Kadri Hinrikus’s books let the brighter side of life shine through, and are ideal for when dark clouds of worry crowd one’s thoughts or unforeseen difficulties crop up.

Since Hinrikus began writing children’s books in 2008, she has steadfastly maintained a certain principle: no matter how difficult a societal issue may be, a solution can always be found somewhere in the text. She infuses young readers with the belief that there are no hopeless situations – one must simply believe in a solution and work to achieve it. The Elephant is a fine example of that.

Kärt feels like a total outsider. She has a hard time making friends at school and things at home aren’t exactly rosy, either. Her favorite hobbies are reading and writing, but her father, a successful businessman, doesn’t like his already short-sighted daughter sitting around with her nose in a book. He believes that Kärt should be engaged in more financially beneficial activities. There really is nowhere she fits in. But right after the worst day at school ever, Kärt meets a spunky Croatian girl named Lucija who helps her realize that the world really does need girls like Kärt.

The Elephant focuses on feeling like you belong as well as noticing, nourishing, and expressing it. Hinrikus emphasizes how important it is to know that you’re part of a group where people accept you just the way you are. Being accepted boosts one’s self-confidence and lets you feel that you’ll make it in the world, no matter what.

The author strikingly demonstrates that it’s possible to change nearly any situation. Much depends on your relationships with friends and family, not to mention the way you yourself behave. Readers who feel troubled by one thing or another will no doubt find solace in The Elephant: if Kärt can get a fresh chance in life, then why can’t anyone?! All one must do is be brave enough to open themselves up, find their voice, and share it with others.

Kadri Hinrikus, The Elephant

Tammeraamat, 2022, 72 pp.

ISBN 9789949690749