Edgar Valter (21 September 1929 Tallinn – 4 March 2006 Tartu) was an Estonian writer and illustrator of children's books, with over 250 books to his name, through 55 years of activity (1950–2005). His most famous creation is the Pokuraamat (the book of pokus).
Edgar Valter was born on 21 September 1929, in Tallinn, the fourth child of a family of eight kids. He completed middle-school in 1945, but didn't graduate from Secondary School.
He began working as a freelance artist in 1950, eventually illustrating some of the most famous Estonian children literature characters, including the Krõll, the Naksitrallid, the Sipsik, and the Kunksmoor. Edgar Valter illustrated over 250 books, most of them being books for children. His caricatures were published by many journals and newspapers. Edgar Valter worked for the magazines Hea Laps (a good kid), Täheke (a star), Pioneer, and Pikker (a humor and satire magazine published during soviet times).
Edgar Valter lived his last 15 years in the Pöörismäe farm, located at the Urvaste rural municipality of the Võrumaa County. He died on March 4, 2006. His remains were cremated and buried on May 17, 2006 in the Tallinn Metsakalmistu cemetery.
Pokuraamat and pokus
First published in 1994, the Pokuraamat (book of pokus) tells the tale of pokus. A poku is a grass mound that grows in south-eastern Estonian bogs. In the book, Valter interprets pokus as animated childlike creatures, the grass actually being their golden head hair, which grows down to their feet. Its central theme, other than amusing its readers, is emphasizing the need to respect and to live in harmony with nature. The Pokuraamat was the first book that was both written and illustrated by Edgar Valter. In 1996, the Pokuraamat won the prestigious Nukits contest award for best children book of the year. Edgar Valter wrote two subsequent poku-related books: Pokuaabits (poku alphabet) (2002) and Pokulood (poku nature) (2004).
- Jahikoera memuaarid (1974; 2004)
- Pokuraamat" (1994; 2001; 2005)
- Ahaa, kummitab (1995)
- Kassike ja kakuke (1995)
- Lugu lahkest lohe Justusest ja printses Miniminnist (1995)
- Kullast vilepill (1996)
- Isand Tuutu ettevõtmised (1997)
- Iika (1998)
- Pintselsabad (1998)
- Metsa pühapäev (1999)
- Kuidas õppida vaatama? (2000)
- Ho-ho-hoo! (2002)
- Pokuaabits (2002)
- Natuke naljakad pildid (2003)
- Pokulood (2004)
- Ikka veel kummitab (2005)
- Maalid 1983–2005 (2007). Selected paintings.
- Incomplete illustrated bibliography (in Estonian)
- Obituary (in Estonian)
- The Project Pokuland (in English and Estonian). Includes photos, sample art work, and more information about Edgar Valter.
- Edgar Valter's 84th Birthday Google Doodles, 2012