by Tove Jansson
This fourth book about a family of fuzzy little creatures that live in a rugged, northern land has something for all ages. For children, it has the same kind of sweet-natured adventure that enlivens the stories of Winnie the Pooh
, Pippi Longstocking
, and The Wind in the Willows
. To the delight of young adults, it pokes gentle fun at the melancholy conceits and romantic aspirations of their age-group. Even older adults - writers especially - may enjoy Jansson's lively play of wit over a memoirist's wistful remembrances of youth. So if anyone in these categories doesn't know about this book, or the Moomins generally, it is time to make their acquaintance!
Also titled The Exploits of Moominpappa, this book - translated from its Finnish author's original Swedish - explores the youthful adventures of Moomintroll's father and his friends - who happen to be the fathers of Moomintroll's friends Sniff and Snufkin. The youngsters bear with Moominpappa's reading of his memoirs chiefly out of interest in hearing about their own, long-absent fathers.
So they hear about the terrible Hemulen Aunt, the inventive Hodgkins and his boat, the nervous Muddler and his button collection, and the footloose Joxter. They learn about a dreadful (but silly) giant, a 100-year-old autocrat who likes to pull pranks on his subjects, the Nibling stowaway, the ravening Sea Hound, the creepy Hattifatteners, Mymble's daughter and Little My, and how the youngsters' parents met. My favorite bit is the lottery in which the Autocrat gives everyone just the gift he wanted - it reveals so much about these zany and lovable characters!
The end seems to hint at further adventures of Moominpappa yet to be revealed. At least, one can hardly help wanting more!
Recommended Age: Age: 10+
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