While this book is numbered three in the Moomin series, it's the first Moomin book I read when I was around nine years old, and the Moomin family has lived in my imagination ever since. Portrayed as cuddly white hippo-like creatures, they are actually a type of troll, but sweet trolls with a lazy relaxed demeanour in spite of their penchant for finding themselves embroiled in adventures. With the creature, Sniff, adopted into their family, the traveller Snufkin, the Snork Maiden and her brother the Snork, the Hemulen and the gruff philosopher Muskrat, Jansson created a world that has been rivalled by few others.
In Finn Family Moomintroll, when the Moomin family arise after a long winter's hibernation, they look forward to the awakening of spring. But Moomintroll, Sniff and Snufkin find a lone black tophat on the peak of a hill, which appears to be the catalyst to a number of strange happenings: fluffy white clouds that can be ridden like horses chase each other, a jungle grows in Moominhouse and there is a terrifying transformation of the Muskrat's dentures. Meanwhile, the Hemulen is sad that his stamp collection is complete and at the behest of the Snork, takes up botany. A sailing trip to an island brings a rather startling encounter with the Hattifatteners, whose ghostly bodies and deaf and dumb demeanor is rather disturbing as they live only to journey. Thingumy and Bob arrive with their unique spoonerisms and unknowingly bring the cold and chilling atmosphere of the Groke to Moominvalley, as she searches for her missing treasure. Nothing appears quite as it seems and the Moomins, with their natural aplomb and pragmatism, manage to extricate themselves from exploits and dangers, while at the same time welcoming the adventures as they come, enjoying the undulations of life in their Moomin-world.
It's rare that I recommend a book without reserve, but honestly, if you die without reading this book your life in this world will have been a little less rich. But I warn you that once you visit the Moomins and their friends, you might never want to leave their vibrant and delightfully unpredictable world where you never really know what is going to happen next. However, one can always be assured that if it gets too intense, Moominmamma will pat you on the head, sit you down and give some tea and cookies to soothe your nerves. In this Moomin-world, life is always an adventure and one must be prepared!
This is my second book read for Amanda at Simpler Pastimes Children's Classic Literature Event. Now if only I can get my review up for the first one!
This book also counts for my Deal Me In Challenge:
Week 10 - Deal Me In Challenge - Five of Hearts