Wednesday 19 March 2008

Vintage Childrens' Books

I have been following the Vintage childrens' books week meme started by Pip from Meet me at Mikes this week. So many books reminded me of my own books and the newer books I have been reading as the babysitting spinster aunt to my nephews and nieces that I just had to join in the play. Here it comes, my all time favourite, Tove Jansson's hole book Kuinkas sitten kävikään? or Hur gick det sen? (What happened then?):

Moomin troll comes early in the morning with fresh milk through the dark and scary forest.

And it is getting lighter. He sees something he thinks is too odd to be their chimney.

It is the knot of hair of this Mymmeli girl who is crying because she has lost her little sister Myy. They have an adventure seeking for her.

And they finally come home to Mamma.

But the milk has gone sour. Mamma solves the problem and promises they will all drink juice from now on. The last hole in the book is so small that all the characters must stay in the book.

The text is written in many different fonts to emphasize the meaning, and my mother did a wonderful job reading this to me when I was little. The text is translated from Swedish (Tove Jansson's mother tongue, although she was Finnish), and it is in modern rhyme. The illustration, naturally by Tove Jansson too, uses holes and cut pages to show what is coming and what has been left behind. I tried to take the pictures so that this can be seen. Like in the beginning you can see the sun through two holes, and then through one, with the hair knot, and finally you are on the same page as the sun. I still know the whole thext almost by heart. The book was first printed in 1952, and I got it when I was a little girl, a couple of years later.


  1. Så roligt! Denna bok är just nu mitt barnbarns älsklingsbok, när han är hos mig. När hans mamma var liten läste jag den för henne! visst är den härlig!

  2. Oh I love books like this with holes and things. Wonderful pictures too.. thanks for sharing it!

  3. Oh I love the trees in this book!

  4. Thanks for posting this! I only know the Moomintrolls through small black and white illustrations; these are a wonderful surprise, and really beautiful.


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