by Tove Jansson

Who will Comfort Toffle? (a tale of Moomin Valley)

I went to the best little store this weekend in a second floor building in SoHo called Kiosk on suggestion from my friend Liz. It is pretty awesome. The owner Alisa Grifo takes a trip to a different foriegn country every four or five months and comes back with all kinds of interesting treasures to sell from board games to water kettles to handmade slippers. Anything with a cool unique design to it. These items are limited, it sort of feels like a gallery. But there is a small section of items that they sell ongoing. They sell them from their store but also online here. Right now they have items from Finland (speaking of Finland- yesterdays post too) and one of those items is this children’s book Who will Comfort Toffle?. How could anyone resist the bright beautiful illustrations in this book? Toffle is a little boy in Moomin Valley who is too lonely so he goes out into the world on an adventure to find a friend. He sees all different kinds of creatures and people but none talk to him. Then he finds a bottle with a note inside from a little lonely girl Miffle who is looking for a friend to rescue her from the Groke. So off Toffle goes to find and save Miffle. This book is the translated English version and the story is rhyming (Sophie Hannah created the rhyme for this version). The text is all handdrawn which is a nice touch, especially Toffle and Miffle’s names which are made a little more scripty and bolder. This book was first published in 1960 but remains one of Tove Jansson’s most popular. Tove Jansson is one of Scandinavia’s best known children’s book authors famous for her Moomin characters. Check out this Moomin site here. I love those wacky characters. Apparently there has been television series, a movie and a theme park all based around them. You can get a lot of the Moomin series easily here but this book is much harder to find. So thanks Kiosk for bringing it to us. If you’re in NY you should definitely check the store out.

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