Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Since I was a child I've been a big fan of the Moomin animated series produced in Japan in the early nineties. The manga style animation was so beautiful and the stories were so well adapted to TV. Even though the stories in the animated series were quite different from the original Moomi books, the animated series has educated several generations to appreciate the Moomi way of life.

Moomi books are wonderful and exceptional pieces of literature
I felt that I wanted to know a bit more about the original stories and I also had herd that the original Moomi books are great literature and have philosophical side to them. I chose three books that I thought had the most interesting titles except for Moominpappa at Sea (Pappan och havet, 1965) which I knew to be very good novel. The two other books I read were Moominland Midwinter (Trollvinter, 1957) and Moominvalley in November (Sent i November, 1970). The second reason why I chose these two books was that I thought they might help me get ready for winter and all the darkness of autumn, or so I thought.

It is amazing how different the stories in these books are compared to the stories in the animated series of my childhood. The animated series lacks most of the gloomy atmosphere and philosophical reflection of the books. The world of the animated series is happier and more carefree. That is how it was when you were a child.

One theme that rose up in all three books was how the Groke symbolises what happens when you are forgotten, not seen by others and left without love. The Groke represents everything scary and Moomis are scared of Groke, but I can't help feeling a bit sorry for the Groke. Groke is left out of everything and has to live all alone outside of the Moominvalley. Of course, in the book Moominpappa at Sea this changes quite a bit.

It is quite funny when you notice that you are reading about your own problems and weaknesses from a children's book. Sometimes it feels that do these books even give anything to children. My mother read Moominsummer Madness to me and my sister when we were little but I can't remember how the story really progressed. All I remember is the feeling. That is probably the strongest quality of Moomi books.

Reading these books was a really great experience. My favourite book of the three was Moominvalley in November and how it portrays what keeps people from being happy and the different mentalities and life philosophies of people. If you are looking for happy-go-lucky children's stories the Moomi books might not be the thing for you.

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