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Moomin Characters announces new Barnes & Noble partnership

    Moomin Characters announces new Barnes & Noble partnership

    I got introduced to the Moomins by Tove Jansson through the Canadian imprint Drawn and Quarterly. The Moomins are going big in the United States through a new partnership with Barnes & Noble. Drawn and Quarterly has done an amazing job with the Moomin property. With the help of Barnes & Noble, Moomins will traverse to new heights.

    Moomin Characters announces nationwide partnership with Barnes & Noble and a new podcast series narrated by actresses Jennifer Saunders and Lily Collins

    Moomin Characters, the parent company of the global phenomenon the Moomins, created by the acclaimed Finnish artist, illustrator, and writer Tove Jansson, and Barnes & Noble, the largest book retailer in the United States, is thrilled to announce a significant new partnership to make Jansson’s literature widely accessible to American audiences, both in stores and online. The collaboration with Barnes & Noble marks the Moomin Characters’ first significant foray into the United States. 

    Moomins characters barnes noble

    Barnes & Noble will feature nearly a dozen of Jansson’s iconic children’s books from the Moomin series alongside her most popular adult novels, available on the bookseller’s e-commerce platform www.bn.com and in select stores nationwide. Barnes & Noble will also feature a curated selection of Moomin gifts and lifestyle products ranging from the best-selling and highly collectible Moomin mugs to Moomin notebooks, home goods, and more, in twenty-one stores across the country.

    James Daunt, CEO of Barnes & Noble, said, “I have long been an admirer of Tove Jansson’s creative spirit and the inspiring world she created with the Moomins, stories that still to this day resonate deeply with readers of all ages. Jansson’s life story, her literature, and her art are meant to be celebrated and enjoyed by all, and we at Barnes & Noble couldn’t be more pleased to have the opportunity to bring Jansson’s work to American audiences.”

    Tove Jansson’s niece and President of the Board at Moomin Characters, Sophia Jansson, said, “Tove was an incredible artist and an exceptional person. She wasn’t afraid of walking her own path and was true to her ideals, and these things fed into her creations – they’re part of what makes the Moomin stories so special. We are incredibly proud to have in Barnes & Noble a partner that is equally as excited as we are to bring the Moomins to America.”

    Moomins characters barnes noble display

    Already an established painter, Tove Jansson wrote and illustrated the first Moomin story to comfort herself during WWII. Since 1945, the Moomins have touched millions of readers far beyond Jansson’s native Finland. The Moomins are fantastical creatures who live in Moominvalley, a magical place where adventures are always waiting around the corner. With their white snouts, they look nothing like humans, but their prominent personalities reflect many traits that both children and adult readers have fallen in love with. Firmly rooted in Nordic storytelling, the Moomin stories reflect the values central to Jansson: friendship, courage, respect for nature, and adventure, delighting readers with sophistication for storytelling, wisdom, and humor. 

    The Moomin characters first appeared in The Moomins and the Great Flood and over the next three decades, Jansson went on to publish eight more books in the series, in addition to four picture books. In 1954, the Moomins were catapulted onto the global stage when the London newspaper The Evening News commissioned Jansson to write a Moomin comic strip that ran for 20 years. At its peak, the comic strip was syndicated in 40 different countries, from Canada and South Africa to India and Bermuda. Today, Moomin books are published in nearly 60 other languages and television adaptations have aired in 120 countries.

    After publishing her last Moomin book, Moominvalley in November, Jansson went on to write novels and short stories for adults, many of which – like The Summer Book, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022 – have become much-loved classics. 

    The following Moomin books are available through Barnes & Noble:

    On March 1, 2023, Moomin Characters will also launch The Moomin Phenomenon, a podcast narrated by actress and producer Lily Collins, well known for her role in Emily in Paris, and the multi-hyphenate English actress, singer, comedian, and screenwriter Jennifer Saunders, widely recognized for her role as Edina Monsoon in the TV-series Absolutely Fabulous. The Moomin Phenomenon explores how and why Jansson’s creations have been embraced globally, from Scandinavia to Japan. 

    Of the podcast, Collins said, “I am thrilled to share the Moomins with new adults and children who will become inspired by these loveable trolls just as I have been. I first discovered the series and its magical illustrations as a child growing up in the English countryside. There is so much to learn through Tove’s writing about equality, respect for nature, and how to break out of your comfort zone in search of an adventure. I try to bring all of these themes into my daily life as an adult and still today return to the Moomin stories again and again. My husband and I have even started our own Tove Jansson collection of artwork and personal letters that we deeply treasure and will pass down for generations to come.” 

    moomins

    For nearly eighty years, audiences worldwide have gravitated to the characters Jansson created and the unique philosophy of Moominvalley, where the values of love, equality and courage are ever-present. Through the lens of Jansson’s singular life and legacy, The Moomin Phenomenon explores how and why so many creatives – from writers and musicians to designers and jewelers – have been inspired by these stories. The podcast also looks at how Moomin Characters preserves the history and integrity of Jansson’s body of work while balancing demand for its global licensing program. 

    Featured in the podcast are the actor Samuel West, who is a lifelong fan and whose daughter is named after a character in the Moomin stories; designer Rika Kawato, who has made Moomin fabrics for the Japanese market for 10 years; publishers Nat Jansz and Mark Ellingham, who were behind the Moomin x Oxfam collaboration which raised millions of pounds for charity; philosopher Sanna Tirkkonen, literature professor Björn Sundmark, and Tove’s biographer Boel Westin; composer Lauri Porra, who is the bass guitarist in the power metal band, Stratovarius; jeweler Harriet Vine, who is the co-founder of Tatty Devine, an East-London based jewelry brand with a Moomin range; and a fan named Malin Tjernström, who gets her third Moomin tattoo whilst being interviewed for the podcast. 

    The Moomin Phenomenon is available on all podcast platforms. It was produced by Swedish audio content company, Third Ear Creative, a Scandinavian podcast group. 

    Fun Fact: Jansson’s final Moomin book, Moominvalley, was written in 1970. Its mood is reflective of the grief the author felt after her mother’s death. Jansson created a new character based on herself called Toft, who, upon arriving at Moominhouse, finds that no one is home.

    Tony M.