Great Reads

The Best Reading Order For the Moomin Books Is Out of Order

Your next series obsession is here, and we've got the exact order you should read them in.

by Tess Gionet
Originally Published: 
Best Reading Order For the Moomin Books
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Far too few American parents know the brilliance of Tove Jansson and her massively successful cartoon world, the Moomins. In fact, the Moomins populate some of the best kids' books of all time. Period.

Jansson was a Finnish artist who first created these calm and quirky characters in the 1940s. But the Moomin-mania is far from over– in fact, they’re more popular now than ever. The Moomins loom largest in Finland, but Japan’s a close second (Moomin merch is everywhere. There’s even a Moomin World theme park.) It’s only a matter of time before the Moomins take over the US, too.

So who are the Moomins, and why should you care? The Moomins (Moominmama, Moominpapa, Moomintroll, and his girlfriend Snorkmaiden) live together in Moominvalley. They’re technically trolls, though they look more like a Winnie the Pooh/hippo hybrid with their velvety soft fur and round snouts. The books are 30% adventure, 30% cozy domestic life, 20% philosophical gems, 20% lovely illustrations, or 100% amazing. For most readers, the Moomins quickly become an addiction. Much like the other great authors of children’s lit, Jansson’s work dazzles adults just as much (if not more) than it does kids. And, to be clear, most of the Moomin books on this list are for kids 6 and up. We’ve listed three Moomin picture books at the bottom for kids younger than that. The best way to think of the main Moomin books is not-quite-chapter books, but more-text heavy than your standard picture book.

If you’re ready, here are all nine Moomin books and the order you should read them in– because the books in the order Jannson wrote them are kind of strange. Some characters disappear from book to book, reappearing later with no explanation. Timelines are super vague. It’s better if you drop right into the middle of the Moomins and work your way out in both directions. In other words, the best way to read the Moomin books is out of order. Here’s our recommended best way to dive in.

1. Moominsummer Madness (Book #5)

2. Finn Family Moomintroll (Book #3)

3. Tales from Moominvalley (Book #7)

4. Moominland Midwinter (Book #6)

5. Moominvalley in November (Book #9)

6. Comet in Moominland (Book #2)

7. The Moomins and the Great Flood (Book #1)

8. Moominpapa at Sea (Book #8)

9. The Memoirs of Moominpapa (Book #4)

Looking for Moomin books for kids younger than 6 years old? There’s even more Moomin to moon over. Here are three Moomin picture books: Moomin and the Birthday Button, The Book About Moomin, Mymble, and Little My, and Who Will Comfort Toffle? There are also a ton of Moomin comics, but we’ll let you decide if those are right for you after you get through all of these other books.

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