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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.
One of our special picks for Valentine's Day This beautiful little book from the Moomins is the perfect way to say 'I love you!'. Our Special Valentine's Day Picks Words and Your Heart by Kate Jane Neal Love from the Moomins by Tove Jansson I Love You, Stick Insect by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros The Poesy Ring by Bob Graham
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.
A showstopping luxury gift book to cherish for years to come, The Moomins: The World of Moominvalley is the ultimate guide for any Moomin fan, old and new. Step into the magical world of Moominvalley with this beautiful one of a kind book; a fun, fascinating, behind the scenes look at the wonderful world of the Moomins and their creator, Tove Jansson. Filled with illustrated maps and family trees, facts about Moomintroll behaviour and habits, this gorgeous book contains all you could wish to know about the beloved characters from the original Moomin stories and the world in which they live. Find out all about Moomintroll's adventures, Moominmamma's handbag and Moominpappa's diary and discover all the favourite Moomin characters, including Snork Maiden, Snufkin, Sniff and Little My. Get a glimpse behind the studio door of the uniquely talented Tove Jansson. Featuring original Moomin drawings, colour studies and stunning sketches of her iconic characters, as well as family photographs and Tove's childhood drawings. With a luxuriously designed die-cut cover featuring gold foil, this breathtaking hardback is the perfect addition to the collection of any Moomin fan. Written by the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, Philip Ardagh, with contributions from bestselling children's author, screenwriter and Moomin devotee, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, The Moomins: The World of Moominvalley is a highly illustrated, beautifully designed gift book for all Moomin fans to treasure.
Moomin is searching everywhere for Snufkin, but he is nowhere to be seen. Where could he be? Follow the finger trails on every page to explore Moominvalley and help Moomin find his best friend!
Colour your way through the year with this stunning, diary edition of the bestselling The Moomin Colouring Book. Perfect for recording your thoughts and activities, with inspiring quotes and moments of Moomin wisdom to guide you through even the bleakest months. The Moomin Colouring Diary is full of beautiful illustrations of Tove Jansson's beloved characters to colour in. This is a stylish and portable diary, featuring artwork from the coveted archive of Moomin creator, Tove Jansson.
The Hunting of the Snark relates in glittering verse the story of how the Bellman and his eccentric crew, who include a butcher, a baker, a beaver and a tailor, set off in quest of that most mysterious and elusive of creatures, the Snark. In 1959 Tove Jansson, the creator of Moomin Valley and its magical inhabitants, was commissioned to illustrate a Swedish edition of Lewis Carroll's miniature masterpiece. It proved an inspired choice, as the enigmatic charms of Jansson's illustrative style bring to life the beauty and strangeness of Carroll's tale. The minds of two of the greatest children's authors of the past 150 years meet on the page. Remarkably, amid the success of Tove Jannson's Moomin books, her unique edition of The Hunting of the Snark was forgotten, and has been unavailable for over fifty years. Now, for the first time, these beautiful illustrations are matched with Lewis Carroll's original English text, so that readers can encounter this wonderful adventure afresh through the eyes of one of Europe's finest illustrators.
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