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The Book about Moomin, Mymble and Little My, translated into verse by Sophie Hannah. It originally came out in 2001, published by Sort Of Books.

Mr Glue Book Review has been rather silent recently, but when asked to come up with something as a recommendation prior to the Christmas Season, this review appeared.

This is possibly one of my absolute favourite books of all time! It isn’t a new book, but then I find I quite like reviewing books from a while ago.

Who doesn’t love Tove Jansson’s Moomin books?! Aren’t they just fantastic? The edition I want to trumpet about here, is the translation by Sophie Hannah of ‘The Book about Moomin, Mymble and Little My’. They say that poetry is the thing that gets lost in translation, however in this case, by golly it is there! The warmth and the humour of Moomin’s world come jumping out at you.

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Moomin must go off on a hunt for Little My, who (supposedly) is lost.  Of course, Little My, being Little My, isn’t lost, so much as in the mood for leading everyone on a bit of a dance. And dance through the book we do. The verse is funny and memorable (my favourite line: ‘Hemulen, with a vacuum hose/ had got some house dust up his nose’). The younger members of the Mr Glue household chant the lines with great gusto as we read: ‘He shouted through the gunge and fluff/ ‘Oh Mother help, I’ve had enough!’)

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The ever changing font, wiggling and leaping about over each page adds to the fun of the story.

Little My is hiding on each page. It’s a race to find her!

And not just that, but each page has a strategically placed hole, so that we can look through to the page ahead and back at the page before.

This is a great book to read to young children:  looking and finding and the rhythm of the words. There is adventure and danger followed by relief at the end when everyone returns safe and sound and Moominmamma, with her usual wisdom and cheerfulness, gathers everyone about her and declares that it’s time for ‘Scrumptious delights all round I think!’ Let’s face it, isn’t that the way that everything should end? Specially at Christmas. One of Mr Glue’s absolute top favourite books of all time!

 

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