MOOMIN in The Library Journal

“The Library Journal Review - Moomin” / The Library Journal / The Library Journal / May 24, 2007

Whimsical and charming, Moomin's (mis)adventures suggest an Alice in Wonderland dream world with odd beings, unexplained connections, and events that freewheel out of control—almost. Moomin and his family are hippopotamus-like trolls, and this strip from the late Finnish artist appeared in the London Evening News from 1953 to 1959 and was syndicated in 40 countries. She always resolves matters with happy endings, but like the best all-ages comics, her gentle humor can be read on multiple levels. Moomin is beset by freeloading guests (which he attempts to drive off in increasingly ludicrous ways), endeavors to win the love of a girl troll, and journeys to the Riviera with his parents. Throughout, foxlike opportunistic sidekick Sniff supplies a slightly edgier counterpoint to Moomin's bewilderment in the face of life's challenges and his joy in ordinary pleasures of nature and family. The deceptively simple black-and-white art invites readers to try drawing their own imaginings. The Moomin saga began as Swedish-language books, then became wildly popular internationally in the 1990s, especially in Japan, and inspired animated and theatrical adaptations—even a theme park and museum. Jansson won numerous prizes for her work. For all ages.—M.C.

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