Kertu Sillaste (1973) is an illustrator, art teacher, and picture book author. She graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts in textile design, studied tapestry at the École Supérieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré in Paris, and received a master’s degree in art education at Tallinn University. Sillaste has worked as a graphic designer at the Tallinn Central Library, and currently teaches art at the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre. She has written five books, illustrated 16 works, and is a long-time collaborator with the children’s magazine Täheke. Sillaste was listed in the 2016 White Ravens catalogue and was a candidate for the 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Her signature style includes thick, vibrant India-ink brush strokes combined with acrylics or collage.
I've authored texts for picture books. The writing in my books is very concise – what matters is that it always fits with the pictures. I usually write a story and illustrate it simultaneously, and therefore I might not tell everything in the story itself: the pictures tell part of the tale, too. When I write, I keep in mind that a book meant for small children should have short words and sentences, but also a little bit of excitement and great characters.
2023 UKLA Book Award Longlist 2023 in the information book category I am an Artist
2022 IBBY Honour List (The Prettiest Skirt) Good Children’s Book (Ina Tiny House)
2021 5 Best Designed Estonian Children's Books ("Help!)
2020 International Illustration and Book Design Competition ‘Image of the Book’, Moscow, laureate 2019 25 Best-Designed Estonian Books, Certificate of Merit (The Prettiest Skirt) 2018 5 Best-Designed Estonian Children’s Books, Special Prize of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre Good Children’s Book (I Am an Artist) 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award candidate 2016 The White Raven (No, It Isn't So!) Good Children’s Book (Everyone Makes Art Their Own Way) 2015 Raisin of the Year Award (No, It Isn't So!) Nominee of the Annual Children’s Literature Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia (No, It Isn't So!) Good Children’s Book (No, It Isn't So!) The Knee-High Book Competition, winner (Astrid and Ott) 2014 25 Best-Designed Estonian Books, Certificate of Merit (Liis Sillaste-Toots. „Kokatarkusi must valgel”) Good Children’s Book (Kätlin Vainola. Where is Love?) 2013 The Knee-High Book Competition, 1st place (Kätlin Vainola. Where is Love?) The Knee-High Book Competition, honorary mention (Kertu Sillaste. No, It Isn't So!) 2011 The Knee-High Book Competition, 3rd place (It’s Pancake Time!)