The Moomins and the Great Flood – Tove Jansson

More in the Series – Moomin Valley
“More in the Series” scores the other books in a series where one (or more) of the books have made it into the 1001 Books list. Mostly because I’m a bit of a completionist. 

POINTS: 4 out of 10.

Bechdel: 1 point
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story:  2 points
Discretionary ideological points: 1 point.

I cannot express how much I love these books and wish I had found them sooner. This one passes the Bechdel, but only just. There are two female characters (Moominmamma and Tulipa, the girl with the blue hair), and they do direct dialogue at each other, so I am passing it. It is a children’s story, so “conversation” is always a tricky thing to pin down, so while it’s hard to say they have a conversation about something other than a man, when Tulipa leaves the party to stay with the boy in the golden tower, she and Moominmamma do have a conversation of sorts about how Tulipa would like to help them more, and Momminmamma says she will send letters. I think it’s close enough, for a fairytale. 🙂

And a fairytale this is. It is a wonderful story of a group of characters going on a journey to find Moominpappa, and encountering a number of characters along the way who help or hinder. There is a flood, of course. They experience trials and hardships, as well as lovely places full of temptation (the man with the garden made of sweets is a perfect fairytale thing), but ultimately find their way to Moominpappa and the beautiful house he has built for them, that has gotten washed, whole, by the flood, and planted down in a new place.

It’s the most perfect “you can go home after travelling, but it’s never quite the same really” metaphor, really. 🙂

Jansson has such a total knack for creating a magical world full of danger that is also somehow based in kindness and love. It’s astonishing and wonderful. C loved it, gave it not just one but two thumbs up, even though I wonder how much he understood. He was utterly entranced though.

Really lovely.

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