Artist Ingela Hallberg has been reimagining Tove Jansson’s beloved children’s books, with a series of artworks called The Moomin Project. And the results are pretty striking.
Tove Jansson should have won Nobel prize, says Philip Pullman
The Finnish artist and writer, who died aged 86 in 2001, “responded to the world with a freshness and originality that have hardly ever been matched in the field of children’s books”, Pullman writes in the new issue of children’s books magazine Books for Keeps. The His Dark Materials author believes Jansson “could convey all the excitement of wonder as well as the reassurance of comfort and familial love – and in her final Moomin books, such as Moominvalley in November, evoke a mood of apprehension, loss, and mystery.” And she should, according to Pullman, “have had the Nobel prize”.
Boel Westin, professor of literature at the University of Stockholm, has written an affectionate biography. She wrote her doctoral thesis on the Moomin world and knew Jansson. In the book, Westin compares her to Shakespeare, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, even "Chekov spiced with Poe". Actually, Jansson needs no such comparisons: that she wrote well is self-evident from the enduring popularity of her surreal and prankish tales.