Moomins! I’ve never actually read any of the Moomin books as far as I can tell, but it’s possible I did as a kid. I do know that that I’ve read several of Tove Jansson’s adult books including her collected stories. As an adult writer, she’s incredibly playful and funny and endearing, but like a lot of Scandinavian (and European writers) there’s a dark underbelly to a lot of the sensible kinds of joy her books are about. My favorite of these is The Summer Book in which a grandmother and her grandson are running around an island and exploring but then are also dealing with and thinking about death, the destruction of the environment. So here are her kids books.
So this is the sixth, I think, book in the series so I’ve missed a number of introductory elements to the series, but it’s the first one that my library. These books were also all in the stacks, so it’s a little sad to think that these books are less and less read.
Anyway, in this book, Moomintroll, the young child of the Moomin clan is supposed to be hibernating, like all the Moomins apparently do, but he wakes up and cannot get back to sleep. It turns out he’s not alone in this predicament in that he comes across a few other creatures and beings in the valley. He’s bored, he’s lonely, he’s a little anxious, and of course, he’s hungry. Using these feelings as his guide he goes off looking for companionship and food and finds both. Unfortunately, the companionship he finds includes some sour magical creatures who aren’t happy to be awake or be bothered by others.
So I have various problems sleeping. If I wake up, I am up. It thrills my cats who are excited to see me get up, and it thrills my dog because she takes my spot in bed, and I often go to bed with a low level of anxiety about whether or not I am going to be woken in the night. So I feel for Moomintroll in this one, I really do. I think I would have also appreciated this theme explored when I was a kid as well, because this has sort of been my whole life. I used to stay up all hours but now I just wake up in the middle of the night.