Along with children’s literature, Toomet has published poetry collections where everyday life is intertwined with eternal affairs and highly appreciated collections of stories for adults.

Her books have been translated into Russian, English, Dutch and Arabic.

In 1996 Toomet’s book Kaltsutitt and puuhobune (‘Rag Doll and Wooden Horse’) received the Literature Endowment Annual Award, in 1997 the collection of stories Isamaa suvi (‘Patriotic Summer’) the Virumaa Literary Prize. In 2004 she was awarded the Tartu medal and in 2005 the Order of the White Star, 4th Class. In 2007 she received the Folk Culture Endowment Annual Award for establishing the Tartu Toy Museum. In 2012, based on a web questionnaire, Toomet was elected one of the three citizens of Tartu whose footprints were added to the Tartu Pioneers’ Alley, and in 2016 she became an honorary citizen of Tartu and bearer of the Big Star of Tartu.

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

Books in Estonian

Argipäeva õhtu. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1987, 82 lk.
Vaba valik. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1991, 55 lk.

Short stories
Isamaa suvi. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 1997, 166 lk.
Maailma keskpunkt. Tallinn: Tammerraamat, 2018, 326 lk.

Children’s literature
Jaan Kaplinski, Tiia Toomet, Kuhu need värvid jäävad.
Illustreerinud Edgar Valter. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1975, 40 lk.
Värviline kosmoselugu. Tallinn: Kunst, 1979, 28 lk.
Kuidas panna nööpe. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1979, 48 lk.
Vana aja lood. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1983, 40 lk.
Ahvipoeg, kes ei tahtnud areneda. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1984, 20 lk.
Lapikirja ja lastekirja. Tallinn: Kunst, 1984, 22 lk [inglise ja saksa keeles, 1987, hollandi keeles 1989].
Kodused asjad. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1987, 56 lk.
Karjakuninga mängud. Tallinn: ERKI, 1989, 16 lk; Karrup, 2016, 20 lk.
Kaur, kõige noorem vanem vend. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1991, 63 lk.
Kaltsutitt ja puuhobune. Tallinn: Koolibri, 1996, 110 lk.
Nukuraamat. Tallinn: Kunst, 1997, 80 lk.
Vana aja koolilood.
Illustreerinud Jaan Tammsaar. Tallinn: Varrak, 2001, 64 lk. [2. trükk: 2018].
Kus on kodu?. Tallinn: TEA, 2007, 38 lk [2. trükk 2013, 3. trükk 2016].
Kõige paremad asjad. Tallinn: TEA, 2007, 56 lk.
Supersünnipäev. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2007, 116 lk.
Lugemistund. Tallinn: TEA, 2008, 136 lk.
Karu Lillekäpa kevadüllatused. Tallinn: Karrup, 2008, 8 lk.
Karu Lillekäpa suvejuhtumised. Tallinn: Karrup 2008, 8 lk.
Karu Lillekäpa sügissajud. Tallinn: Karrup 2008, 8 lk.
Karu Lillekäpa talverõõmud. Tallinn: Karrup 2008, 8 lk.
Suur karuraamat. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2009, 205 lk.
Karu Lillekäpa töö-ööd. Tallinn: TEA, 2010, 70 lk.
Mänguasjad jutustavad. 20. sajandi Eesti mänguasjade lood Tallinn: Tammerraamat, 2010, 255 lk.
Minu kodu on Eestimaa. Tallinn: Tammerraamat, 2014, 143 lk.
Mailill ja ülane. Tallinn: Tammerraamat, 2015, 56 lk.
Vingus näoga klouni pihtimus. Tartu: Petrone Print, 2017, 96 lk.
Mamma, papa ja nende lapsed. Tallinn: Varrak, 2018, 96 lk.

School textbook
Me elame ajaloos. Eesti ajaloo õpik 5. klassile Tallinn: Koolibri, 1993, 272 lk.