Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Happy 70th Birthday, Moomins!

Moomins and the Great Flood; ISBN 9781908745132
In 1945, at the end of the second World War, Finnish author Tove Jansson  published the first ever Moomin book, The Moomins and the Great Flood. This book introduced the Moomins to the world; fanciful creatures that live in a realm just to the side of our own.
In Moomins and the Great Flood, Moominmamma and young Moomintroll set off on an adventure to find the wandering Moominpappa and a warm place to live for the winter. Along the way, they meet amazing and imaginative folk;  mermaids, sea-trolls, the Hattifattners, the ant-lion, blue-haired Tulippa, an 'old gentleman' (perhaps an inspiration for Roald Dahl!), a boy with red-hair and many more who would come to grace the pages of so many more Moomin adventures in the following years. The Moomins are magical, curious little creatures with concerns and problems very much the same as ours. They solve their dilemmas using wit and by sticking together.
This first book was (finally) translated into English in 2005, much later than the other Moomin books. A beautiful, hardback reproduction of the original is available from Sort Of press, faithful to the original, with each page holding the original illustrations by the author. Elegant, entertaining, whimsical and poignant, this book is a thing of beauty and wonder....and a must have for the entire family. It is quiet and thoughtful, and while it doesn't have all the fast-paced, noisy action of the current crop of childrens books, it is one that will stay with you forever. The intrepid adventures of Moomintroll are stirring and easy to relate to. If you have read the Moomin books yet, you really must. And share them with the young people in your life.
Other Moomin books are readily available and all of them are a delight. For the winter months, I can thoroughly recommend Moominland Midwinter (in which Moomintroll decides not to sleep all winter, but goes out to explore the winter landscape) and Moominvalley in November (in which young Toft and others notice the change of the season and decide to venture to Moominvalley for a visit and an education from their Moomin friends).
Happy 70th Birthday to all the Moomins and their friends! And thank you, Tove Jansson for creating these very special, marvelous beings.
 For more about Tove Jansson, just follow the link:
http://tovejansson.com/eng/ura.html

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