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Tales from Moominvalley (Moomins) Paperback – August 31, 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
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Swedish --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Jansson's familiar characters -- half animal and half human -- wander through these tales set in the finnish countryside.
In "The Last Dragon in the World," young Moomintroll discovers unrequited love and learns the value of friendship. "The Secret of the Hattifatteners" presents the patriarch Moominpappa in an unusual mid-life crisis: after years of domesticity, he takes to the sea with a band of mysterious silent creatures, who only come alive during thunderstorms.
A magnificent study of the value of letting go is Jansson's bittersweet "The Fillyjonk who Believed in Disaster." In it, a worn, harried creature named the Fillyjonk is conned by a real estate salesman to rent a summer house that supposedly belonged to her ancestors.
Upon arriving at the dreary home on a windswept peninsula, the ever-toiling Fillyjonk senses not only that she's been had -- but that there's further trouble awaiting. Will the images of a violent hurricane that flit in the Fillyjonk's mind come to fruition? The morning finds the Fillyjonk liberated from her house of memories, only a china kitten tucked in her hand.
I loved these stories growing up in the 1960s and '70s, and even today, I re-read them from time to time. Dark, funny, instrospective -- the Moomin characters have little in common with the plastic heroes of many children's books. If only life were half as satisfying as a Moomin book. -- Queza
I generally dislike the short story genre, but not when it's done like this. Every short story is simply that, a short story; not a contrived literary exercise with the obligatory "twist in the tail". Jansson's stories are charming little gems, full of wonderful moments and images, thought-provoking and touching. Her characters are often the lonely, the lost, and the troubled, and she makes you feel for them and understand them, without ever becoming ridiculous or sentimental. The tales about Snufkin and his tune and the Fillyjonk who believed in disasters are shining examples of this. But Jansson can write humour and happiness just as well, as the tales of the invisible child and the fir tree show.
I really can't speak highly enough of this book. Jansson's wonderful insight into people, her spare, deft prose, and her brilliant imagination make a great combination. Buy it for your children or for yourself.
One particular work by the author has stuck with me throughout my life, a story within this volume by the name of " The Fillyjonk Who Believed In Disasters ", the reason being it is a remarkably adult tale given to such young minds. I feel that this story is quite dark, the character leading such a quite, and safe existance, all coming to failing at the hands of a huge storm. I myself being a victem of such events twice in my life I always think of this tale in reflection to our views on " home " and " security ", and the precarious state of their existence in regards to the very strength of natural forces. Such huge upheaval also brings us to the age old question of " purpose ", something which the author gives the reader the opportunity to do with the character in this story, quite a question for a young child. It is a strange tale, this one, and I urge adults as well as children to read it.