Smart Moomins

27 June 2012 | This 'n' that

From page to screen: Tove Jansson's classic

‘Here’s little Moomintroll, none other,
Hurrying home with milk for Mother,’

are the opening lines of Tove Jansson’s classic 1952 illustrated children’s tale of a sister lost and found, The Book about Moomintroll, Mymble and Little My, in the English poet and novelist Sophie Hannah’s beguiling translation. (Swedish original: Hur gick det sen? Boken om Mymlan, Mumintrollet och Lilla My; illustration: the Finnish version.)

The book has now been released as a smartphone app by the London publisher Sort Of Books and Helsinki’s WSOY in collaboration with the Finnish developer Spinfy.

At the tap of a finger, birds fly, forest creatures crawl up and down tree-trunks, flowers open and close, fish jump and hattifatteners wiggle. Unlike in the Japanese animated cartoons that have done so much to make the Moomins well-known worldwide, this is achieved without doing any violence to Jansson’s original graphics.

The app can be played either in text or, for very small children, read-to mode, voiced by the actor Sam West. Three more Moomin apps are scheduled for release later this year.

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