7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #597: Featuring Tove Jansson

h1 July 29th, 2018 by jules

” … Thingummy muttered, ‘Flazing blame.’
Bob said, ‘It’s hed hed rot!
Smorld up in woke — a sheadful drame,
When smorld is all we’ve got!'”

(Click to enlarge)


Here’s a picture book that arrived on shelves in April but was created in 1970 and is publishing for the first time in North America. The Dangerous Journey was the last picture book completed by the legendary Finnish author-illustrator Tove Jansson. This new edition, published by Drawn & Quarterly, was translated by Sophie Hannah.

Written in rhyme, readers meet Susanna, sitting outside in the grass and suffering from a bad case of ennui. Even her cat (Mr. Paws) is too lazy, peaceful, and serene for her mood. “I’m wild and crazy,” we read, “and I’m sick of all this green.” Susanna is in the mood for “danger, disaster, scandal” yet has no idea how to go about it. Suddenly, though, she puts on a pair of glasses she finds near her, and the world turns: Her cat is a “spitting frizz of rage, rotating in the sky,” and the forest she knows has disappeared with a dark mangrove swamp in its place. Even the sea is gone, Susanna eventually realizing her mind has moved the sea. “All this is down to me,” she comes to understand.

She meets a handful of characters — a Hemulen, Sniff, Sorry-Oo, Thingummy, and Bob (characters from Jansson’s Moominvalley series) — and they all travel through Moominvalley. There’s an eerie volcano, pounding snow (in summer, no less), “the looming shadow of the GROKE,” sinister moments, and more: Susanna’s wish for an adventure has come true.

Jansson’s watercolors feature surreal landscapes and are awash in color and texture. It’s a beautiful thing to see this book make it to American shelves. Here’s a bit more art. …


“HEMULEN, Bob and Thingummy — those were his friends’ strange names —
All clustered round Susanna for some gossip, fun and games. …”

(Click to enlarge)


“Night fell and snow fell, pounding like the drumsticks of a drummer.
HEMULEN cried, ‘Delete! Rewind! It’s still the height of summer!'”

(Click to enlarge)


THE DANGEROUS JOURNEY. Entire contents copyright © Tove Jansson, 1970, Moomin Characters™. Translation copyright © 2010, 2018 Sophie Hannah. Illustrations reproduced here by permission of the publisher, First Drawn & Quarterly.

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) Tove Jansson!

2) “GO!” by Santigold (featuring Karen O.). This is related to a TV show, but I can’t explain why I like the song, or I’ll be giving away a spoiler.

3) This made me laugh. I have this dream at least once a week, though it’s always college.

4) A trip to Parnassus early in the week to get the new Lumberjanes for my daughters.

5) Stopping by to visit a friend.

6) One of my daughters’ summer goals was to watch all of the Star Wars movies (again) in a particular order. (Their nerd-gene is strong.) We are done. …

7) … And I’m reminded how kick-ass Rey is.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

5 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #597: Featuring Tove Jansson”

  1. Hello Imps, Tove, and co!

    Jules: Yay for music and movies and good people. 🙂

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Solid
    2) Good job
    3) Simple
    4) Compliment
    5) Encouragement
    6) Confidence
    7) Confidante

  2. What a book. Why did it take so long to get to the US? Wonder if its CYBILs?
    Jules, bookstore swoon. Someday I’m going to show up so we can go.
    LW: confidence and simple are great kicks
    1. In the Reno airport after 4 days with college pals.
    2. Outside eating.
    3. Laughter.
    4. Mojitos.
    5. A letter from a student awaits my arrival home
    6. Talking with a Navajo artist about where she lives.
    7. The moon.
    Have a great week.

  3. What an awesome book! I love Hemulen the most and the snow in summer.

    Jules – hooray for nerds and watching the Star Wars movies and mothers and daughters: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl0q4_0hnVt/?taken-by=praisethelourd

    LW – Simple, Compliment, Confident all sound so good.

    Jone – laughter, mojitos and college pals sounds like an awesome week.

    My quick kicks:
    1) Finished Jenny Han’s “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” and now I can’t wait for the Netflix movie.
    2) The trailer for the Netflix movie makes it look like they’ve done a great job: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTLc_RzqaJc
    Plus they make Portland look so pretty!
    3) Another busy week done.
    4) Watched “Alive and Kicking” a doc on swing dancing for National Dance Day yesterday. So much joy in dancing.
    5) Frankie Manning, dance icon, oh to have an ounce of his energy and joy in life now, that he had at 94. What a wonderful and inspiring human.
    6) Daisy got a bath yesterday and was brave enough to wade in the wading pool, and deigned to share the hammock with me in the evening.
    7) Next home improvement project is in beginning stages.
    7.5) Sunflowers, summer dresses, and chasing sunsets.

    Have a wonderful week Imps!

  4. LW: Those are solidly good kicks. (See what I did there?)

    Jone: I WOULD LOVE THAT (you, me, Parnassus, that is — there’s a great donut shop next door — just sayin’). Your trip sounds so fun. Enjoy the letter!

    Rachel: What a good week you had. Daisy. Hammocks. That is sweet. Thanks for the book (and movie) recs. That book is new to me.

    Have a good week, you all!

  5. the images of this post are beautiful and very suggestive

    sara di body neonato

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