Government gifts newborns books to motivate reading
All babies born in Estonia in 2015 and onwards will receive a book from the government to encourage their parents to read to them.
The book called “Pisike Puu” ("A Small Tree") has been financed by the Ministry of Culture and created by the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre.
Its title has been taken from a poem of the same name by Ott Arder. The book includes poems, traditional and new stories and illustrations.
Minister or Culture Indrek Saar said it is important for Estonia that children read books and also that their parents read to them. “We would like this beautiful book to symbolize the deep bow the government takes before every child who is born in Estonia,” he said.
The books will be handed over in festive ceremonies the minister said, at events organized by local governments.
Director of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre Triin Soone said: “A book is as important a toy to a child as any other plaything. Our role, as adults, is to introduce books to children’s lives and let them feel the joy of reading.”
The tradition of gifting books to newborns was started in 2007 by the center. The first book was called “Minu Esimene Raamat” ("My First Book"), then in 2008, 2009 and 2012 children received a copy of “Las Laps Loeb” ("Let the Child Read").