Friday, June 6, 2014

Flashback Friday: Moominsummer Madness

Although Moominsummer Madness is the fourth title in Tove Jansson's Moomin series of novels, each of the books stands alone beautifully, and Moominsummer Madness is the perfect choice now that summer is upon us. In Moominsummer Madness, a large wave rises up from the sea and comes crashing through the valley. Their house now flooded, the Moomins must move, and as this is Moominland, of course, a new one comes floating by. They quickly move into the cave-like home but discover that their new abode contains many oddities, such as a merry-go-round drawing room, lamps that light exactly at sunset, and curtains in place of a wall. And in true Moomin fashion, hilarity ensues.

The Moomin books are classic works of children's literature by Finnish author, Tove Jansson. I can't remember exactly how many years ago we stumbled upon the Moomins, but they quickly became a universal favorite in our household. I won't pretend that I completely understand the appeal to these hippopotamus-looking creatures, but my children love the Moomins dearly...and Snufkin, and The Hemulen, and Thingumy and Bob. I do know that the characters are beautifully written. Moominpapa and Moominmama are warm and patient parents. For example, when the house floods, Moominpapa puts a positive spin by saying, "I've often thought that one ought to look at one's abode sometimes from the ceiling instead of from the floor." And when no one remembered to take the hammock in, and it's washed away in the flood, he says, "Good. It was a horrid color." Overall the entire flock of Moomins are joyful and full of positivity, in contrast to a few of the other characters, and this might be one of the most endearing qualities.

You can find Moominsummer Madness, and other Moomin titles, in the Early Elementary Read Alouds section of The Book Children Store.

PS. You can read a lovely article about Tove Jansson posted just this week at The Guardian.