Too-ticky, a practical problem-solver

Too-ticky is both pragmatic and compassionate, two things which the Moomin family value greatly in their neighbour. A deep thinker by nature, she lives modestly and in harmony with the world around her, content in her own company but also willing to help any creature in need.

Too-ticky doesn’t want to tell others how to live, as she believes it’s best for everyone to learn for themselves through experience. She doesn’t let things get to her and can be relied upon to bring her practical problem-solving skills to bear on any dilemma.

Just like the Moomin family, Too-ticky loves the sea. Unlike the Moomin family, she also loves the cold, which she can sense coming with her nose. While many of the residents of Moominvalley hibernate during the winter, she enjoys the peace and quiet that comes with their absence. 

Too-ticky has compassion for all living things.”

One notable year, this peace and quiet is disturbed by Moomintroll, who wakes to discover a cold, white world for the first time. Too-ticky helps him learn to cope with the unfamiliar and the uncertain, and to respect the creatures that come out into the open at this time of year – those who are ‘a little shy and a little rum. Some kinds of night animals and people that don’t fit in with others and that nobody really believes in.’ 

Too-ticky has compassion for all living things, from foolish squirrels right up to the Groke, who is feared by everyone else. She isn’t sentimental, though. For example, she wishes to help Ninny, the Invisible Child, but she knows that the Moomin family are best placed to take her in. So, as soon as she delivers Ninny into their care, she’s on her way again. Being a practical sort, Too-ticky knows how to mend most things, although she also believes you sometimes just have to accept that not everything broken can be fixed. 



Too-ticky wears a striped shirt, dark trousers and a bobble hat. She first appears in Moominland Midwinter (1957) and also features in Tales from Moominvalley (1962).  

What other talents does Too-ticky have?

Too-ticky is very musical and especially likes to sing songs that she’s made up herself. When Moomintroll first meets her, she is singing a song that she describes as ‘a song of myself… A song of Too-Ticky who built a snow lantern, but the refrain is about wholly other things.’ She plays the tinkling barrel organ to wake the Moomin family up when spring arrives.

Where does Too-ticky live?

During the cold season Too-ticky lives in Moominpappa’s bathing house, along with eight invisible shrews who help out with the chores (without even being asked!) and sometimes play the flute.

A little-known fact about Too-ticky:

The character of Too-ticky is inspired by – and named after – Tove Jansson’s partner, Tuulikki Pietilä.


  • “All things are so very uncertain, and that’s exactly what makes me feel reassured” (Moominland Midwinter, 1957)
  • ‘“When one’s dead, then one’s dead,” said Too-ticky kindly. “This squirrel will become earth all in his time. And still later on there’ll grow trees from him, with new squirrels skipping about in them. Do you think that’s so very sad?”’ (Moominland Midwinter, 1957) 
  • ‘“One has to discover everything for oneself” she replied. “And get over it all alone.”’ (Moominland Midwinter, 1957)
  • ‘“I really know nothing at all about Ninny,” Too-ticky said. “I’ve only brought her here and told you what I know. Now I have a few other things to attend to. Please look in some day, won’t you, and let me know how you get along? Cheerio.”’ (Tales from Moominvalley, 1962)