Monday, October 5, 2015

Fin Family Moomintroll

It was the end of August- the time when owls hoot at night and flurries of bats swoop noiselessly over the garden.  Moomin Wood was full of glow-worms, and the sea was disturbed.  There was expectation and a certain sadness in the air, and the harvest moon came up huge and yellow.  Moomintroll had always liked those last weeks of summer most, but he didn't really know why.

Tove Jansson 1989

 This was the summer of Moomintrolls.  Charlotte loved the funny little stories in the Finnish writer/illustrator Tove Jansson's book Fin Family Moomintroll.  Madeleine was the first to discover them years ago at her school library.  (She only picked up the book because they looked like hippos- her favorite animal.)

Populated by an odd cast of characters, there's Mama Moomin, never without her handbag, and Papa Moomin, busy writing his memoirs.  Their son is Moomintroll and his best friend, Snufkin, complete with floppy hat and pipe.  Part fantasy, part comedy, the stories are an unusual blend of magic, friendship, adventure and absurdity.  Charlotte just couldn't get enough, and we read it every night at bedtime.    How could you put down a book that stars the Snork Maiden, Thingumy and Bob, and the Groke?  Luckily there's a whole series of books as well as comics that Jansson illustrated from the 1940s to the 1990's.

Oh, what a wonderful feeling when you have eaten up everything, drunk everything, talked of everything and danced your feet off, to go home in the quiet hour before the dawn to sleep!

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