First published in 1948 by writer and illustrator Tove Jansson, the Moomin books are wildly popular in the author’s native Finland, but were little known in the US until translated into English in 1961. It’s hard to comprehend the popularity of these books in Scandinavia until you consider that they have not only been published as books but made into several comic strips, at least a dozen TV shows and 9 films, and audio book read by actor Hugh Laurie — and that there’s a theme park style Moominworld complete with a Moommin house AND a Moomin museum that attracts thousands of visitor a year in Finland. That’s pretty popular.
The books are about the Moominfamily — Moominpapa, Moominmama and their child Moomintroll — and their exploits in their neighborhood filled with Moomin friends and foes.
The stories describe the Moomintrolls — drawn to look like small hippopotamuses — and their friends, homes and customs in short stand alone chapters that are perfect for reading out loud to very young children. With fantasy-like illustrations and whimsical adventures, the books bring to mind the adventures of Horton in the land of the Who in the Dr. Seuss story. While the stories are exciting, they are never frightening and all end with the Moomintroll family safe and sound back in their Moominland home.
With over a dozen books in the series, all translated into many other languages around the world, the first three books in the series are: The Moomins and the Great Flood, Comet in Moominland, and Finn Family Moomintroll.
Young pre-readers will want to spend a lot of time looking at the colorful and detailed illustrations that accompany the stories to see what the inhabitants of Moominland look like. With added features like Mominmamma’s explanations about Moomins houses and daily habits, and themes like hiding in a magical to