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Tove Jansson - Author

About the Author

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.

Featured books by Tove Jansson

Other books by Tove Jansson

Moomin's BIG Lift-the-Flap Moominhouse

Moomin's BIG Lift-the-Flap Moominhouse

Author: Tove Jansson Format: Board book Release Date: 28/10/2021

The Moominhouse is abuzz with activity as everyone is getting ready for a trip to the beach! But where are Moomin's bucket and spade? And can you spot any delicious treats to pack in the picnic basket? Lift the flaps of this BIG and sturdy board book to help Moomin and his family find everything they need for their special trip. With a different room to explore on every spread, there's so much to discover! Perfect for introducing little ones to the magical world of Moomin - which is fast becoming a family favourite on Sky!

Moominland Midwinter Colour Edition

Moominland Midwinter Colour Edition

Author: Tove Jansson Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/10/2021

A Fabulous Find from the Moomin Archives A classic Moomin Book with COLOUR ILLUSTRATIONS And a beautiful FOLD-OUT PANORAMA In 1961, at the request of her Italian publishers, Tove Jansson created a unique new edition of Moominland Midwinter, the tale in which Moomin wakes from hibernation to contend alone with the mysterious world of winter. The text and internal line drawings of this much loved story were unchanged, but Tove added a beautiful new cover illustration and seven glorious full-page colour illustrations. This was the only Moomin title that she illustrated in colour and it has long been a prized item for collectors. For the first time, it is available in English. For this new Sort Of edition, Tove's nephew James Zambra restored the original cover and colour illustrations, along with a glorious fold-out panorama of characters from the book, which Tove Jansson painted for the first French edition. Sort Of Books have also added a back cover designed for the first Swedish edition of Moominland Midwinter, an image used on the first Puffin book, and a playful bookplate 'wreath' from the first German book. We believe this is the most beautiful Moomin book ever published!

Notes from an Island

Notes from an Island

Author: Tove Jansson, Tuulikki Pietila Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/10/2021

In the bitter winds of autumn 1963, Tove Jansson, helped by Brunstroem, a maverick fisherman, raced to build a cabin on a treeless skerry in the Gulf of Finland. The island was Klovharun, and for thirty summers Tove and her beloved partner, the graphic artist, Tuulikki Pietila, retreated there to live, paint and write, energised by the solitude and shifting seascapes. Notes from an Island, published in English for the first time, is both a chronicle of this period and a homage to the mature love that Tove and 'Tooti' shared for their island and for each other. Tove's spare prose, and Tuulikki's subtle washes and aquatints combine to form a work of meditative beauty. '... Tooti wandered aimlessly around the island and stood stock still for long periods. I thought I knew what she was doing. She was working again. Copperplate etchings and wash drawings. Mostly the lagoon, the lagoon as a consummate mirror for clouds and birds, the lagoon in a storm, in fog. And the granite, first and foremost, the granite, the cliff, the rocks. It's all peace and quiet now.'

The Invisible Guest in Moominvalley

The Invisible Guest in Moominvalley

Author: Tove Jansson, Cecilia Davidsson Illustrator: Filippa Widlund Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/09/2021

A stunning and classic picture book, 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 endeavour 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.

Moomin and the Midsummer Mystery

Moomin and the Midsummer Mystery

Author: Tove Jansson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2021

If you haven't met a Moomin yet, you're missing the most magical fun . . . It's a long, lazy midsummer afternoon in Moominvalley and the whole family are relaxing outdoors. But suddenly Moominpappa's precious notebook and fountain pen vanish, and the garden starts to feel unseasonably cold. Can Moomintroll and his friends follow the clues and solve this curious mystery?

Moomin Baby: Buzzy Book

Moomin Baby: Buzzy Book

Author: Tove Jansson Format: Rag book Release Date: 17/06/2021

A super soft buggy book - pull the tag and feel it jiggle! With its tactile squishy spine, soft cloth pages and jitter mechanism, this buggy book has been developed to boost a baby's motor skills. And the bold patterns and high-contrast colours throughout are designed to help stimulate a baby's developing eyesight. In this beautiful new range of baby books, Tove Jansson's much-loved world of the Moomins is brought to life for the very tiniest of bookworms.

Moomintroll Sets Sail

Moomintroll Sets Sail

Author: Tove Jansson, Alex Haridi, Cecilia Davidsson Illustrator: Filippa Widlund Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/04/2021

Join the Moomins on an ocean adventure in this stunning picture book based on Tove Jansson's classic tales. The Moomins, Sniff and Little My are setting off across the high seas in Moominpappa's new boat. Along the way they will encounter a swarm of mischievous niblings, Edward the gigantic Booble, and a very cross Hemulen aunt. Will they make it back safely to Moominvalley . . . or could they be lost at sea? This beautiful re-telling of Tove Jansson's beloved story is perfect for Moomin fans of all ages. Combining the spirit of Jansson's original warm and witty text with stunning illustrations of all her most beloved characters, Moomintroll Sets Sail is a heartwarming story of kindness, adventure and courage, as the Moomins come to realise that although adventure is exciting, home is always best.

Moomin Pull-Out Prints Tove Jansson's Art & Pictures

Moomin Pull-Out Prints Tove Jansson's Art & Pictures

Author: Tove Jansson Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/10/2020

A beautifully packaged collection of Tove Jansson's classic Moomin artwork showcased alongside warm, witty and mindful quotes from the original books and characters. Packed full of stunning artwork from the Moomin archive including book covers, illustrations and a detailed map of Moominvalley, this book is a wonderful introduction to the magical world of the Moomins and a must-have for any Moomin fan. Printed on sturdy, high-quality A4 card, each picture can be pulled out and framed, or the book can be read from start to finish to give a history of the Moomins and their unique world. Tove Jansson's art, creative vision and philosophy have led her to become one of the world's most treasured children's authors and illustrators. Born in Helsinki to artist parents, she worked as a celebrated artist, author, and political cartoonist, but she is best known as the creator of the Moomins, the charming and quirky inhabitants of Moominvalley whose lives are filled with adventure, warmth and kindness. Publishing to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Moomins, this gorgeous gift book is peppered with inspirational quotes and additional info alongside the artwork, and will appeal to collectors and new fans alike.

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