________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 15 . . . . December 14, 2012


Moominvalley Turns Jungle.

Tove Jansson.
Montreal, PQ: Enfant/Drawn & Quarterly (Distributed by Raincoast Books), 2012.
48 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-77046-097-3.

Subject Heading:
Graphic novels.

Grades 3 and up / Ages 8 and up.

Review by Natalie Schembri.

**** /4



How could tropical seeds ever grow here - in this place?

Oh well! If it makes Moomin happy...

And I'll pop the last seed into the bucket.

What a hot, strange night! Threatening somehow...

Drawn and Quarterly has commenced republishing Tove Jansson's Moomin comics, with a focus on individual stories. One of the first republished editions of the Finnish comics, Moominvalley Turns Jungle, is a charming story that is initiated one day in the withering summer heat as Moominmamma plants the tropical seeds that have been washed ashore on to Moominvalley.

      Jansson invites readers to explore with the Moomin family the transformation from an exhaustingly hot and dry desert setting into a magnificent, yet curious, world of flora and fauna. Readers, and Moomins, amusingly discover orchids, bamboo, and carnivorous flora. Moominvalley becomes a surreal jungle of plant life that attracts the investigative work of an inquisitive botanist and a hopeful zoologist, as well as visits from various exotic animals that have been freed from the zoo. The panels of Moominvalley Turns Jungle are erupting in strange plants and creatures that have grown from the crate of tropical seeds and are waiting to be explored. Readers will delight over the sophisticated panels and pages of Moominvalley Turns Jungle.

      Notably, this reprinted edition is whimsically illustrated in full-colour for the first time. The soft, yet colourful hues expressively highlight Jansson's sweet and quirky Moominvalley story.

      Jansson's endearing comic strip continues to charm and entertain readers. I highly recommend this witty classic, Moominvalley Turns Jungle, for school and public library collections. The Moomin stories are humorous and delightful comics that the entire family will enjoy! I eagerly await the 2013 release of Moomin Builds a House and Moomin Falls in Love. In anticipation for the 2013 releases of more full-colour Moomin comics, I will further direct readers of Moominvalley Turns Jungle to the Tove and Lars Jansson classic hardcovers of Moomin, as well as the picture books, The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My and Who Will Comfort Toffle?.

Highly Recommended.

Natalie Schembri studies children's literature at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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