Whether you grew up with them or not, you’ve seen a Moomin before. They’re sweet, short little fellows with a doughy, teardrop-shaped body; wide, inquisitive eyes; and a face that resembles a young hippopotamus crossed with a beanbag.
The Moomins are international A-listers in the world of children’s literature thanks to creator Tove Jansson. Born in Finland at the outset of World War I, Jansson showed an early passion for curiosity, artistry and exploration. Drawing and illustrating through her adolesence, Jansson’s Moomins series took off in the late 1940s and went on to global success over the next few decades – spawning spinoff comics, TV adaptations and more than one amusement park.