Illustrators – Tove Jansson

Illustrators – Tove Jansson

Tove Jansson: Comet in Moominland (Sort of Books 2017)

Tove Jansson: The Moomins and the Great Flood (Sort of Books 2012)

Lewis Carroll: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Tate Publishing 2011)

Tove Jansson is Scandinavia’s best-known children’s author (along with Astrid Lindgren), whose work is also significant as an illustrator, comic book writer and adult’s book writer. She belonged to the Swedish minority in Finland and wrote the first version of her first book, The Moomins and the Great Flood,  in the shadow of the war in 1939 when she needed a story that begins with “ Once upon a time ”, but she didn’t want to write about princes and princesses, so she made the inhabitants of Mumin Valley, whom she had forgotten then. She finished and illustrated the story in 1945. This was her first happy ending as she wrote in the preface to the 1991 reprint of the book.

The story was followed by eight more in a series. The Comet in Moominland was the next in the line. Interestingly, the world knows the Moomins from additional translations made from the Finnish translation. Of all the volumes, this is my favorite, but globally the next volume, The Finn Family Moomintroll, is the most famous.

Tove Jansson also illustrated the work of other famous writers: she provided the color and black-and-white drawings for the Swedish edition of Lewis Carroll Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This was also published in English in 2011. She also illustrated the Finnish and Swedish editions of Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Unfortunately, an English edition with illustrations by Tove Jansson has not yet been published.