As created by Tove Jansson
“This is the way to start a new life, with a hurricane lamp shining at the top of the mast, and the coastline disappearing behind one as the whole world lies sleeping.”
Moominpappa at Sea
I’m a great believer that if one’s year begins with a Moomin, thereafter your mind will be composed and your reading diverse and balanced. I’m no philosopher, of course, and you would be unlikely to find such notional theories in the writings of Sartre or even Edward Westermarck, so it may be wise to take my advice with a swig of Moominmamma’s homemade Glögi.
The World of Moominvalley, written by Philip Ardagh, and with a Foreword by Frank Cottrell Boyce, is a delightful introduction to Moominland and the creatures living there. It also explores the world of its visionary creator, Tove Jannson – every page bustling with her original illustrations. It was a gift from my mother for my last birthday, and one which I will cherish and no doubt dip-into many times in the future.
The reader is familiarised with all the dearly loved (and lesser-known) characters. In addition to Moominpappa and his immediate family, we meet Moomintroll’s love interest, the Snorkmaiden, as well as Little My, Snufkin, Sniff, Too-ticky, Dweller Under the Sink and all the other residents of Moominvalley.
Between its glossy pages you will find chapters on Mysterious Creatures, Moomin-isms, Music in Moominvalley, and even Catastrophes and The Dark Side of Moominvalley. All the information has been gleaned from the eight volumes in the main Moomin cannon, but not from the strip cartoons or The Moomins and the Great Flood, which differ to some extent from what is generally considered to be the true Moomin books.
My aesthetically gorgeous hardback copy has a sumptuously designed die-cut cover featuring gold foil, which will certainly be adored by incorrigible Moomin fans and curious newbies alike. It would also appeal to both children and adults.
Pure Moomin magic!
“Everyone shall have a piece of magic for himself.”
Finn Family Moomintroll