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Moominland Midwinter

Jon Mayhew writes and blogs from the soggy, marshy side of the Wirral. He runs marathons and writes children's literature which might one day be published!

Go here to visit Jon's blog.

MoominlandMidwinter Moominland Midwinter, written by Tove Jansson, was first published in 1957. When I first read it, it just struck so many chords. The previous Moomin books are light-hearted adventures that you know are going to end happily. With Midwinter, I wasn’t sure and Moomintroll ends the book as a changed character. Moomintroll wakens from his hibernation. The rest of the family are asleep and he is utterly alone. Although his physical surroundings are familiar, they have changed. The snow has altered the landscape, the perpetual darkness depresses him and the people of winter are alien and unfriendly.

Slowly, he becomes acquainted with a whole new cast of characters but they are miserable or overbearing, they want to fit in but can’t. Moomintroll wants to talk of the Summer, the good times but nobody is interested. Many of the winter people can’t talk, they speak another language or just don’t want to communicate. Sorry-oo, the little dog who wants to join the wolves in the lonely mountains, finally plucks up the courage to seek them out only to find that the romance of the wolf pack is a far cry from the deadly reality. Finally, the moomin family wake up and Spring comes to the valley but Moomintroll has had to fend for himself. He has experienced winter and finds their spring rituals and routines quaint and foolish.

Moominland Midwinter is a lovely book. It is laced with themes of alienation, a longing for the past and of growing away from one’s family. A book I’ve read many times and read to my children and they’ve loved it too.

  • Go here for the wiki page.
  • Here's some more info about Tove Jansson.
  • This is Tove's second nomination, here's the first.
  • Here for the Moomin Trove - name says it all!
  • This is a great site showcasing the Moomin songs.
  • Go here for a used copy of the book.
  • Here for a new one.

One for all you 80's children...

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Comments

David O'Connor Thompson

Sounds interesting, Jon. Just wondered what age group it is appropriate for. Would it suit a girl of three years and four months going on five months?

Rachel Green

I loved the moomins and had the full set in the seventies. I should replace them.

Caroline

Another one for the expanding wishlist.
Thanks Mr Mayhew.

Jon M

David: Probably a bit young but I suppose kids love to hear anything read in an animated way by a loved adult!

Rachel: You should, you should!

Caroline: I'd love to have them all in antique hardback!

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