Moomins brought back from retirement

A husband and wife have written a new series of the legendary Moomin children’s books, ten years after their Swedish- Finnish author and illustrator, Tove Jansson, died.

Riina and Sami Kaarla, who have aimed their stories at younger children than the original books, have had to adhere to strict editorial rules, such as ensuring that the characters never leave Moominvalley and that no outsiders are written in.

“Moomins are not allowed to use mobile phones or drive a racing car, for example,” explained Riina Kaarla in a YLE report. “The shape of each character is carefully defined so that Moomins always look the same; for example, Moomins do not have a mouth drawn on their faces,” she added.

The latest adventures have been given their blessing by Jansson’s niece Sofia, who is now the official copyright holder. Tammi Publishers will be the first to print the new books.

“Together with the copyright holder, we have wanted to bring Moomins closer to smaller children. With the help of the book makers, we try to imagine how the world of Moomins looks through their eyes”, said Leena Jarvenpaa, head of publishing at Tammi.

One small change, however, is that Little My, a fiercely independent and mischievous Mymble who lived alongside the Moomins in the first books, has a story dedicated entirely to her in the latest editions. The determined but loyal character may even be given her own spin off series, according to the couple.