Elephant Bookstore is more than happy to present to you the cutest, chubbiest little creatures in the world - the Moomins! Their exceptional family will welcome you with open arms and invite you to the Moomin valley.
And even though they come from old cold Finland, the souls and smiles of the Moomins will warm your heart as soon as they enter your home with a hot enamel mug or cup from Elephant Bookstore.
Moomins - who are they?
The Moomins are the characters of the Finnish writer Tove Jansson. They are the main characters in several of her books, a series of comics, picture books, and even movies. The Moomins are a family that includes Moominpappa, Moominmamma and Moomintroll. The Moomins’ family, along with several of their friends such as Little My, Sniff, Snufkin, Snork Maiden, and Snork, live in Moominvalley. Other characters appear from time to time in the various series, but they are of secondary importance.
Moomins are wonderful creatures in their own right. Good-natured and playful, each of them has its own character. Moominpappa is one of those Moomins with adventurous blood, although he leads a calm lifestyle. He loves all kind of adventures and has a proud, boisterous nature. Moominmamma is one of those embracing moomins who give warmth in the family, love and balance. Of course, Moomintroll is a representative of the growing Moomins - well-meaning, compassionate and in love with Snork Maiden.
Moomins or Moomintrolls?
And before we move on, maybe it's worth saying (or writing down) a few notes. It is correct to call them “Moomins” or “Moomintrolls”. In Finnish and Swedish they are called “Moomins” or “Moomintrollen”. When the Moomins first appeared in Bulgaria, they were translated from Russian and a common spelling mistake appeared. They were called “Moomintrollies”. As cute as it sounds, in Bulgarian the word is “trolls”, not “trollies”, so we will be fair to both their original name and Bulgarian language and call them – Moomins.
Moomins - how will you recognize them?
If you've ever seen Moomins, you can't mistake them for any other creature in this world. Somehow Moomins feel like Moomins without knowing them personally. But just in case, if you haven't met them yet, or you still hesitate…
Moomins are small, white, portly creatures, defined as trolls, but they actually look like hippos, although they are not. They have small ears, black eyes, touchy hands and a tail. All moomins have distinctive features. Moominpappa wears a cylinder hat, Moomintroll – a wide-brimmed hat, Moominmamma usually wears an apron, and Snork Maiden has blond hair and a gold ankle chain.
Tove Janson and the Moomins
Tove Jansson is of Finnish descent, but has been described as a Swedish writer. She was born in 1914 in Helsinki into a family of artists. Her father was a sculptor and her mother a graphic artist. Tove graduated from an art academy and followed her parents’ steps. She also illustrated many books, including The Hobbit and Alice in Wonderland.
However, in the children’s world around the world, she remains the writer and the illustrator of the series about Moomins. In 1945, she published the first book entitled “The Moomins and the Great Flood”. It tells the story mainly the Moominmamma and Moomintroll Moomins. Later stories develop most of the other characters. That is why the first edition is often considered the prehistory of the Moomins, and the following is the true story. After all, the first book was not well received by the critics.
The second and third books (“Comet in Moominland” - 1946 and “Finn Family Moomintroll” - 1948) brought some fame to Tove Jansson. Let's not forget that we are talking here about the years after the Second World War, and it is somehow normal for the Moomins to fail to fit into post-war times. The books and the Moomins did grow and change over the years. In the beginning, the stories are more apocalyptic - floods, comets and supernatural events. After 1957 and “Moominland Midwinter”, Moomins’ stories became sadder, as did the Moomins themselves. Moomintroll began to feel inner anger and felt lonely in the world in which he was forced to live. The idea of the characters of the Moomins develops deeper dimensions and shows the reader a different angle from the adventurous Moomins’ life.
Fame caught up with the Moomins in the mid-1960s, and Tove Jansson created four picture books for the series. In the 1980s, Jansson herself rewrote two of her earlier stories and republished them. To date, the adventures of the Moomins and their friends have been translated into over 30 languages, and in Sweden there is a museum dedicated to them, as well as an entire park.
It is believed that the Moomins represent the family and lifestyle of the writer. Living in the valley, with bohemian souls, the Moomins became her companions until her death. Tove Jansson died in the summer of 2001, entrusting the Moomins to all of us – the readers around the world.
The Moomins and the manufacturers
The Finnish company Muurla and the English Half Moon Bay are among the main manufacturers and distributors of merchandise with the Moomins’ logo, that is why – we – Elephant Bookstore are honoured to work with them.
Muurla, as we have already shared, started their business as a glass manufacturer. Glass is still the basis of their work even nowadays – creating enameled mugs and cups. In Elephant Bookstore you can find two of their leading merchandise lines - Tove Jansson’s Moomins and Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking.
Half Moon Bay, on the other hand, started their business as distributors, but also continued as designers of various licensed brands. That's how Moomins started working with them… or the other way around… not sure!
Elephant Bookstore and the Moomins
Elephant Bookstore enjoys working with both Muurla and Half Moon Bay. Here, under our roof, these two companies are not in competition, as their products are not interchangeable, but complement and expand the range of Moomins.
Enameled mugs with Moomins: Enameled mugs are one of the most recognizable utilitarian objects of the north. Especially if we talk about the special moments in the nature, as Tove Jansson lived, enameled mugs become a mandatory attribute of every picnic. Suitable for campfires because they are resistant to temperature, these mugs retain the heat of your drink, while they remain cold and safe. Their vision only complements the wonderful feeling - Moomintroll and Snork Maiden in a lush meadow with daisies. Even if you are at home, you will want to go for a walk outside and dream of green grass and Moomins.
Notebooks with Moomins: In addition to enameled mugs, here you will find all kinds of notebooks. Every adventure deserves to be written down, and some even illustrated. That is why we offer you the comfortable notebooks with Moomins, suitable for any forest or sofa adventure with a mug with Moomins, hot tea, coffee or whatever you pour into it. And cookies!
Random things with Moomins: Let's not forget that in our Elephant Bookstore you can find various other “things” with Moomins. Badges, book dividers, aprons, bottles, bags, ice lamps and of course… our antique vintage books and comics dedicated to those wonderful Moomins.