Some children’s books, I am grateful, didn’t come my way till I was an adult. This book came in to my life as I turned 30 last year, a present from my dearest friend, Mariona.
The adventures of Moomintroll and his friends and family would have entertained me as a child but a lot of the difficulties of adventure and distance from home would have escaped me.
Moomin valley is idyllic, but there is a big comet coming. There are such enlightening passages as:
[‘The garnets,’ Sniff moaned, ‘I didn’t get a single one.’
Snufkin sat down beside him and said kindly:
‘I know. But that’s how it is when you start wanting things. Now I just look at them and when I go away I carry them in my head. Then my hands are always free, because I don’t have to carry a suitcase.’]
[‘Moomintroll thought how frightened the Earth must be feeling with that great ball of fire coming nearer and nearer to her. Then he thought about how much he loved everything; the forest and the sea, the rain and the wind, the sunshine, the grass and the moss, and how impossible it would be to live without them all…’]
Jansson was influenced by the war and the natural landscapes of Finland and there are traces of this throughout. She did not expect the fame that these creatures brought her which is perhaps why she spent most of her life on a remote island called Klovharun in South Finland.
To go on an adventure and then to come home. That was the theme of this sweet little book and I like to think, the theme of my life.
The story inspired a sketch and though the original house is supposed to be three storeys high and a different shape, this is the house that came in my head. Moomintroll and Sniff coming home after a big adventure to their blue house and family, starting with a hug from Moominmama.