The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My
Tove Jansson (English version by Sophie Hannah)
Originally: Hur gick det sen, 1952
pubbed in English in lots of versions
the latest being from Drawn and Quarterly's Enfant imprint, 2009
For years, I've been hearing about the Moomin. First from my Finnish-blooded Texas BFF, who loved them all as a child and has passed that passion down to her two lovely daughters. Then through design blogs and the wonderful world of the Internet. Except for brief glimpses of the books at my friend's house, we've never owned or fully read any of them until the Easter Bunny was kind enough to plop one in the boy's basket. (I hear he/she got it at The Twig, but I could be wrong.) Well, for all those readers who are not quite yet in the know, I think it's safe to say that the Moomin (Mumintroll) are the Finnish equivalent of Mickey Mouse. Beginning in 1945, first there were novels and comic strips, then picture books and eventually televisions shows, merchandise, a theme park and finally MOVIES! (I have all fingers and toes crossed that this one will make it to Texas, but somehow I doubt it.)
That said, the Moomin are trolls that look sort of like hippos and there are loads of other characters who, if and when you become a die-hard fan, make up a fully-realized imaginary world of awesome. In this adventure, we find Moomin traveling home through the woods with a jug of milk for his Mum.
Here's little Moomintroll, none other,
Hurrying home with milk for Mother.
Quick, Moomintroll, it's nearly night.
Run home while there's a bit of light.
Don't hang around in WOODS like these.
Strange creatures lurk between the trees.
The wind begins to howl and hiss.
Now, guess what happens after THIS.
Each spread ends with a cliff hanger that is accented by a die-cut giving you a peek of the action on the next page. Really brilliant. By and by, the Moomintroll comes across his friend Mymble who is weeping over her lost sister Little My. The two take up the quest to locate her, meeting all sorts of beings and adventures along the way.
Seriously, everything about this book I love. The matte finish, the colors, the lyrics, the shapes of the characters, how the words are drawn. And to think this book is over fifty years old, really blows my mind. My son totally got it from the get go, and he's dragged the book around with him for the last few days. I'm not sure why after five years of cajoling by my friend it took us this long to get to Moomin, but now that we're here, I suspect the birthday bird is gonna be toting more than a few of these tomes come May.
(I'm particularly endeared to the die-cut on the back cover that offers a view out into the real world. Marvelous, I tell you!!!)
Also by: Who Will Comfort Toffle?