Juris Zvirgzdiņš

Juris Zvirgzdiņš (1941) is known for being one of the most productive writers of highly esteemed literature, having written more than 20 books for children. His works have received many awards, and have been translated into several languages. 11 radio plays were staged for his works between 1982 and 1992. This writer stands out namely with his educational books where children are introduced to various concepts in an engaging way, for instance, going on adventures in the Museum of the History of Riga, visiting the Latvian National Library, or the Riga Zoo, learning about the history of the United States of America, or Austrian music, etc. The author is best known for his books about the teddy bear called Tobias. Tobias is one of the bears from Juris Zvirgzdiņš' actual collection of toys, and as the author himself asserts – Tobias is the true author of at least 7 literary works attributed to Zvirgzdiņš. These works feature other animals from his collection – the little bear Eliot, rhinoceros Mufa, little dog Fu Fuu, and others. In his works, Zvirgzdiņš masterly intertwines documentary with fantasy, and for this reason, his works are dearly loved by children – the stories are not only well imagined, but also have elements of reality and actual experiences. His book Muffa: Story of the White Baby Rhinoceros was included in the prestigious White Ravens Catalogue in 2012.