Occupation: Writer and publisher
Freelancer from 2000
Member of Estonian Writers’ Union from 2003
Date and place of birth: 27 March 1960 in Tartu
Education: Tartu X Secondary School. Estonian Agricultural Academy (Electrification), National University of Tartu (Mathematics), Tallinn Pedagogical Institute (Mathematics)
Previous jobs: archivist, teacher, test person of high voltage networks, calculator, engineer of measuring instruments, musician, company manager
Marital status: married
Membership: Estonian Writers’ Union, Estonian Literary Society, Estonian Authors’ Society, Estonian Performers Association, Estonian Parents Union
Hobbies: web design and programming, music (drummer)
Daughter Kertu – born in 1980
Son Mihkel – born in 1988
Step son Ats – born in 1992
Daughter Elise – born in 2000
Daughter Madli – born in 2003
Son Villiam – born in 2008
All my published books:
* Hello! – 2002 (for children)
* The Monsters of the Closet Door – 2003 (for children)
* My song – 2003 (for children)
* Flying Apple Tree – 2003 (for children)
* The Sounds of Silence – 2004 (for children)
* Jan’s Adventures in Shadowland – 2004 (for children)
* I want to be – 2005 (for children)
* Liisu – 2005 (for children)
* The Monsters of the Closet Door 2 – 2006 (for children)
* Two of me – 2006 (poetry)
* Liisu 2 – 2006 (for children)
* Pink Princess – 2006 (for children)
* Liisu 3 – 2007 (for children)
* Roof’s ride – 2007 (for children)
* Pillow fight – 2007 (for children)
* Goblin, Tell-tale and Screeper – 2008 (for children)
* Under unconscious – 2001
* Horlok and the key of Primeval Gate – 2008 (for children)
* Clock’s Cuckoo – 2008 (for children)
* Sandman’s stories – 2008 (for children)
* Bearded joke – 2009 (for children)
* Enchanted town – 2009 (for children)
* The Monsters of the Closet Door 3 – 2009 (for children)
* Fear – 2010 (novel)
* Liisu and the mad house buffet – 2011 (for children)
* Lost Christmas – in russian – 2011 (for children)
* Over a bottomless abyss – 2011 (for children)
* Fate Games – 2011 (novel)
* Loggerhead tree – 2011 (for children)
* Jõks and five wonderful days – 2012 (for children)
* Kaappipeikot (The Monsters of the Closet Door, Finnish, Petteri Aarnos, 2013)
* Kaappipeikot Ovat Täällä Taas (The Monsters of the Closet Door 2, Finnish, Petteri Aarnos, 2013)
* Kaappipeikot Planeetta X:llä (The Monsters of the Closet Door 3, Finnish, Petteri Aarnos, 2013)
* Nukku-Matin Höpöjutut (Drowsy Mati’s flams, Finnish, Tea Saarinen, 2013)
* Noiduttu Kaupunki (Enchanted city, Finnish, Petteri Aarnos, 2013)
* Tahtoisin Olla (I want to be, Finnish, Gea Karja, Jaana Palanterä, 2013)
* Hei! (Hello!, Finnish, Gea Karja, Jaana Palanterä, 2013)
* Hiljaisuuden Äänet (The Sounds of Silence, Finnish, Petteri Aarnos, 2013)
* Vaaleanpunainen Prinsessa (Pink Princess, Finnish, Petteri Aarnos, 2013)
* Janin Seikkailut Varjomaassa (Jan’s Adventures in Shadowland, Finnish, Petteri Aarnos, 2013)
* Jõks and his wanderings in Jõgevamaa – 2014 (for children)
* Lucy (In English, 2015)
* Lucy In A Sand Hole (In English, 2015)
* Lucy Invents A Candle Blower (In English, 2015)
* Lucy and Madhouse Canteen (In English, 2015)
* The Monsters of The Closet Door (In English, 2015)
* Sandman’s Stories (In English, 2015)
* The Sounds of Silence (In English, 2015)
* Sandman’s New Stories (In English, 2015)
* Sandman’s New Stories (In Estonian, 2015)
* Villiam (In Estonian, 2015)
* William (In English, 2016)
* Totally secret (In Estonian, 2016)
* Joke in Mathematics land (In Estonian, 2016)
* Sandman’s Very New Stories (In Estonian, 2016)
* The Monsters of The Closet Door (musical, In Estonian, 2017)
* Sandman’s New Stories (Finnish, Jenni Kaven, 2017)
* Sandman’s Very New Stories (Finnish, Jenni Kaven, 2017)
* Starshine (In Estonian, 2017)
* Joke in Mathematics land (Finnish, Petteri Aarnos, 2018)
Why do I mostly write for children?
Honest feedback, sincere joy… By making complicated things simple, I see many things from a new perspective myself and they seem much more understandable to me as well. Writing to children teaches, helps to think things through and makes you wonder time and time again, how a whole mess of problems can be solved for instance in a funny children’s poem. Then, of course, this non-fake attention and grateful look you get when a small child comes after a reading of a children’s story or poem, pulls your sleeve, looks at you with big eyes wide open, saying nothing. Grown-ups don’t do this. This altogether is a great treasure. I would also add that when writing for children, there’s no temptation to lie or hide. Their world is bright, clear and straightforward. When writing a novel, whether you want it or not, you still put very much of yourself there, at the same time leaving out facts, making things look better, exaggerating etc. Children have absolutely nothing to do with this, their world is full of imagination but still spontaneous.
Eike Metspalu (baccalaureus artium):
Heiki Vilep represents the Estonian new children’s literature which during the last ten years has gone through numerous significant changes and developments. These developments include the progress of information technology and visual media which tends to dominate over traditional literature.
Estonian children’s literature has recovered from the low point it experienced in the nineties. The upheaval is characterised by an increase in the number of original publications and improvement in the quality and design of publications. Children’s literature which is supposed to associate with ethical, aesthetic and social development of young generations has become a part of an entertainment industry called children’s culture. One cannot become a successful children’s writer without realising and following this development.
In this thesis I observe the extraliterary factors influencing the development of new Estonian children’s literature. The development of re-independence time Estonian children’s literature is characterised by the domination of translated literature which introduced the market with badly translated and edited yet colourful books. It became evident that for a book’s success it does not only have to be well written but also well designed.
Modeled on colourful translated books of western origin Heiki Vilep’s books for children have always had high quality colour illustrations. Publishing children’s books with superior illustrations has always been one of his foremost aims. Heiki Vilep is also the first children’s writer to open his own homepage on the Internet, a fact that has greatly increased his popularity among children of the Internet generation.
In addition to these extraliterary features Heiki Vilep is also quite simply a talented children’s writer. He has written prose and poetry; realistic and fantasy stories. His poems are humorous and have excellent punchlines but he is also an appreciated lyrical poet. His main goal is to create joy. Heiki Vilep’s perception of the world is a source of joy. He has created a bright, harmonic, and secure world where the relations between parents and children are always good. Vilep’s fantasy stories have been created with didactic purpose; for example they teach children to appreciate silence or how not to be afraid of darkness.
Heiki Vilep’s most popular realistic stories are Liisu stories. They describe the world through the eyes of a little girl, Liisu. Through doing that the author enables the reader to become one with the fictional child in the narrator’s position. The main prototypes for Heiki Vilep’s characters are his children. His stories are mainly addressed to children 5-10 years of age but they are also provide a pleasant reading for adults. Vilep’s literature is always printed in capital letters in order to be more accessible for children who are learning to read.
Heiki Vilep’s books are written from a child’s viewpoint. He uses childish language and naļve style. In his poetry the important facets are the ideas and moods not experiments in rhyme and rhythm.
Heiki Vilep is an author who has had considerable influence over development of Estonian children’s literature scene. Humorous contents and attractive packaging appeals to children who may have previously shunned reading.
I would like to express the hope that with this thesis I have managed to analyse and record the development of one of the Estonia’s future children’s literature classic authors.