The Dangerous Journey
Tove Jansson ~ originally published 1977 as Den farliga resan
reissued in the UK by Sort of Books, 2010
After seeing the Swedish version on stopping off place, I went looking and found the November reissue by the UK publisher Sort of Books, who also publishes some of Tove's adult fiction. The last of the trio of picture books Tove illustrated herself in the Moomin series, this version features a translation by UK writer and poet, Sophie Hannah, with gorgeous calligraphy by American musician and cartoonist, Peter Blegvad.
The story begins when our heroine, Susanna, wakes one morning to find herself bored and annoyed with her cat (ala Alice's Adventures in Wonderland).
You're old, Cat, and you're lazy--
Too peaceful, too serene
Not me! I'm wild and crazy
And I'm sick of all this green:
A field, a tree, a petal--
Quite beautiful, it's true,
But I'm far too young to settle
For nothing much to do.
Instead of falling down a rabbit hole, her old glasses get inadvertently switched out for a new pair, and her Cat reappears as a wide-eyed loony of a thing. Beyond that, nothing is as it once appeared. A wonderful (yet dangerous) journey through the imagination where all of our Moomin Valley friends make an appearance... the Hemulen, the Hattinfatteners, Thingummy, Little My, Mymble, Moominpappa and the rest.
If you haven't yet gotten acquainted with the Moomin tribe, I suggest you start now. Drawn & Quarterly, here in the US, has reissued the picture books Who Will Comfort Toffle? and The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My as well as the complete comic strip. In addition, Macmillian has released a load of the Chapter Books and even created a series of board books with the characters. This UK version is available now from many sellers on Amazon, and D&Q has promised to get it out here in the US post haste. It's nice that after being out-of-print for so long state-side, many American readers will now have access to the good stuff.
(Along with Alice, this site features a ton of Tove's non-Moomin illustration, including The Hobbit. How awesome is that!?!)
The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My
Who Will Comfort Toffle?
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