Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson & Elizabeth Portch (trans.)
While I’d hate to imply that I was deprived, I do feel some sadness that I only learned about the Moomins after my childhood had ended, when I began working at a children’s bookshop at 20 and was introduced to Tove Jansson’s incredible body of work by my colleagues. Finn Family Moomintroll is one of the nine novels Jansson wrote featuring the Moomintrolls and their community of strange critters.
It opens as winter ends. The sun is out, everyone is waking up from a long sleep, and it is time for adventure. On the one hand, this is a book filled with action; there is magic, mysteries, and a voyage to a secret island. There is a cave and a party, there are dangers and delights to be found on each and every page. In saying that, the book is gentle. The moomins are thoughtful, philosophical creatures; at times they are mischievous, but never mean-spirited. Finn Family Moomintroll is filled with Jansson’s frank, charming Scandinavian humour and features many of her beautiful illustrations. It’s a book that would be suited to independent readers aged 9+, although the novel is split into seven chapters, each with a distinct plot, making it an excellent choice for sharing with a wider age range of family members at bedtime. Please do not deprive yourself or the young readers in your life of the Moomintrolls any longer!