The Moomin family was created by the much loved Finnish cartoonist, writer & creator, Tove Jansson.
Jansson was born in Helsinki in 1914, in a Swedish speaking family. Her father was a sculptor & mother a successful illustrator whom Tove, however Tove noted in her diaries
"I want to be a wild thing, not an artist."
After leaving school and struggling with her creativity Jansson invented the Moomins, a close knit family made up of Moomintroll, the loving & practical Moominmamma, adventure seeking Moominpappa and Moomintroll's pearl loving girlfriend, Snork Maiden. There is a cast of other gorgeous characters who all lived together peacefully in Moominvalley.
The first book to be published in 1945 was "The Moomins and the Great Flood" followed by "Moomin in Cometland" in 1946.
As a lover of the Finnish forest, it is easy to see how Jansson allowed her mind to drift away in to Moominland and create these loveable adventurous characters. The books are filled with lovely stories, and wonderful quotes that can be enjoyed by both children and adults!
Tove also published numerous wonderful Adult fiction books such as Fair Play, the Summer Book and the Winter Book which are equally delightful to read.
Jansson spent most of her life living he with partner of over 45 years, Tuulikki Pietilä, on a small island in the Finnish archipelago. One of my favourite quotes from Jansson describes this terribly idyllic existence ..
"We rarely clean the house and only have the occasional wash. Then we do our own private thing until dinner, which we eat something in the middle of the day, our noses in our books. We get on with our work ... We don't talk much. And so the day passes in blessed tranquility"
New York Times journalist, Sheila Heti says "Much of Jansson's later fiction expands this idea of contentment. Love for her is premised on a delicate balance between the reliable presence of another person and the freedom to inhabit one's private universe" . I think this is something we can all learn from ...
Thank goodness for Tove and thank goodness for the Moomins!