19 January 2017

The must-have guide to the Moomins

The World of Moominvalley, will be published on 19th October 2017 by Macmillan Children’s Books.

This sumptuous gift book gives a unique and unprecedented perspective on the magical world of Tove Jansson and the Moomins. It is filled with original illustrations and rarely seen material from the celebrated Moomin archive in Finland.

The book is written by bestselling author and lifelong Moomin fan, Philip Ardagh with a foreword and chapter by Frank Cottrell-Boyce. The lavish high-spec design continues the Macmillan tradition for publishing beautiful gift editions with the highest production values.

Including spreads from Jansson’s sketchbook and work from her studio, The World of Moominvalley gives insight into the creator’s own life with letters and family photographs from the coveted archive. The book offers a detailed look at each and every character, with features on How to Spot a Moomin, A Guide to Moomin Whistles, A Fillyjonk’s Top Ten Fears and The (extended) Moomin Family Tree, together with maps, facts and colour illustrations.

The World of Moominvalley will be published at the peak of a year filled with exciting Moomin events and exhibitions, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence from Russia and taking interest in Moomins to a new level in the UK. An immersive, interactive exhibition at Southbank Centre and a Moomin-themed Easter festival at Kew Gardens will be followed by the UK’s first Jansson retrospective in the autumn, bringing together 150 works including self-portraits, landscapes, still life paintings as well as – of course – Moomin sketches and watercolours.

The Moomin family and their friends are the creation of Tove Jansson, whose magical stories of adventure and friendship and innocence are universally loved and have delighted generations of children since the first story was published, in Swedish, in 1945.

The new book is part of the publishing partnership brokered between Rights and Brands and Caroline Mickler Ltd, and Stephanie Barton, Publisher 0-6, Macmillan Children’s Books which includes world rights for new Moomin gift titles. Macmillan’s first title, The Moomin Colouring Book, was published in February 2016 and rights have so far sold in 13 languages, followed by The Pocket Moomin Colouring Book in November 2016.

Stephanie Barton says,

‘We are so thrilled to introduce this first guide to the characters of Moominvalley, which celebrates Tove Jansson’s unique and wonderful world. This funny, insightful and gorgeous new book is the ultimate Moomin experience: an ideal gift for Moomin-lovers of all ages and as an introduction for a whole new audience.’

Philip Ardagh comments,

‘To work on such a comprehensive book about the Moomins, Snufkin, Little My and friends, with access to such amazing source material from Tove Jansson’s archive, is a dream come true. It’s a wonderful opportunity to explore the characters and stories themselves, along with the remarkable illustrations. Part reference book, part coffee-table tome, this is one I’d want to own. It’s an undeniably proud moment for me, and I await the jealous glances from fellow Moomin-loving authors, of whom there are, of course, many. I really hope we’ve created a fitting tribute to Tove Jansson’s truly unique books.’

Frank Cottrell-Boyce adds,

‘Tove Jansson turned Finland into a magical, improbable land, and reminded us – more vividly, more joyfully than anyone I can think of – of just how magical and how very improbable life itself really is.’

Sophia Jansson, niece of Tove Jansson and creative director of Moomin Characters, says:

‘Life in Moominvalley is all about family and friendship, being kind to one another, a deep love and respect for nature and a passion for adventures – but always returning home to a nice warm meal and a cosy bed at the end of the day! We couldn’t have hoped for a better author to this guide than Philip Ardagh, who I’m sure would be welcome in Moominvalley any time and who I trust will do a wonderful job of sharing the original values and charm of Tove’s stories with his readers.’