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Tove Jansson (1914 – 2001), was born in 1914 in Helingsfors, Finland. Her mother was a charicaturist and the designer of many of Finland’s stamps, and her father was a sculptor. Tove studied painting in Finland, Sweden and France and later worked as a book illustrator, a designer and strip cartoonist, as well as being involved in theatre décor and making frescoes in public places. She drew her first Moomin in the 1930s, just for fun, to tease her little brother by drawing the ugliest creature she could think of. Moomin developed a nicer snout and character and in 1939 he became a character in a children’s story. The Finn Family Moomingtroll has been a hugely successful book, translated into many languages – many other Moomin stories followed.
In 1966 Tove Jansson was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal – an international award for the best children’s book of the year.
Most of the books were written on a small island in the Gulf of Finland where Tove, her mother and brother were the only inhabitants. Later Tove continued to live alone on the island - It takes an hour to row to the nearest island. Some years ago she wrote of the island:
‘It is so small you can walk around it in ten minutes. It is shaped like an atoll and surrounds a deep lake which in good weather makes a fine swimming pool, but in bad weather turns into a raging torrent surrounded by waterfalls. Then our boat has to be pulled right up to the house and tied to the veranda. We only have one tree, a rowan, which bloomed for the first time last summer. But we plant wild roses in the crevices, and potatoes. And we fish. We use rainwater for our coffee and driftwood for our fires. My favourite weather is fog, when the island seems to be afloat at the very end of the world in perfect silence and solitude. Only rarely does one hear the foghorns from the open sea where big ships go by for foreign countries.’
In this very special, beautiful and challenging environment Tove’s imagination and artistic talent flourished.
'I decided to run away. There simply wasn't anything else to do.' Here at last is Moominpappa's promised life story - from the days when he was abandoned in a newspaper parcel on the doorstep of a Moomin orphanage, to when he ran away to see the world and was lucky enough to meet Moominmamma. Click on 'Download Extract' for a brief taster or CLICK HERE for a longer extract from this book.
January 2011 Guest Editor Jenny Downham: "I wish I’d written every single one of Tove Jansson’s Moomin series, but forced to choose I’ll pick number five, Moominland Midwinter, because it’s darker and more introspective than the earlier books, with just a hint of delicious danger. This is a hilarious and tender tale that you will never grow out of. Tove Jansson is a genius and believe me, this book is proof!" Katy Guest, literary editor for The Independent on Sunday on the Moomin books: "A fantasy series for small children that introduces bigger ones to ideas of adventure, dealing with fear, understanding character and tolerating difference."
Best-loved Moomintroll wakes up excitedly on his birthday but, when he tries to show all his friends his wonderful present, they just don’t seem to be interested…Poor Moomin! But, when there is a ring at the door, Moomin finds that his friends haven’t forgotten him after all! A wonderful picture book that introduces the world famous Moomins to young readers. Katy Guest, literary editor for The Independent on Sunday on the Moomin books: "A fantasy series for small children that introduces bigger ones to ideas of adventure, dealing with fear, understanding character and tolerating difference."
One Moomin, two trees… this wonderful counting board book in the most gorgeous colours shows Moomin enjoying and counting flowers, butterflies and then… stars! A real treat. Katy Guest, literary editor for The Independent on Sunday on the Moomin books: "A fantasy series for small children that introduces bigger ones to ideas of adventure, dealing with fear, understanding character and tolerating difference."
May 2010 Guest Editor Philip Ardagh says of this book: What can I say? In early May, I'll be one of a number of guests of the Finnish Embassy and Puffin books celebrating 65 years of the remarkable Moomin books, written and illustrated by the late, great Finnish artist/illustrator/author Tove Jansson. How important are Moomin books to me as a reader, writer and (alleged) human being? When Jansson died, I dedicated the book I was writing at the time to her memory. The fact that the Finnish publisher of my Eddie Dickens trilogy was her original publisher means more than I can say. (Proud, or what?) Moomin books are like nothing else I'd ever read. I couldn't wait to spend my birthday-present book tokens on them. Sure, they contain charm and quirkiness, but this is coupled with insight and wisdom rare in any books, children's or otherwise. They are unique. If I had to chose a favourite, it would be Comet in Moominland. Choosing a favourite character is even harder. Little My? Snufkin? Sniff? If you haven't yet experienced the Moomin valley, I urge you visit it as soon as possible.
Although they're small, fat and shy creatures, Moomins have the most amazing adventures. It all begins when Moominpappa tries on a magic hat that makes exciting and funny things happen. Katy Guest, literary editor for The Independent on Sunday on the Moomin books: "A fantasy series for small children that introduces bigger ones to ideas of adventure, dealing with fear, understanding character and tolerating difference."
If you haven't met a Moomin yet, you're missing the most magical fun . . . It's winter in Moominvalley and the Moomin family are deep in their Long Winter Sleep, waiting for the sound of Too-Ticky's barrel organ to rouse them, as it did every spring. But when a mysterious ratta-tattle wakes Moomintroll with a start, will he be brave enough to investigate the noise on his own? And what surprises will he find if he does venture outside?
This newly translated collection of stories brilliantly evokes the shifting scenes and restlessness of summer. A professor arrives in a beautiful Spanish village only to find that her host has left and she must cope with fractious neighbours alone; a holiday on a Finnish Island is thrown into disarray when a disconcerting young boy arrives; an artist returns to an old flat to discover that her life has been eerily usurped. Philosophical and profound, but with the deceptive lightness that is her hallmark, Travelling Light is guaranteed to surprise and transport.
A stunning and classic picture book, with a special textured cover, The Invisible Guest in Moominvalley is the perfect gift for Moomin fans of all ages. In Moominvalley everyone is welcome. So when Too-ticky arrives with an unusually invisible guest, Ninny, the Moomins endeavor to make their guest feel at home, armed with remedies to gently draw their new guest into visibility allowing her to regain her once lost voice. This unique retelling of Tove Jansson's touching short story The Invisible Child captures Jansson's wise, perceptive and original voice and includes delicate, painterly illustrations full of character and detail and based on Jansson's original drawings and colour plates. A new generation of readers will enjoy meeting the lovable Moomin family and friends, with their special values of tolerance, kindness and integrity, as they help feel Ninny feel safe and one of the family.
With big flaps for little hands - a Moomin adventure to read and play with! Whoosh - oh no! The wind is causing mayhem all over Moominvalley and everything is topsy turvy. Lift the flaps to help Moomin and friends find their lost things...
'[The letters] cover war, fame and her first infatuation with another woman...all related in a voice that is funny, gracious, intimate' The Observer I find myself talking to you about all the great joys, all the agonies, all my thoughts... - Letter to Eva Konikova, 1946 Out of the thousands of letters Tove Jansson wrote a cache remains that she addressed to her family, her dearest confidantes, and her lovers, male and female. Into these she spilled her innermost thoughts, defended her ideals and revealed her heart. To read these letters is both an act of startling intimacy and a rare privilege. Penned with grace and humour, Letters from Tove offers an almost seamless commentary on Tove Jansson's life as it unfolds within Helsinki's bohemian circles and her island home. Spanning fifty years between her art studies and the height of Moomin fame, we share with her the bleakness of war; the hopes for love that were dashed and renewed, and her determined attempts to establish herself as an artist. Vivid, inspiring and shining with integrity, Letters from Tove shows precisely how an aspiring and courageous young artist can evolve into a very great one.
If you haven't met a Moomin yet, you're missing the most magical fun . . . Tonight everyone in Moominvalley will be going to the Autumn Ball and Moomintroll and his friend Sniff are busy helping with preparations. But when they discover an extraordinary golden leaf on the forest floor, will they be able to find a tree full of golden leaves and give each of the valley folk a gift they'll always treasure?
Tonight everyone in Moominvalley will be going to the Autumn Ball and Moomintroll and Sniff are busy helping with preparations. But when they discover an extraordinary golden leaf on the forest floor, will they be able to find a tree full of golden leaves and give each of the valley folk a gift they'll always treasure?
There's going to be a pancake picnic and everyone in Moominvalley is invited. It's time for Moomintroll to gather everyone together, but where is Little My? She loves pancakes! Little My's distinctive red dress should be easy to spot, but it turns out that there are lots of other red things in Moominvalley! Moominpappa's saw, Snorkmaiden's flowers, Snufkin's tent . . . Will Moomintroll manage to find his friend before the pancakes get cold? This interactive novelty format has a different die-cut hole on every spread, so children can help Moomin peep through the holes to find his friend.
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