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The Moomins and the Great Flood by Tove Jansson #BookReview

The Moomins and the Great Flood is the first book about the Moomins, originally published in 1945. It´s the story about Moominmamma and Moomintroll´s search for the missing Moominpappa and how they found their way to the Moominvalley.

The Moomins and the Great Flood by Tove Jansson book cover

Title: The Moomins and the Great Flood | Author: Tove Jansson | Publisher: Schildts | Pub. Date: 1945 | Pages: 52 | ISBN: 9789515015501 | Genre: Kids Fantasy | Language: English | Starred Review: Yes | Source: Self-purchased

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The Moomins and the Great Flood Review

This is the first of the ‘Moomins’ books by Scandinavian author and illustrator Tove Jansson. It was started in 1939 and published in 1945. The series went on to include nine books, as well as a comic strip and TV cartoons and movies. There’s even a Moomin World theme park in Finland. The characters are ones I was familiar with from my childhood in the 1970s when they were popular in the UK. This is the first of the books I’ve tried, although I have read Jansson’s novel for adults ‘The Summer Book’.

If you’re not familiar with the Moomins they occupy a pastoral fantasy universe that has a similar vibe to some of Studio Ghibli’s films, or the ‘Legend of Zelda’ video games. It’s a world filled with nature that can be wonderful and charming, or weird and threatening. Jansson had a great imagination, and the book is filled invention, sometimes scary, at others whimsical.

The plot is a simple quest, but it works well. It follows young Moomintroll and his mother Moominmamma as they search for Moominpappa who has gone adventuring and got lost. They travel through a dark forest, encountering a variety of characters and situations. The adventure features such memorable, fairy tale delights as a garden made of sweets, a beautiful blue haired woman who lives in a flower and a giant swamp-dwelling serpent. Moomintroll is guided through all of this by his wise, affectionate and patient mother.   

Throughout, the book celebrates nature. It’s filled with a child-like wonder at the natural world and the treasures and dangers it contains. The flood of the title is an all-consuming force that threatens to destroy the characters and the landscape they inhabit. I can’t help but hypothesise that Jansson, starting the book in the shadow of what ended up being a six year conflict that decimated much of Europe, was trying to evoke a simpler world that could be saved from existential threats by love and comradeship.

You can find this book at many retailers via clicking on the appropriate link on Goodreads (Buying direct from retailers is a good way to support indie authors); however, in the spirit of supporting literacy programs, we would like to point out that you may be able to purchase this book through BetterWorldBooks.

Published inFantasy Book ReviewsKids FantasyKids' Book ReviewsStarred Reviews

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