Author: Paul Gravett
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Published June 2022
An appreciation of the life and art of Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomin books, which are adored by children and adults across the globe. This book provides fresh insights and a deeper appreciation of the life and art of Tove Jansson (1914-2001), one of the most original, influential and perennially enjoyed illustrators of the 20th century. Jansson's flourishing Moomin books are examined in detail, as are her interpretations of such classics as Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Hunting of the Snark, and J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. Born in Helsinki among the Swedish-speaking Finnish minority, Jansson was brought up with a love for making art and stories in a supportive artistic family. Her first illustrated tales were published when she was fourteen years old.
From a year later until 1953, she drew humorous and political cartoons as well as striking front covers for the satirical magazine Garm, responding to the Second World War and its aftermath as she developed from art student to painter and muralist, bohemian and lesbian. This book also explores the emergence of her Moomin world, appearing in her first children's book in 1945 and then in newspaper strips. These would lead to her being headhunted by the London Evening News, the world's biggest-selling evening paper, to write and draw a daily Moomin newspaper cartoon.
This body of work is one of her great achievements, expanding her stories, settings and cast and invigorating her drawing and writing. Jansson also wrote many novels, documented here along with personal commentaries from her own writings.