‘Cock-a-doodle-doo!’ (He was so excited he couldn’t think of anything more intelligent.)

‘It’s a comet,’ said the Muskrat. ‘A glowing star that flashes through the empty black space beyond the sky trailing a fiery tail behind it.’

‘I’m never afraid,’ answered Sniff. ‘But I think the view is better from here.’

Sniff, from the book Comet in Moominland

Like a streak of lightning he whizzed out of the box, then hesitated for a moment and decided to feel more curious than scared.

They were indescribably beautiful, and they seemed to be aware of it. They danced coquettishly, freely and openly, for themselves, for each other, for the island, for the sea – it seemed to be all the same to them.

The sky was blue as usual, so this time it couldn’t be the volcano.

He was determined to understand, to solve the mystery of the sea so that he would learn to like it and be able to keep his self-respect.

Suddenly the Groke started to sing. Her skirts fluttered as she swayed to and fro, stamping on the sand and doing her best to show him that she was pleased to see him.

I have every respect for your deductions, but you are wrong, completely and absolutely, and without any doubt.

People respected one if one didn’t talk. They believed that one knew a great many things and led a very exciting life.

There’s nothing wrong with my ears, and the fish may get scared and swim away!

And what are our plans for today? What about a little sock-darning contest on deck in the sunshine? I’ve looked in your sea-chests, you know. Or a nice history quiz?

You know, I’m not very bright at remembering things.

What’s a telegraph office? Can you eat it?

Little dear, by all means do exactly as you like!

But I suppose you’re badly brought up. Or not brought up at all. Or born impossible to bring up.

By my demon eye, you’re a real friend.

Schools of sea spooks crossed our course, and now and then a tittering trail of mermaids appeared in our wake. We fed them with oatmeal.

And you mustn’t express yourself so naturally.