This book is really great. I read it when I was a child and had forgotten about it then suddenly remembered and bought it for my 7 year old twins. They are perhaps a little young for it, they would have struggled to read it on their own and no doubt would have given up. However, they have enjoyed me reading it to them. There are many different characters in the book, some of them a little menacing and some just odd but the main character, the childlike but resouceful Moomintroll, is adorable, you just want to cuddle him. He is an invented creature as are some of the other characters. The book is illustrated by the author and the pictures are fantastic and in fact the pictures are part of the reason I liked it so much when I was young. They are simply drawn but really capture what's going on in the story and the feelings of those involved. The story can be quite surreal, a horse made of snow comes to life and gallops off - that kind of thing, and not everything is explained, how is it that the horse came to life, we are not told. It is basically the story of Moomintroll who should be hibernating but has woken up, how he discovers winter, the people he meets and how he spends his time until his family wake up. The book is extremely imaginative, very funny in places and a great tale.