Piret Raud is one of the leading children's book authors and illustrators in Estonia, having illustrated over 40 books and written 16. She is the daughter of Aino Pervik and Eno Raud, also two of Estonia's most beloved children's authors, and whose works are featured in the Estonian Children's Literature Center in Tallinn, which hosts some 150 children a day who take part in workshops, browse the library enjoy the playful atmosphere.
Raud is the most visible member of a robust Estonian children's publishing industry, which releases over 750 titles annually. Among the best-known writers and illustrators are Andrus Kivirähk, Kairi Look, Kristi Kangilaski, Kadri Hinrikus, Juhani Püttsepp, and Anti Saar. "This is a good, good time for children's publishing in Estonia, and a good time for foreign publishers to discover new work," says Raud, whose own work has been translated into 12 languages and is beloved by children in Scandinavia and France.
English-language audiences will soon be introduced to Raud's work firsthand, when Thames & Hudson publishers her new book, The Ear, later this year. "It is about what happens to van Gogh's famous appendage," says Raud. "No, it doesn't make sense that an ear has its own life, but in my imagination it does. I write what can best be described as slightly silly stories, and this is one of those. Perhaps it is even sillier because I wrote it in English."