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.
The Book Report: Dear little Moomintroll, who lives in a blue Moominhouse (for all Moominhouses are blue, you know) with Moominmamma and Moominpappa and his adopted sibling Sniff the little beast, has a perfect day of pearl-diving, cave-doscovering, and comet-spotting behind him. It is the Muskrat, a philosopher and a nay-sayer par excellence, who lets Moomintroll in on the comet's likely collision with the earth, and gets little Moomintroll worried enough about the consequences to send him, with Sniff in complaining attendance, to the Lonely Mountains to find the professors in the Observatory so they can tell him if, and when, and preferably where, the comet will hit the earth.
Many adventures come the way of the travelers, who are fortified with all the goodies that Moominmamma can think of to pack. These include Sniff's favorite lemonade, and Moomintroll's woolly trousers in case it's cold in the Lonely Mountains (it is, but the trousers were thrown to the crocodiles to keep them from eating Moomintroll and Sniff, which worked, but left Moomintroll cold on the way to the Observatory, though not on the way back because the comet was making the earth so hot by then).
And Moomintroll meets his true love, the Snork Maiden, on the way. Oh, how sweet the Snork Maiden is! All green and fluffy, with a gold ring on her paw and a flower behind her ear!
Everyone, like Snufkin the wanderer and the Snork and his sister the Snork Maiden, and even the stamp-obsessed Hemulen, come back to Moominvalley to be safe in Moomintroll's (well, Sniff's if you want to be fair) cave with Moominmamma and Moominpappa when the comet hits the earth on October the seventh, at 8:42pm (and maybe four seconds), like the professors at the Observatory said it would.
But it doesn't, though it gets close, and it scares the whole family silly, and then they see the sea (which evaporated, cause it was so hot, and all Moominfolk love the sea so they missed it, and the octopus that tried to eat Moomintroll when they were walking across the sea-floor is back under water, thank goodness) so they know the world is all right.
My Review: Magical. Marvelous. Delightful.
And the best oath in the whole Universe, the one I'll swear by for the rest of my life, is on page 10: "May the ground swallow me up, may old hags rattle my dry bones, and may I never more eat ice cream if I don't guard this secret with my life." Seriously! I ask you! Could *you* break such an oath?!
If not for the LibraryThing 75ers's Fantasy February, I wouldn't have revisited this beautiful little parable about friendship, freedom, creativity, and love. I am so so glad I did. Tove Jansson, a designer and illustrator and cartoonist like her mother, created the sort of delight-filled universe I wish I could give to every child. Moominfolk are known and revered all over the world, and Jansson's native Finland has a Moominworld theme park! I wanna go! Operas have been written. Cartoon series have been made. Translations of the books into Ukrainian, into Urdu, into Japanese! Dolls! Artworks! It's Moominmadness!
And you can get in on the fun by buying a $7 paperback book. So tell me, what are you waiting for?
I became Snufkin, lol. Many a holiday was spent alone, walking through mountains. I tried to emulate his gentle and kind nature. I also tried to play the mouth organ - sadly I never got the hang of it, so I learned to whistle instead...
As utterly captivating as the rest of the series. If I was left with one book - this would be it.
Jansson is spectacularly observant of inner feelings and how they influence human interaction - and she can get this across to children. That's truly amazing. Moominvalley in November is probably her most profound.
It's no spoiler - there's another seven books in the series - to say that everything turns out OK. The enjoyment is in the journey and the heroic and cowardly antics of the Moomins and friends and, for children and adults alike, a comfort in returning to the warm bosom of Moominmamma at the end.
Jansson's illustrations are superb, of course, being an integral part of the story and its tone, which can be rather grotesque at times - the stiltwalkers put me in mind of Dali's Temptation of St Anthony. A bold image for a children's book, and there are others just as eschatological. Despite which, the overall time is not at all bleak, rather the opposite.
I found the approach of the comet as a great, concrete way to constantly intensify the atmosphere. I mean, it's there, in the sky, and grows bigger and bigger. In the end, the best part of the book, there's a great contrast between the calm of the Moomins and the heat of the comet.
This one isn't my favorite Moomin book (you know, it doesn't have any Little My in it), but it offers some real moments of magic. It's also lovely to finally get the origin of the Snork Maiden. The story is a little uneven and a little odd and involves too much smoking, but there's plenty of Moomintroll charm to go around.
(real review will get written one day, but I don't have the energy for it Right Now)
“We'd better only take the windfalls,” said Moomintroll, “because mamma makes jam from these.” But they had to shake the tree a little so that there were some windfalls.
Sniff was very pleased with their haul. “You can carry the provisions,“ he said, “because you haven't got anything else to do, have you? I'm too busy to think about things like that when I'm the Path Pioneer“
The Moomins arrived in Moomin Valley after s great flood, and have been living there for a few weeks when Moomintroll and Sniff start noticing the same pattern appearing again and again, a pattern that looks like a star with a tail. When the Muskrat tells them about comets, they begin to worry that the pattern is an omen, and Moomintroll and Sniff decide to go on an expedition to visit the Professors in the Observatory on the Lonely Moutains, and find out if they know anything about a comet heading for earth.
This is a very cute story. The Moomins are a very hospitable family, inviting various waifs and strays to stay with them, and Moomintroll himself is a very appealing character, being a bit naughty, but also adventurous, caring and romantic.