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Moominpappa at Sea by Tove Jansson

Moominpappa at Sea (1965)

by Tove Jansson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Moomintrolls (7)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
933169,346 (4.34)18
  1. 00
    The Summer Book by Tove Jansson (Jannes)
    Jannes: Janssons kärlek till den finska skärgården är mycket tydlig i båda dessa böcker som trots sina ytliga olikheter har mycket gemensamt.

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» See also 18 mentions

English (11)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (2)  German (1)  All (16)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
This was my first Moomin-themed book. I did enjoy it, but it wasn't something I want to reread, and I am not in any hurry to read the others. ( )
  fuzzi | Jan 8, 2015 |
Moominpappa at Sea in particular I remember as a child finding eerie and puzzling, but with adult eyes it revealed whole new layers dealing with loneliness, middle age, and the difficulties of solving one’s problems with radical life changes. Mercifully Hollywood has yet to get its hands on the Moomin books and ruin them the way it’s busily doing to Dr Seuss. ( )
  adzebill | Jan 3, 2013 |
I’m a little anxious to write this review. I just know I won’t do this book justice. There’ll be too much name dropping, too little plot description and love, love, love all over the place.

Don’t let the cute name fool you. Tove Jansson’s books about the Moomin family are the exact best books for children ever written. They are funny, adventurous, sad, spooky, melancholy, philosophical, profound and populated with the kind of characters you can use as examples to describe real people (I would love to be Little My, but am probably most like The Fillyjonk). Like all good books for children they are just as readable for adults. Each book in this series has a distinctly flavour of it’s own, from the fun and playfulness of Finn Family Moomintroll to the apocalyptic ambience of Comet in Moominland, from the Shakespearian poetry of Moominsummer Madness to the burlesque tall tales of The Exploits of Moominpappa. Moominpappa at sea and it’s sister novel Moominvalley in November (which deals with what happens in the valley when the safe centre point that was the family is gone) are the last books in the series, and they were my least favourites when I was a child. I liked them too, but thought they were bleak and dark and a little scary and that not enough was going on in them. It’s easy to see why. Those two books are very much in the borderland between children’s literature and adult literature, and they are the ones I most obviously read in a different way now than I did as a child.

It starts with Moominpappa feeling unnecessary. Everything is too steady, too comfortable, too neat. Nobody needs his protection, and he’s miserable because of it. Pappa’s restlessness affects the family and Moominmamma decides they need to move for his sake. A small island with a lighthouse, far out into the ocean will be the family’s new home, a place where Pappa can find a purpose again. But the island isn’t what the family hoped for. It’s grumpy, difficult and barren, whipped by an angry grey ocean and defying description. And it brings something with it – change.

It’s really brave what Jansson does here, letting her beloved family move in genuinely new directions, grow apart even. Mamma misses home, and escapes into memories instead of being a safe haven. Pappa battles with the disappointment of a fulfilled wish. My is her angry cheerful self as ever, but also shows a brutal streak. And Moomintroll comes of age in a way, and even starts to create a strange stormnight relationship with the Groke, the loneliest and most dangerous creature of all, she who freezes everything in her path to death. Yes, this is a sad book in some ways. There’s humour here too, and lots of warmth and insight. And a happy ending that rings so true it gives me goosebumps.

You shouldn’t start with this book. You could, but it finds additional strength if you already know the family in all their frail humanity. I’m reading it for the fourth time I think (third as an adult), and will definitely come here again. I revisit all the Moomin books regularly. I find new things in them every time.

This is not only the finest book for children I know, it’s probably on my top ten list of books ever. ( )
2 vote GingerbreadMan | Sep 21, 2010 |
What a frightening children's book! The overpowering sense of fear and terror begin as soon as the family leave their familiar valley and set out to sea. The island from the first is strange, disturbing, unfathomable. It's effect on each family member is frightening and when everything begins to flee in terror, I could barely continue reading. The ending left me unsatisfied and uncertain. Children really like this book? ( )
  evet | Mar 26, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tove Janssonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Portch, ElizabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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One afternoon at the end of August, Moominpappa was walking about in his garden, feeling at a loss.
"I'm not saying anything about some mothers and fathers," drawled Little My. "If I do, the first thing you'll say is that they're never silly. They're up to something, those two. I'd eat a bushel of sand if I knew what it was." "You're not supposed to know," said Moomintroll sharply. "They know perfectly well why they're behaving a little oddly. Some people think they're so superior and have to know everything just because they've been adopted!"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374453063, Paperback)

When the Moomin family members need a change of scenery, they decide to take up residence in a lighthouse. As they discover their new home, the family also discover surprising, and wonderfully funny, new things about themselves.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:58 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Feeling his family's life is too safe and fixed, Moominpappa moves them to a lighthouse on an island to lead a life full of troubles, and indeed they find many mysteries in that lonely place.

» see all 3 descriptions

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Average: (4.34)
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141327200, 0141334398

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