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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Everyone's the Smartest
Age Range: 9-11
In this witty collection of 60 poems from Estonia the school setting both takes on the strange and the familiar. Each chapter heading provides a series of verses. In the first chapter ‘Going to School (Step, Step, Stomp)’ the verse ‘New School Nightmare’ will have a familiar ring to any young child just starting at a new school.
“I get to my new school –
it’s fancy and big.
I’ve seen it before
but I don’t think I saw
how scary it was, so huge –
so many mysterious rooms!”
There are a variety of amusing poems from growing wondrous plants, the delights of fish and chips for school dinner to mountaineers, an alien railway and ‘In Flooding at School’ when the bathroom taps are left on risking the whole school turning into one great lake!
Estonian poet Contra (born Margus Konnula) is one of Estonia’s most prolific contemporary poets. His writing is strongly rooted in Estonia’s folk-singing traditions and his poetry makes frequent use of his native Võra dialect. Translated by Charlotte Geater, Kätlin Kaldmaa and Richard O’Brien Everyone’s The Smartest is full of witty text and playful rhymes which are further enhanced by the comical and colourful artwork by Ulla Saar.
At the back of the book there are biographies of the author, translator and illustrator followed by ‘Bonus Bits’ with some specially-created bonus content that includes an interview with Contra and Saar, ‘Learn Some Estonian’, ‘Places in Estonia’, Write Your Own Poem’ and ‘Translation Stations’.