Friday, January 11, 2019

Comet in Moominland - Tove Jansson

Summary: When Moomintroll learns that a comet will be passing by, he and his friend Sniff travel to the Observatory on the Lonely Mountains to consult the Professors. Along the way, they have many adventures, but the greatest adventure of all awaits them when they learn that the comet is headed straight for their beloved Moominvalley. (picture and summary from goodreads.com)

My Review: I reviewed the fifth Moomin book in December, so I thought I should write a review of the first book.  (Strictly speaking, this book would be the second, however, packaged as they are now, this falls first. The first Moomin book Tove wrote was called The Moomins and the Great Flood, and is more of a picture book than a novel, and is often considered a prequel.  That being said, while it is a wonderful little story, the saga of the Moomins could be said to truly start in Comet in Moominland, and one doesn't necessarily have to read Flood.)

Moomins are plump little trolls that live in the lovely Moominvalley.  Moomintroll, our hero, lives with his mother and father and best friend Sniff.  When a comet threatens to destroy their fair hamlet, Moomintroll and Sniff set off to discover all they can so they will be prepared when it comes.

Along the way they meet characters that become staple in the Moomin series, Snufkin, Snorkmaiden, and Hemulen.  They all join along for the adventure to the observatory, getting into scrapes and learning how to rely on each other when disaster strikes.

Tove was greatly affected by World War II, and that can be seen in Comet in Moominland as it revolves around an outside force that cannot be controlled by the characters, a terrifying thing that is coming and can easily destroy everything.  Despite that terror, the characters learn to stick together, and when disaster is averted, they see the world with a strong new sense of hope where they can continue to live.

I love this book.  We get to interact with such interesting characters that we can find ourselves relating to, even as they do ridiculous things and go on crazy adventures, like fighting an octopus, walking on stilts across what was once an ocean, and being reunited by a cake made by Moominmamma.  As I've said before, the Moominbooks are a delightful series, with charming characters and unique situations, and I highly recommend them to everyone.

My Rating: Four Stars

For the sensitive reader: our heroes are faced with many scary situations, but they bravely come through. 

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