Monday, 5 September 2016

The Moomin Shop, Covent Garden, London

Today I'm taking you back to London, this time to admire the beautiful shopfront of the Moomin Shop, located at the Jubilee Market Hall in Covent Garden (across from St Paul's Church). It was one of our destinations; a promise to the kids. It's such a cute little shop and a mecca for all Moomin fans. If you are unfamiliar with the Moomins and their world they are the creation of Tove Jansson (1914-2001), Finnish artist and author. Her books were translated into many languages and these stories have become classics.

I cannot remember a time when the Moomins weren't part of our lives; we have all the DVDs. In these last years, with our frequent relocation, they have been our constancy. We even named our Calico Persian cat after one of the characters, Little My. Perhaps it's a Nordic-roots thing, or just our way to hold on to the innocence of childhood. I'm not an anxious person - I think nature gave me a healthy dose of carelessness - but when the children no longer want to watch the Moomins; that will be the moment when my world collapses. For sure.

I think it's the quietness of the Moomins that does the trick for me. I'm not exactly the animation type because I often find them so over-the-top. Watching the Moomins is a completely different experience. It's a world of wonder without all the noise. I think that's my way of describing it.

While the kids were browsing and shopping I ended up in the corner where they keep the books. It's a wonderful corner!

The first Moomin book was The Moomins and the Great Flood, published in 1945. This beautiful hardcover to the right is illustrated by Tove Jansson herself, of course. Then there are the Penguin paperbacks, in chronological order:

After the publication of the second paperback, Finn Family Moomintroll, all doors opened for Tove Jansson, which led to the creation of the comic strips (see e.g. Moomin: Bk. 1 : The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip) that first appeared in the London newspaper The Evening News, in 1954. You can look up a documentary about Tove Jansson on YouTube if you want to know more about her. Now that the colder season is just around the corner, I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes from Finn Family Moomintroll (the Moomins hibernate in winter):
Don't worry we shall have wonderful dreams, and when we wake up it'll be spring.
- Snufkin

images by me | credit: cover of The Moomins and the Great Flood via Sort of Books | paperback covers via Penguin

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