MOOMIN BOOK ONE reviewed in Booklist

Booklist Review - Moomin Book One

Booklist     |    Booklist Staff    |    August 17, 2006

Jansson, Tove. Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip, v.1.
Sept. 2006. 96p. illus. Drawn & Quarterly, $19.95 (1-894937-80-5). 741.5.

In the 1950s Jansson (1914–2001) was world famous for her children’s books about Moomin when the Associated Press contracted with her for an all-ages Moomin comic strip. Wide-eyed, sweetly thick headed Moomin has the body of a hippo, the soul of a puppy. Unlike his friend Sniff, a sort of kangaroo-rat hybrid, Moomin cares naught for fame or fortune, though he isn’t averse to mild adventure. The strip’s story arcs are lengthy and complex but not confusing, develop the characters well, and hold up nicely after 50 years. In the first, “Brigands,” Moomin is the only creature of his kind, but in the later “Family Life” and “Moomin on the Riviera,” he has parents and a partner, Snork Maiden. Jansson’s black-and-white images are most expressive; the characters arch brows and roll eyes tellingly, and settings glow with sunshine, glower with storm. The gentle ribbing Jansson gives mid-century Western culture—Moomin makes modern art, deals with a banker, is bested by a picnic pig’s widow—delighted sophisticates then and should charm their progeny now. ––Francisca Goldsmith

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