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Finn Family Moomintroll (Moomins) Paperback – April 27, 2010

90 customer reviews
Book 2 of 8 in the Moomins Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The initial volume in the Moomintroll series of Finnish fantasy, which dates back more than 40 years, opens as three of the fabulous folk in the Moomin Valley find the Hobgoblin's top hat. Ages 7-10.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“There is, in short, everything in the Moon books: giant comets and secret caves and tree houses and stilts and magic-carpet clouds and amusement parks run by despotic practical-joking kings and time machines and ski instructors.” ―Harper's

“We need Moominland for its gentle pace, its sense of beauty and awe, and its spirit of friendliness and empathy―now more than ever.” ―The Horn Book

“These charming fantasies are propelled by a childlike curiosity and filled with quiet wisdom, appealing geniality, and a satisfying sense of self-discovery.” ―School Library

“If you had no shame reading Harry Potter on the subway, there's no need to hide Tove Jansson's witty, whimsically illustrated Finnish series.” ―Daily Candy

“The Moomin books make for both splendid bedtime read-alouds and solitary savoring.” ―Wall Street Journal

“It's more than forty years since Jansson's Moomintrolls first appeared. I found the writing and invention as appealing as ever. She has a thistledown touch.” ―The Washington Post Book World

“The adventures of the easygoing Moomintrolls have all the crispness and tart surprise of a lingonberry, thanks to Jansson's ineffably light touch, her uncanny sensitivity to universal childhood emotions, and her gift for terse, naturalistic dialogue.” ―Entertainment Weekly

“A gentle, offbeat fantasy.” ―The Horn Book

“A lost treasure now rediscovered . . . A surrealist masterpiece.” ―Neil Gaiman

“Jansson was a genius of a very subtle kind. These simple stories resonate with profound and complex emotions that are like nothing else in literature for children or adults: intensely Nordic, and completely universal.” ―Philip Pullman

“Tove Jansson is undoubtedly one of the greatest children's writers there has ever been. She has the extraordinary gift of writing books that are very clearly for children, but can also be enjoyed when the child, like me, is over sixty and can still find new pleasures with the insights that come from adulthood.” ―Sir Terry Pratchett

“Clever, gentle, witty, and completely engrossing.” ―Jeff Smith, author of Bone

“It's not just Tove Jansson's wonderfully strange fairytale world that so appeals but also her beautiful line work and exquisite sense of design.” ―Lauren Child

“[Tove Jansson] is a master.” ―The Times Literary Supplement (London)

“The most original works for children to be published since the Pooh books, and possibly, since Alice.” ―Saturday Review

“You will declare yourself a citizen of Moominvalley and call the stories your own--the Moomin world is that compelling.” ―Riverbank Review


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Series: Moomins (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312608896
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312608897
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tove Jansson (1914-2001) was born in Helsinki, and was an illustrator and political cartoonist for the left-leaning, anti-Fascist magazine Garm. She created a long-running comic strip and a series of children's books featuring the much-loved hippopotamus-like character, Moomintroll. She is also the author of eleven novels and short-story collections for adults, including The Summer Book and The True Deceiver. In 1994, she was awarded the Prize of the Swedish Academy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Sam Jeffreys <> on September 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
I remember my dad reading the Moomintroll books to me when I was very young. When I was a bit older, I read them again, myself. Now I'm 21, and thought I'd try reading this book once more, after all these years. I've just finished reading it, and it was great. Like most of the best children's fiction, it also appeals perfectly to adults, and although it was written over 40 years ago, I don't think it seems dated, really. There's a lot of sharp humour, and memorable situations/characters. A lot of the themes in the book seem perfectly in-line with amazing childhood exploits; Discovery, exploration... The book surprised me with how ahead-of-its-time it seemed. I don't think you'd find an English book from 1950 that is so liberated and foreward-thinking. Anyway, what I'm (clumsily) trying to say is, I loved this book, and will now read the other books in the series. One last thing: Tove Jansson's illustrations are also excellent, and perfectly complement the story.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Gideon Ansell on December 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
I discovered this book while rummaging through a flea market bookshelf 5 years ago. I had never heard of Jansson or the Moomins, but was looking for something to read to my daughter, who was then 6. With nothing more than an interesting cover illustration to recommend it, I took a 10cent gamble.
Within the first 10 pages I realized that I had stumbled onto something quite remarkable, by the middle of the book both my daughter and I were engulfed in Moominland, and by the end I went out to scour bookshelves and web sites to get my hands on all the other Moomin books.
Quite simply, this series (and this book in particular) ranks with Winnie-the-Pooh and the Alice books as the truest, wisest, funniest, and most beautiful books for kids ever written. Tove Jannson has created a world populated with myriad creatures possessing a variety and depth of character unrealized in any other children's series I can think of, and rarely reached in adult fiction.
Of particular note are her numerous and varied female characters, unheard of in American and English children's lit...Little My is brash, determined, unrepentant, and spoiling for a good fight. Moominmamma is warm and nurturing without ever being sappy or sentimental. Long sufering Misabel looks only at the bluer side of life and relishes a good cry. The Snork Maiden is vain and frivolous. Emma is cantankerous, crochety, and uninterested in changing to suit anyone else's agenda. How many other books can you read to a young girl with that variety of female characters? And that's just the beginning of the list. The male characters are equally as varied, fallible, goofy, and complex.
Character aside, Jansson's sense of adventure, wild imagination, bleak Scandinavian humor, and peaceful world view make these books a marvel to read.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Boutchiorezze on January 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
My love for Moomins started when I was 6-7. In Poland, where I come from, Moomins were very popular. After my Mom went through all 8 books, and me and my younger brother did not have enough of them, she started to invent new adventures of Moomin, Snufkin, and the rest of the pack. I wish I had noted all these stories...

Anyway, this book is a good starting point, even though, chronologically, it is NOT the first one. You will see the Moominvalley at its best, full of adventures. "Finn Family Moomintroll" is a set of loosely connected stories; you can read one at a time without having to remember what happened last, or caring what will happen next (now, your child WILL insist that you keep on reading when you finish a story, you can be sure of that!).

It is interesting how the Swedish names (I think Tove Jansson wrote the original in Swedish, even though she lived in Finland) got translated into different languages. I will give you English and Polish examples below. Can anyone else post here other translations?

Moomintroll - Muminek

Moominpappa - Tato Muminka

Moominmamma - Mama Muminka

Sniff - Ryjek

Snufkin - Wloczykij

Groke - Buka

Muskrat - Pizmowiec

Thingumy and Bob - Topik i Topcia

Snork - Migotek

Snork Maiden - Panna Migotka

Hemulen - Paszczak

Misabel - Bufka

Too-ticky - Too-tiki

Little My - Mala Mi
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Moomin books are extremely unique in the realm of children's literature. They are clean, endearing, thoughtful, a little dark, and always utterly enchanting. I am in high school now, and I still love to read these books.
I first recieved a copy of Finn Family Moomintroll from an aunt who read and loved them in HER childhood, spent in Japan. I devoured it, and promptly begged my mother to find more. Now, several years later, I am still held spellbound by these books. They are quirky, charming, full of clever witticisms and simple, wonderful turns of phrase, and are among the many hidden gems which so many cynical youngsters will scorn for lack of blood.
This book, though contains plenty of fun and even a little revenge (provided by Snufkin, of course,) but of course the characters are forever polite. Better yet, they set a good example for kids without shoving sticky-sweet morals down their throats. In addition, by setting the story around a theatre - which the Moomin family knows absolutely nothing about - Jansson gives the reader a humorous edge over the characters, which helps keep the story moving and the reader amused.
These books should be introduced to young, thoughtful children, older, shy children, college students, people going through mid-life crises, and/or those in rest homes. They are to be read in a comfy chair before a fire on a gray, rainy day, or with the snow coming down and a mug of cocoa. These books are only for those who have open, quiet minds, and for people ready to be enchanted and amazed.
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