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Moominland Midwinter

(Mumintrollen #6)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  9,117 ratings  ·  507 reviews
Everyone knows that the Moomins sleep through the winter, but this year Moomintroll has woken up in January. After his initial shock at seeing his familiar haunts under the snow, Moomintroll discovers that winter is worth waking up for after all.
Paperback, 159 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1957)
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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 ·  9,117 ratings  ·  507 reviews

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Apr 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This book has the best footnotes.

A displaced hedgehog is a hedgehog that has been removed from its home against its will and not even had time to pack its toothbrush.

And a bit later on, when we are so sad because squirrel is dead, the most comforting footnote I've ever read:

In case the reader feels like having a cry, please take a quick look at p. 126.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, the things that happen to you if you can't hibernate properly!

Reread with my big kids in Scandinavian mid-winter. A delight to revisit after a decade!
Eddie Watkins
The human world is a huge mess that somehow survives the day. I don’t know how it happens, and I’m not sure that all our (un)concerted efforts to help it survive don’t just further complicate things and make that daily survival less and less possible. My attitude in these matters is generally that of a cynical Taoist – a profound faith in things as they are functioning “perfectly” in enormous rhythms of time wedded to an understanding that most humans only make things worse. If pressed my explan ...more
Stephen Curran
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'"When one's dead, then one's dead," said Too-Ticky kindly. "This squirrel will become earth all in his time. And still later on there'll grow trees from him, with new squirrels skipping about in them. Do you think that's so sad?"
"Perhaps not," said Moomintroll.'

Granted, I've only just finished reading it, but this might just be my favourite book. Towards the end, when Moomintroll's long and lonely ordeal is finally over, someone suggests that he should put a glass over a budding crocus to prot
Paula Bardell-Hedley
“All was silent, nothing stirred, and slender stars were shining everywhere and twinkling in the ice. It was terribly cold.”
Moomins go into a state of deep hibernation from November to April, until the ice melts and spring sunshine warms their fur – it has always been so, or was, until a particular winter when something utterly perplexing happens to Moomintroll: he wakes from his state of torpor and cannot not get back to sleep. As his family slumber in their beds, oblivious to his predicame
Nate D
Cynical comfort reading. Jansson's stories won't warm the depths of mid-winter, but may encourage you to accept that the frozen snowy dark is temporary and not entirely meritless if one remains open to its potential. People also. Most of them are irritating in some way or another, but it'll be okay. They're probably also well-meaning in some way.
¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪SomeBunny Reads (Phoenix)•*¨*•♫♪

This was and always will be my favourite Moomin book. I read it the first time when I barely knew how to read, and since then I read it so many times that I know it by heart. It started my love for this series and it's one of the most important books I ever read for my growth as a reader. Love this <3
Mira | I Read Like Phoebe Runs
All things are so very uncertain, and that's exactly what makes me feel reassured.

Had the urge to reread this because it kept popping up to my bookstagram feed, so thanks, guys. It was even better than I remembered, and a perfect December read.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
So wintry and lovely. My copy had 17 pages missing so I shall have to hunt them down and enjoy them on their own.
Girl with her Head in a Book
For my full review:

The first Moomins book that I read was Finn Family Moomintroll and I fell in love. Moominvalley seemed a magical place of eternal sunshine. The food was plentiful, the company enchanting and even when risky characters such as the Hobgoblin showed up, the threat never felt particularly severe. Eight year-old me was in rapture. But it was a library book and I was not allowed to keep checking it out indefinitely and nor was I allowed a cop
Emma Sea
There's a fab essay by Maria Popova on this book on Brain Pickings today, encompassing "the paradox of active surrender." Highly recommended.


Found my childhood copy of this while cleaning out an old box last night, and to my delight I enjoyed it just as much as a grown up. My favourite of all the moomin books, because of the haunting quietness. On my must-read list for all children.
Mar 04, 2010 added it
I love all the Moomin books, but this one especially. It's a small existentialist masterpiece. Who but Tove Jansson can blend menace and whimsy in such a winning way? I'm plotting an omnibus review of the whole series when I've finished rereading them all (two more books to go after this one).
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Someone bought me this book from a second-hand store when I was a kid. I can't remember who. I had never heard of the Moomin world before that, and for more than a decade no one else I knew ever indicated a knowledge of it. I saw a Little My button on a girl's backpack in High School and pointed it out and she went nuts with joy that someone had recognised it. Moominland was a secret world known by so few. Now the books are easier to find I IMPLORE you to buy them.

I swear this book changed me i
Book #5 in #CramaThon2015.

I didn't DNF this the first time I tried reading it because I didn't like it, but more because I wasn't in the mood for it at the time. Glad I picked it up again during CramaThon, because I really enjoyed it!

(Finish a book you DNF'ed.)
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: orgasmic
I want some warm syrup now..
In these uncertain and scary circumstances nothing feels as comforting as the Moomins. I haven't read any of the books since I was a child, and The Moominland Midwinter brought me back to simpler days.
magdalena dyjas
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, what a great book to start a new year with! Few months ago a colleague of mine had borrowed all my children books for her daughter to read. I'm soooooo glad I'd finally got them back (I must say I was getting anxious... 🙊) and I was able to start a new year with this little gem. It's not my favourite from the moomin series, but it's still an awesome book 😉 (4.5*)
Marlous (agnesnutter_witch)
Absolutely lovely and with some lessons to learn from it too!
Matthew Hunter
"There are such a lot of things that have no place in summer and autumn and spring. Everything that’s a little shy and a little rum. Some kinds of night animals and people that don’t fit in with others and that nobody really believes in. They keep out of the way all the year. And then when everything’s quiet and white and the nights are long and most people are asleep — then they appear." — Too-Ticky, Moominland Midwinter

In Moominworld, misfits come out during the bleakest, coldest time of year
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moominland Midwinter is more melancholic and thoughtful than earlier Moomin books. It is also one of my favourite Moomin books alongside with Moominvalley in November. It is Moomintroll's story of growing up; he wakes up in the winter when rest of the family is still hibernating and feels utterly lonely in the dark, cold world. Luckily there are creatures like Too-Ticky who keep him company and help him let go of his fears and loneliness. Tove Jansson is such an incredible writer. She both makes ...more
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finland
Outside, the cold went up against the night and the moonlight shone through all the green and red windowpanes.
Tell me about snow, said Moomintroll and sat down in his father's sun-bleached garden chair. I don't understand it.
Neither do I, said Too-Ticky. You think it's cold, but if you build a house from it it's warm. You think it's white, but sometimes it's pink, and sometimes blue. It can be the softest thing of all and it can be harder than stone. Nothing is certain.

In which Moomintroll wakes
Abby Monk
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a book that was gifted to me for my birthday after I said I hadn't read any of the Moomin series, I got a fantastic looking hardcover edition and thoroughly enjoyed reading it on the train. A quick read, I felt that even though I hadn't read any of the other books in the series, I was still able to follow the characters. Also added a touch of frost to a very very warm day. Great read.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Oh dear me.
there aren't enough words in my pocket to honor this treasure of a book.

“Then he tired.
He turned his back to the blizzard and stopped fighting it.
Not until then did Moomintroll notice that the wind felt warm. It carried him along into the whirling snow, it made him feel light and almost like flying.
"I'm nothing but air and wind, I'm part of the blizzard," Moomintroll thought and let himself go. "It's almost like last summer. You first fight the waves, then you turn around and ride the
Waiting for the sun... a charming tale of winter.

From Brainpickings: Tove Jansson (1914–2001) is among the most imaginative, important, and influential children's book creators of all time, an artist and writer of unparalleled creative vision and great sensitivity to life's ineffable nuances. A recipient of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award, she had the courage to turn down Walt Disney and build her own creative empire. From her beloved Moomins characters to her spectacular vintage i
Magical, haunting, witty, writing of such subtle depth and beauty - how glorious is this book! The characters almost spring forth from the pages into one's heart, and the illustrations are perfect. If you have read this as a child, images from this story will stay with you for a lifetime. If you are an adult newly come to this treasure, you will still be able to appreciate its genius.

Looking back over the decades since I first came to own my precious boxed set, I think Tove's writing prepared me
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: winter-reads, kids, lgbt
I’m just back from a fortnight’s writing residency in Sysmä, a small town in Finland, where I wild-swam in a lake, had nightly saunas, wrote 14,000 words on my novel-in-progress, and spent a few dreamy hours reading this book while a thunderstorm raged outside. And then I found out that Jansson wrote this book as a metaphor for her accepting her queer sexuality, and I loved it even more.
my absolute favorite of the Moomin books. This time I read it entirely in the summer house, which has emerged triumphant in winter in much the same way Too Ticky takes over the Bathing Hut in the book.

"here come the dumb
the lonely and the rum
the wild and the quiet
bang goes the drum"

Too Ticky is the character I would most like to be... I suppose Little My is my favorite, but I would rather actually model myself on Too Ticky. And I want a red winter hat that I can turn inside out when it's spring
More strange and existential than the others, this might be my favorite. The meditations on winter and the nature of the creatures that choose to dwell in the cold and dark were gorgeous. And though much of this was lost on my children, the 7YO seemed to appreciate the melancholy and loneliness of Moomintroll being the only one of his family awake, while the 3YO liked the little moments with Little My or the skiing hemulen.

Re-read-aloud 2015: The kids and I loved this again. So odd and dreamy, a
Jun 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anna, Stella, Destinee
Moomin wakes up from his hibernation, but it is still winter! He discovers a whole "new" world. This one is really fun and the some of the illustrations are very cool.
Deborah O'Carroll
A good wintry tale, another fun Moomin story. :) Little My is the best. XD
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Stora Läs Bok Vän...: December :: Trollvinter 26 10 Jan 06, 2013 07:37AM  

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Tove Jansson was born and died in Helsinki, Finland. As a Finnish citizen whose mother tongue was Swedish, she was part of the Swedish-speaking Finns minority. Thus, all her books were originally written in Swedish.

Although known first and foremost as an author, Tove Jansson considered her careers as author and painter to be of equal importance.

Tove Jansson wrote and illustrated her first Moomin

Other books in the series

Mumintrollen (9 books)
  • The Moomins and the Great Flood (The Moomins, #1)
  • Comet in Moominland (The Moomins, #2)
  • Finn Family Moomintroll (The Moomins, #3)
  • Moominpappa's Memoirs (The Moomins, #4)
  • Moominsummer Madness (The Moomins, #5)
  • Tales from Moominvalley (The Moomins, #7)
  • Moominpappa at Sea (The Moomins, #8)
  • Moominvalley in November (The Moomins, #9)

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