Saturday, February 11, 2006

Tove Jansson's Moomintrolls

Once I've finished re-reading Jan Siegel's "Prospero's Children" trilogy, I'm going to hark back to my childhood and read Finn Family Moomintroll, Comet in Moominland and Moominland Winter. Philip Pullman and the Guardian are responsible in almost equal measure for this reversion to my childhood: Pullman for mentioning Finn Family Moomintroll in his "what children should read" list as I reported last month, and the Guardian for their world literature tour about which I was reading this week. Of course, I'm not ungrateful for the reminder about these books - in fact, it's so long since I read them that I can barely recall doing so, which means I'm looking forward to re-reading them with quiet anticipation. I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading my childhood favourites, The Phantom Tollbooth and A Dog So Small last year.

Talking of children's book, I had to pick up Geraldine McCaughrean's A Pack of Lies from the library today (after requesting, and being happily inundated with, further reading suggestions for this author's books from Child_Lit subscribers). As usual, I temporarily forgot this was going to be over in the children's section of the library, not the adult section, so I asked the librarian for the book that was waiting for me behind the counter and of course, she couldn't find it. I apologised, saying that I never distinguish between children's and adults' books since a good story is a good story whomever it's aimed at, and got a rather sour look in response, so I beat a hasty retreat. Am I wrong to think that the target audience for a book shouldn't prejudice one against it ? I can't imagine many of my readers will agree with that statement !

6 comments:

Jen Robinson said...

Hi Michele,

I completely agree with your comment that "the target audience for a book shouldn't prejudice one against it". I'm actually quite an advocate of the idea that adults should read children's books (see my article
on this for details. I love to re-read childhood favorites (last year I listened to A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, and Anne of Green Gables all on MP3), and also to find great new children's books. I somehow missed the Finn Family Moomintroll books as a kid, but they are on my to read list now. Thanks for a great post! I enjoy your blog.

Michele said...

Thanks Jen ! I'll certainly take a look at your article later (no time before breakfast - and annoyingly, I can't access Blogs from behind the workplace firewall...)

I didn't think I'd get much disagreement from my Child_Lit friends about the value of reading children's books. I know I often recommend them to friends when I've read a really good, gripping tale.

Jax said...

One of the great things about home educating your children is that you get to read all sorts of books out loud without anyone looking at you funny (well apart from the fact that you are home educating ;) )

Came on over looking for your lists of ten books - posted about the article on my blog a little while back as well, and was interested to keep on reading. Will keep looking for the post...

Michele said...

Hi Jax

I just took a look at your Blog, hoping to find an email address for you as I wanted to moderate your other comment (on the books children should read post). You wrote "I don't think there should be a should iyswim." which doesn't make sense ! What should the last two words say ??

Pete said...

I read Jansson's "Farlig Midsommar" (Dangerous Midsummer) with those same Moomin characters in its original Swedish back in college, and remember enjoying it quite a bit. Thanks for the flashback!

Michele said...

You're very welcome !