The Gothamites, an iconic Estonian children’s book, is published in English

The Gothamites, a book by the most celebrated Estonian children’s author, Eno Raud, is now translated and available in English; the release date is 11 July 2019.

The beloved children’s book, The Gothamites, tells the story about people who decide to become stupid. Ironically, the Gothamites start out really smart – people from far and wide come to seek their counsel. But they grow tired of always solving other peoples’ problems.

As a remedy, they decide to renounce their smartness. However, they don’t just become “regular smart” but go to another extreme and turn hilariously unwise.

The Gothamites was illustrated by an acclaimed Estonian cartoonist and animator, Priit Pärn.

Eno Raud’s beloved characters and Priit Pärn’s colourful illustrations have entertained generations of Estonian children. The book tells funny stories on how the Gothamites build a village hall and are aiming to capture light or growing salt.

A high-quality book

The publishing house made an effort to produce a high-quality book – the English version is published in hardback and with a fabric spine.

The format is actually larger than the Estonian original. The larger format allows the illustrations to appear in their full glory as well as permit larger font. The whole impression is impressive and eye-catching.

The book has 14 full page prints as well as illustrated end papers. Also, the English print of the book uses clever little gimmicks like upside down page numbers.

The Gothamites English translation
The Estonian and English version of The Gothamites side-by-side.

Even further, the book is done in Smyth Sewn binding that should make more durable and altogether have better quality. With reasonable use, the book should be able to stand up to years of wear and tear.

One of the most loved Estonian children’s authors

Eno Raud (1928-1996) was – and possibly still is – one of the best-known Estonian children’s authors. Over decades he published over 50 children’s books and was awarded the Estonian Children’s Literature Annual Prize twice.

Eno Raud. Picture courtesy of Estonian Film Institute.

His stories were the cornerstone of children’s books through the era of the Soviet-occupied Estonia. However, the books are still read with great pleasure by new generations – as well as with considerable nostalgy by their parents.

The translation was done by Adam Cullen, who is originally from Minnesota, the US, but now lives in Estonia. He has translated Estonian prose, drama and poetry – most notable works being Mihkel Mutt (The Cavemen Chronicle), Rein Raud (The Brother), Kai Aareleid (Burning Cities), and Tõnu Õnnepalu (Radio).

Priit Pärn is an acclaimed Estonian cartoonist and animator. Pärn has received many awards for his animated films, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Animated Film Association (2002) and the Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Festival of Animated Film (2008).

The hardcover book is now available to order from Amazon and BookDepository.

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