“Oh, to be a Moomin and to dance in the waves while the sun gets up!… They dived like porpoises through the waves and sailed in on the crests towards the beach where Sniff was playing in the shallow water.” (Finn Family Moomintroll, Tove Jansson)
This book is so instantly fresh and vital, so lovably light and deep, that I wonder where it has been all my life. The whole Moomin series has the potential to a reach Harry Potter-like status to me, which is to say that I can foresee myself curling up to reread it after unfortunate events, or listening to it backwards and forwards and every way in between uncountable times over.
The question about where the Moomins were when I was a child, or any year afterwards, becomes a bit more potent after a quick visit to Wikipedia. These fantastically chubby, slightly surreal characters have enough of a following in Europe to support a Moomin-themed amusement park in Finland! How then, have most American children been able to escape the Moomin experience? Perhaps the reason is an obvious one, like the books not being advertised enough here, or maybe it has a little to do with how different the free and easy family dynamic is compared to the more ridged American ideal. There are plenty more simple or idealistic reasons, I am sure. But the fact is, the U.S. oversight of Moomins must be remedied! If you are a lover of children’s literature or know of child in need of a good reading-to, do whatever it takes to get your hands on this book.
Beverage: this needs something light, something frothy, sweet, with hardly a touch of bitterness. Some fruit punch with ice cream might do the trick, or maybe chocolate milk (made with good cocoa powder) that has been stirred and shaken until foamy.
Reminds me of… Although this series has a more modern and unrealistic edge, it almost reminds me of Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit in how it sits so comfortably in the natural world.