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The Moomins are back!

October 2001

The magic and mystical Finnish children's picture book 'The Book About Moomin', 'Mymble and Little My' by Tove Jansson will be launched at Skandium Selfridges in a new English version published by Sort of Books and translated by the poet Sophie Hannah.

The Finnish ambassador will open the launch and Sophie Hannah will read the stories on Monday the 8th of October between 5 and 7 p.m. at the new Skandium shop on the lower ground floor of Selfridges, Oxford Street, London. Rumour even has it that a life size living Moomin will attend the launch...

Tove Jansson began to write and illustrate the strange and occasionally dangerous exploits of the Moomin trolls and their friends in 1945. Finland's war with the Soviet Union and Germany had inspired her to invent a comforting fairy tale using characters she had first imagined during her childhood. In order to reflect the political mood she decided h er main character should be an angry and ugly troll who later became the more mild-mannered if a little eccentric Moomin troll.

Jansson's first book The Little Trolls and the Great Flood was published in 1945 and eight books followed. Moominland in Midwinter came in 1957 and was followed by Moominpapa at Sea. The last of the Moomin books was Moomin Valley in November, published in 1970.

The books have since been translated into 35 different languages. Jansson's numerous awards included the Nils Holgersson prize in 1953, the Hans Christian Andersen medal in 1966 and the Finnish State Award in literature in 1963, 1971 and 1982.

In 1975 Jansson received the 'Order of Smile', the Polish children's award. A new phase of Moomin mania broke out after a Japanese animated television series appeared in 1980 when Tove Jansson had sold the rights for the series to be able to finance her hospital treatment.

She died in Helsinki on 27 June 2001, aged 87 years.