Who is Too-ticky based on?

Too-ticky is a modest and compassionate friend of the Moomin family. She is very pragmatic, a great problem-solver and always willing to help others. She loves the cold and enjoys peaceful Moominvalley during winters. But who inspired the creation of this heartwarming character? Who is Too-ticky based on?

Tove Jansson alluded to specific references between the Moomin characters and people in her real life on various occasions, though often in a vague manner. The majority of these theories today are merely interpretations, not facts.

However, there are some character stories that Tove was more open about, and Too-ticky is one of them. The pragmatic and reliable character is inspired by Tove’s long-term life partner Tuulikki Pietilä.

Tuulikki Pietilä and Tove Jansson in Klovharun

Tove and Tuulikki started getting to know each other in 1956. The novel Moominland Midwinter, in which Moomintroll meets Too-ticky and with her help learns to navigate winter, was published the next year in 1957. 

Tove has mentioned that the new world of winter that Moomintroll faces in the book was somewhat a reference to her having to newly manage the commercial side of the Moomin business. Just like Too-ticky, Tuulikki was a huge help and support in managing this.

Too-ticky inspiration

In Moominland Midwinter, readers get to know how pragmatic, independent and wise Too-ticky is – words that can be used to describe Tuulikki and her reliable role in Tove’s life. Tuulikki was a graphic artist and a craftswoman with her own studio, living a free and independent lifestyle much like Tove herself, as well as Too-Tticky in her winter residence at the bathing-house of Moominvalley.

According to Boel Westin’s autobiography about Tove Jansson, Tove even called Tuulikki ‘Too-ticky’ in her letters sometimes, though the private nickname then became Tooti.

Read more about Tuulikki Pietilä’s life here.

Which Moomin character are you?

Do you see some Too-Ticky in yourself? Take the Moomin character quiz and find out!


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