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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

Tales from Moominvalley

Tales from Moominvalley

Author: Tove Jansson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/08/1973

If you found a tiny golden dragon with green paws, would you know what to do with it? Well, Moomintroll thinks he knows what to do. But when he takes his new-found pet home, things don't quite work out as planned! Here is a delightful collection of stories in which Moomintroll meets some new characters such as the Fillyjonk and the Hattifatteners, as well as sharing adventures with old friends, namely Snufkin and Little My.

Moominland Midwinter

Moominland Midwinter

Author: Tove Jansson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/06/1971

'This is snow,' Moomintroll whispered to himself. Moomins always sleep through the winter - or they did until the year Moomintroll woke up and went exploring in the silent, snow-covered valley where the river used to scuttle along and all his friends were so busy in summer.

Moominsummer Madness

Moominsummer Madness

Author: Tove Jansson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/06/1971

It all began with a hot day in June, and a volcano dropping black ash on Moominmamma's washing. Then a crack appeared in the ground, and Moomintroll's toothbrush slipped straight down into the dark and yawning earth. Then a great flood wave came crashing through Moomin Valley. And that was why the Moomins found themselves a new home, and why they all had so many strange adventures, ones that were odd even by Moomin standards. . .

The Exploits of Moominpappa

The Exploits of Moominpappa

Author: Tove Jansson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/08/1969

'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.

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