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Comet in Moominland Mass Market Paperback – Illustrated, 22 Feb 1973
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They seem to grow in wisdom and delight every time I read them...a perfect marriage of word and picture (Philip Pullman)
I have long been a passionate Moomin appreciator - it's not just Tove Jansson's wonderfully strange fairytale world that so appeals but also her beautiful line work and exquisite sense of design (Lauren Child)
A comet is speeding towards Earth and nobody knows what to do!Will it destroy everything and everyone? Moomintroll decides to find out. So, with Sniff, he sets out on an expedition that promises to be packed with adventure and excitement!See all Product description
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Oh my goodness! If ever you feared that childish enchantment might be inexorably snuffed out with the steady encroachment of careworn adult years, then I'd thoroughly recommend a dose of Tove Jansson's sublimely enchanting Moomintroll stories. Clearly written with children in mind, I'm nonetheless just discovering Jansson's delightful world of Moomins, Snorks, Hemulens, Hattifatteners and the like, at the ripe young age of forty-something. And the experience is just terrific.
In this story you get everything, including a great adventurous journey, taking in such archetypical fairy-tale locations as a cave, forests, mountains, the sea, with all kinds of places and characters, from the humble village store to a lofty mountain-top observatory. The cast ranges from people to animals to mythological or fanciful beasts and spirits, all of which have a magically natural pagan mythological feel.
Like its predecessor The Moomins and the Great Flood, there's a cataclysm, in this instance the titular Comet, simultaneously wondrous and terrifying. As with the best of the fairy-tale tradition, be it old or new, the emotional and psychological range is complete, from carefree fun to fearful terror, but always with a sweetly gentle quasi-philosophical undertow, the whole package wrapped up in a beautiful combination of word and image that together combine into an enchanting and unique whole.
As an artist and illustrator myself, finally paying note to Jansson's work, which I've been dimly aware of since childhood, is like stubbing your toe on a pot of gold in the back garden. There's something, to use a phrase once used in reference to Tolkien, both 'epic and homely' about what she's created. And as a Northern European it also feels totally at one with my 'psyche'/worldview. This Puffin hardback is also a tremendously beautiful edition, everything form the paper, print quality, fonts, layout and dust-jacket design conspiring to make a gorgeous whole.
Through pure fortuitous happenstance I came to The Moomins & The Great Flood and Comet In Moominland in turn, not knowing that this was also their order of appearance. However, having now read both, I do now know that Finn Family Moomintroll comes next, and I can't wait to get that!
Tove Jansson created lovable and quirky characters, characters that you instantly feel reflect your own personality, with a simple message that a simple way of life and a life of acceptance is best, set in a beautiful land where nature is also a leading character.
Here is the second in the series, Comet in Moominland, where boyish Moomintroll and timid Sniff leave Moomin Valley to find out about a comet that is threatening the Earth. Along the way, future main characters are introduced; carefree Snufkin, the vain Snork Maiden, the officious Snork and the obsessive Hemulen. On returning home, all cower in the arms of motherly Moominmamma, I must say, in a scene which nearly had me in tears.
I agree wholeheartedly with Philip Pullman when he said "they seem to grow in wisdom and delight every time I read them." It gives a simple message of acceptance without wearing it's message on it's sleeve, something one appreciates more as one gets older.
A life-affirming joy!
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