'The Moomins and the Great Flood' by Tove Jansson. Here's why you should be reading any and all Moomin books.
'Cuz I said so. Ha ha ha ha!
Ok that's not really why. I've talked about Moomins in a number of other posts, which I am too lazybones to link to, which is why I'm a Bad Blogger.
How do they NOT KNOW????????????
They take rides on small, fluffy clouds.
Their ancestors live behind stoves.
They create impromptu theatrical companies.
DO I REALLY NEED TO GO ON??? They make their own little theatre troupe!
When I was 8 and 9, they were my favorite books. I gave my old copy of 'Finn Family Moomintroll' to Julia (that is the intro to the series, and the one you should start with, although you could also start with today's book since it is technically Book 1 ~ but the complete cast of characters is laid out in 'Finn Family') and she plowed right through and then instantly read 'Comet in Moominland' and 'Moominland Midwinter'.
I have read a lot of kid books. A LOT OF KID BOOKS. And in the whole of my life, I have never read anything as unusual and unique as the adventures of Moomintroll, his best friend Snufkin, the Snork Maiden (she has bangs, of which she is very proud), Little My (my favorite character in the history of the world -- she is so sassy and naughty), and the Groke. The Groke is bad news (not sure why, she mostly slides around looking menacing, but otherwise does nothing particularly objectionable).
There is a FILLYJONK. (she is very nervous and cleans too much.) OMG I think I am a fillyjonk!!!! Except lately I've given up on cleaning.
Don't hand these books to your 5 or 6 year old to read is what I'm saying. I really don't think these books should be read before age 7, the humor will just be wasted on smaller kids, even if you read it to them. (although today's book, which is simpler and shorter than the others, you could read to your 6 yr old. Go right ahead.) That's just my opinion, feel free to do WHATEVER YOU LIKE.
(if you want your smaller kids to get in on some Moomin action, get them this book.)
'The Moomins and the Great Flood', (newly published in English FOR THE FIRST TIME), is that it actually is the very first Moomin book written by Tove Jansson. It's considerably shorter in length than the other books in the series, but has all the charm and whimsy of the other books.
In this one, Moomintroll and Moominmama are searching for Moominpapa, who was washed away in a great flood. Eventually, after making their way through Perilous Landscapes inhabited by Strange Beings, they reconnect with Papa, who has built them a new home in what is to become Moominvalley. (the setting of all of the future books)
If I manage to accomplish ONLY ONE THING with this blog....let it be that I've introduced some folks to the Moomin books. No childhood should go by without Moomins in it. How's that for a statement??
Update: i neglected to mention the lovely quilt, which my husband's cousin made for Julia when she was born ~ this cousin is a wonder and a genius and kind and talented and beautiful and it seems unfair and absurd that she is all of these things, but she is! A living angel. :)