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Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson
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Finn Family Moomintroll (original 1958; edition 1958)

by Tove Jansson

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English (26)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
My daughter loved this so much that she picked it out to give to friends for their kids' birthdays.

Gender: The gender roles are somewhat dated, unfortunately. But with a little discussion, that can be handled, I think, and the imaginativeness and fun of this series can't be beaten. ( )
  lquilter | Oct 13, 2014 |
A delightful and fun story by Jansson - one of the most accessible of her Moomintroll stories to start with in English. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
I have loved this book since I was about 7 years old, and it is still fun to read now as an adult. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 26, 2013 |
Delightfully idiosyncratic, wholly original, and immensely engaging, this charming fantasy from Finnish author Tove Jansson is a classic of world children's literature, and it is not difficult to see why. The tale of an eclectic family of beings who live together in Moominvalley - distracted Moominpappa, always writing his memoirs; kind but fair-minded Moominmamma, with her all-essential handbag; sweet Moomintroll himself, so anxious for everyone to get along; the somewhat aloof Snufkin, a musician with wanderlust, if ever there was one - it somehow manages to be both unhurried and exciting, involving the reader in its characters' adventures - finding the Hobgoblin's hat, and discovering its unusual qualities, sailing to the Lonely Island, and encountering the Hattifatteners - as well as their inner emotional lives.

I loved so many things about Finn Family Moomintroll, from Jansson's hilarious little footnotes, to her adorable illustrations, that it's difficult to single out what it is that makes the story so appealing. In the end, after much discussion over in the children's books group to which I belong - where this was our June selection, for The International Book Club - I have settled on three essential qualities to Jansson's creation, that make it truly outstanding. To wit: the respect that the Moomins show to one another, and through them, that Jansson shows for her readers; the sly humor to be found in both text and image; and the tolerance - the celebration, even - of diversity and difference.

These are highly individual characters all, with distinct interests and personalities, but there is always the sense that they are welcome. I was particularly struck by the way in which the Moomintroll household seems to continually be expanding to include newcomers. Bob and Thingummy, for instance, arrive toward the end of the book, and Moominmamma's first thought, when she discovers that their language is difficult to understand - that they are, in a sense, "foreigners" - is not, "what are they doing here?" but "how will I know what to make them for their special birthday feast, if we can't communicate?" Although the incorporation of these two is the only family expansion that occurs within the book's narrative, the text hints that other members were likewise adopted, in the past.

This generosity of spirit is reflected, not only in the welcoming of new (and highly unusual) family members, but in the way that the established Moomins interact with each other. Every one has their flaws, but Jansson invites us to accept and forgive them, recognizing that, despite these failings, they are each an important part of the whole. The Hemulen, for instance, may be a bit of an obsessive-compulsive collector, more interested in the process of amassing objects than in really studying them, but that in no way means he isn't a feeling creature - someone to be treated with consideration. This is made clear in the scene, early on, when Moomintroll and the Snork Maiden discover him in the forest, deeply upset. Concerned, but also respectful, they avoid pressing him for details, but make it clear that they are there to listen.

Of course, all this analysis might lead one to suppose that Finn Family Moomintroll was a very serious book, but nothing could be further from the truth! Jansson has a subtle but very appealing sense of humor, that emerges in sly little asides - as when she writes of the Hemulen: "(he) continued to look worried because he thought he oughtn't to look happy after such a big sorrow" - and humorous incidents, like the one in which the Muskrat barrels past the beach-bound Moomins. The adventures themselves - whether it be Moomintroll and friends riding on the little egg-shell clouds, or the Moomin family each discovering something washed up on the shore of the Hattifatteners' island, after the big storm - are absolutely magical, and young readers wills wish that similar things might happen to them.

In short: this is that rarest of books which manages to succeed, both as entertainment and art, and I cannot recommend it highly enough! I have read bits and pieces of Tove Jansson's work, over the years - enough to know I liked it - but this is my first experience sitting down and reading one of her books straight through. All I can say is: where's the next? ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 19, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tove Janssonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Järvinen, LailaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Polet, CoraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Portch, ElizabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
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One grey morning the first snow began to fall in the Valley of the Moomins.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
First published in Swedish as 'Trollkarlens hatt'
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374423075, Paperback)

The Moomins, creatures always ready for adventure, find a magical hat that can change anything-or anyone-into something else!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:22 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Moomintroll and his friends find the Hobgoblin's hat, which can turn anything, or anyone, into something else.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014030150X, 0141328606

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