Moomin Valley in November: A book review Featured

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by Tim Burdick on 09 October, 2013

Tove Jansson's Moominvalley in November isn't your typical narrative, but more of a glimpse into a natural wonderland. The story setting is the passing seasons from Summer, Fall, and then Winter. The beautiful description helps you see the isolated Moomin valley. It feels almost as if you, the reader, have fallen out of the sky and landed in a forest. You dust yourself off and meet Snufkin and the others one by one as you walk along.

Snufkin is the first in a group of odd characters: the Hemulen, Mymble, Toft, Fillajonk and Grandpa Grumble who inhabit this beautiful world. The black ink illustrations of them are imaginative and lively as they show the reader these strange creatures on their visit to the Moomins in Moominvalley, only discover an empty house.

All the characters have their own reasons for making the trip; whether it is to avoid a clean house, enjoy quiet mornings, drink coffee on the terrace, or figure out how to write a song. They search for these things in their friends' empty house as they argue, help and try to understand each other while waiting. This story doesn't present hidden messages as some characters learn from valuable lessons and others don't.

This calming story made me realize the simple wonder of staring out the window and watching the world. Fall has arrived and Winter was just around the corner. I wanted to be with my friends and family sitting around the table with a bowl of hot soup, crusty bread, and mugs of tea. We would share stories and tell jokes so that we couldn't hear the howling winds or rain outside.

I hope whatever you are doing you get a chance to discover Moominvally if only to visit for a few pages or so.

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