Olivia Saar

Poems Olivia Saar

Short stories


Olivia Saar (until 1954 Olivia Valdmaa, b. 18. X 1931) is a children’s author and poet.

Olivia Saar was born in Narva. Her childhood home was at Mäetaguse in Virumaa county, where her parents were farmers. Saar attended Mäetaguse primary school and Rakvere Pedagogical School, graduated in 1952 from Tallinn Teachers’ Institute and in 1959 from the Tallinn Pedagogical Institute, specialising in Estonian language and literature.

From 1952 to 1955 Saar worked in the editorial office of the children’s newspaper Säde, and from 1955 to 1987 on the children’s magazine Pioneer. From 1992 to 2006 she worked in the registry of the Tallinn children’s hospital. From 2006 to 2011, working as senior consultant on children’s literature for TEA publishers, Saar initiated several successful series of children’s books, and compiled and edited several collections. Since 1982 she has belonged to the Estonian Writers’ Union. Olivia Saar was married to the writer Juhan Saar (1929 – 2007).

Olivia Saar began her poetry career with rhythmic, joyful-sounding verses about children and animals. By her own acknowledgement, she became a children’s author thanks to her work with children’s periodicals. Her first poetry collection was Tere, tere tedretähnid (‘Hello, Hello, Freckles’, 1966). Since then she has published about thirty children’s poetry collections. The lyrical tone and the depth have increased over the years. Saar’s poems are abundantly inspired by children and have simple rhyme and rhythm schemes. She has won recognition for her lively poems about nature and the home.

The best known and loved of Olivia Saar’s prose books for children is the humorous collection of allegorical stories Lõvi Lõrr ja jänes Jass (‘Lõrr the Lion and Jass the Hare’, 1972), of which there have been several expanded reprints and a television production. In 1981 Olivia Saar produced a collection of lyrical short pieces of reminiscence, Mängitud mängud (‘The Games That Were Played’), and in 1993 a compilation of children’s stories and poems, Maasikamaiad (‘Crazy About Strawberries’).

Saar has produced two books of memoirs for adults, Humalapuu (‘The Hop Tree’, 2005) and Kanarbikukartus (‘Fear of Heather’, 2010) as well as a collection of aphorisms in verse and prose, Hetked endas (‘Moments to Oneself’, 2016).

In 1988 a selection of Olivia Saar’s poetry, Tuulelillede tuba (‘A Room of Wind-flowers’), was awarded the Karl Eduard Sööt prize for children’s poetry. In 2017 she was awarded the Order of the White Star, class V.

L. P. (Translated by C. M.)

Books in Estonian

Tere, tere, tedretähnid. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1966. 47 lk.
Kure sukad. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1968. 35 lk.
Pesukaru pesupäev. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1969. 32 lk.
Suveajal metsarajal. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1970. 24 lk.
Varsakabjad. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1970. 20 lk.
Päike jookseb kaasa. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1971. 32 lk.
Mis värvi on kodu. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1975. 37 lk.
Pisikesed pildid. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1979. 37 lk.
Laulvad liivad. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1985. 49 lk.
Naerulohkudega maailm. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1986. 31 lk.
Tuulelillede tuba: valikkogu. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1988. 93 lk.
Peegeldused. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1989. 96 lk.
Nööbilugejad. Tallinn: Kärp, 1991. 44 lk.
Kui kuivab kaev. Tallinn: Gramma, 1994. 30 lk.
Igal puul on elujooned. Tallinn: Ilo, 2001. 31 lk.
Kuldne kuljus loogapuul: valikkogu. Tallinn: TEA Kirjastus, 2007. 41 lk.
Vihmavarjude vikerkaar: valikkogu. Tallinn: TEA Kirjastus, 2007. 59 lk.
Karuselli karussell. Tallinn: Tammerraamat, 2013. 43 lk.
Täpi Triinu. Tallinn: Koolibri, 2013. 30 lk.
Pika suka päkapikk: jõulu- ja talveluuletusi. Tallinn: Koolibri, 2015. 46 lk.
Päike süles: luulet lastele 1966–2012. Tallinn: Tammerraamat, 2016. 203 lk.
Tähed on taevatuled. Tallinn: Tammerraamat, 2019. 24 lk.
Pääsuke ja päike. Saue: Päike ja Pilv, 2020. 32 lk.

Children’s stories
Lõvi Lõrr ja jänes Jass. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1972. 31 lk.
Mängitud mängud. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1981. 32 lk.
Maasikamaiad. Luuletused ja jutud. Tallinn: Oktoober, 1993. 30 lk.
Klaasikillumäng. Lühijutud ja luuletused. Tallinn: Ilo, 2001. 55 lk.
Lõvi Lõrr ja Jänes Jass: vanad ja uued lood. Tallinn: TEA Kirjastus, 2008. 47 lk.
Lõvi Lõrr ja Jänes Jass seiklevad jälle. Tallinn: TEA Kirjastus, 2011. 55 lk.
Robi. Tallinn: TEA Kirjastus, 2012. 35 lk.
Hiirepoiss Krips ja rotipoiss Kraps. Tallinn: TEA Kirjastus, 2013. 32 lk.
Lõvi Lõrri ja Jänes Jassi seiklused: kõik vanad ja uued lood. Tallinn: TEA Kirjastus, 2013. 92 lk.
Hilpharakas. Tänased muinaslood. Tallinn: Koolibri, 2014. 26 lk.
Edev nina. Luuletused ja jutud. Tartu: Petrone Print, 2016. 96 lk.
Kippu ega kõppu. Tallinn: Pegasus, 2017. 30 lk.

Short prose
Hetked endas. Mõttemõlgutusi ilmast, inimestest, iseendast aastatel 1990–2015. Tallinn: Ajakirjade Kirjastus, 2016. 167 lk.

Humalapuu. Tallinn: Canopus, 2005. 176 lk.