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Finn Family Moomintroll (Moomins) Paperback – April 27, 2010
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“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 Journal.com
“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
About the Author
Tove Jansson (1914–2001) was born in Helsinki and spent much of her life in Finland. She is the author of the Moomin books. Born into an artistic family―her father was a sculptor and her mother was a graphic designer and illustrator―Jansson studied at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, and L'École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In addition to her Moomin books, she also wrote several novels, drew comic strips and worked as a painter and illustrator. In 1966, she was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for her body of work. Jansson had a studio in Helsinki but spent most of her time at her home on a small island called Klovharu.
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The drawings are splendidly suited to the text and vice versa. Never a wave so tidal, never a stage so full of high drama, and never Snufkin, Little My, the Filljonk and more brought more fully alive! This book was born to be read aloud, acted out, and literally, to be ROF & LOL at the humor, the wisdom, and the amazing what-happens-next in the perplexities.
It truly IS a Midsummer's Even madness, comedic, and the Moomins at their happiest. First off, cinders spot Moominmamma's fresh laundry, thanks to a far-away volcanic eruption. The eruption is soon followed by a tidal wave, swift and strong that drives all the family first on to their roof, then into a theater floating by. There in one of the funniest send-ups of The Theatre & iambic pentameter, the Moomins and their newest acquaintances---Emma the theatre rat, Whomper, and Misabel---enact a drama involving a lion.
Meanwhile, Snufkin pursuig a lifelong determination to put the demogagic, mean mean mean Park Keeper out of business, encounters Little My whose sister, the Mymble's Daughter, acutely says, "Little My can take care of herself. I'm worried about the people whose paths she crosses." Together, they pursue their revenge which involves---as noted---the acquisition of wandering, independent, unattached Snufkin by 24 adorable young woodies. Snufkin as an anxious pappa is a revealation & tender delight.
But wait, meanwhile, in the third strand, Moomintroll and the Snork Maiden who have been swept away in the flood encounter a depressed Fillyjonk, bringing their transformative love into creating a great Midsummer Night's bonfire than gets them into the clutches of a Hemulic jailkeeper!
And, and, and-----this just BEGINS the story! The tale so far is not a spoiler.
A joy for children of all ages, Jansson at her (and our) happiest and best! Yes, there are shadows yet while being terrified, miserable, anxious CAN be a feeling, it does NOT define one's life or one's own feelings with a little help from our friends.
The stories in this book - from a magical hat to a quick family trip on the sea - are exciting and interesting. But beyond that, Jansson’s well-written (even in translation) text offers a kind and nuanced approach to its characters. Even in conflict, the characters find collaborative solutions. When someone’s quirks might be perceived as problematic, the characters instead accept and often embrace difference.
I just adore this book, the sweet illustrations sprinkled throughout and the wonderful writing.
The Moomins are small animals, like pygmy hippos except that they walk on two feet. They live near the sea in Moomin Valley, with various other creatures both real and imaginary, like Sniff, the Muskrat and the Hemulen. What is wonderful about the Moomins is that they are completely accepting of everyone and, indeed, invite anyone who turns up not only to stay with them, but to move in to their ever-expanding household. Various adventures happen to them (in this book mostly arising out of their unwitting acquisition of the Hobgoblin's Hat, which transforms anything that is put into it), but although the author never lapses into sugary sweetness, nothing ever ends unhappily, even for the fearsome Groke.
Ms. Jansson's imagination is marvelous in its inventiveness and detail, and the illustrations bring the characters to life visually. For anyone who has children in the 7-11 range, or for adults like me who are old enough to be children again, this book and its companions will bring nothing but happiness.