Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hur gick det sen?

”Från mjölkbutiken klockan fem, ett litet mumintroll gick hem.
En kanna full med mjölk han bar och vägen lång och kuslig var och vinden suckade och ven i skogens alla mörka trän.
Det var ej långt från skymningen.
Vad tror du hände sen?”

"From the milk store at five o'clock, a little Moomintroll went home.
A jug filled with milk he carried on the road long and eerie and the wind sighed and whined in all of the forest's dark trees.
The dusk was not far away.
What do you think happened next?"

I was reminded of this children's book by this post, since they both have parts of their pages cut out. In Tove Jansson's illustrated book "Hur gick det sen?" (What happened next?) holes are made in each page so one gets a partial view of the next page, pulling the story forward and keeping the suspense high. The cutouts can be a hole in a treetrunk, a window or the background of the trees in a dark forest.

View of a page, borrowed from a good blog post about book design at Nittonde stolen (in swedish).

There is a new translation into english of this book by the acclaimed poet Sophie Hannah, but they kept the original english title "The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My" which sounds a little dull to me. But her interpretation of the story seems good judging from this snippet:

"Here’s little Moomintroll, none other,
Hurrying home with milk for mother.
Quick, Moomintroll, it’s nearly night.
Run home while there’s a bit of light.
Don’t hang around in woods like these.
Strange creatures lurk between the trees.
The wind begins to howl and hiss.
Now, guess what happens after this..."

I haven't read this book since I was a little kid, but I have vivid memories of Tove's great illustrations and the curiosity of what would happen next. I think I'll have to visit the section of children's books at the library soon. If I disguise myself with a beanie, shorts with suspenders and a slingshot in the back pocket no-one will notice. :)

(Listening to while posting: AFX - Entrance to Exit)


PP said...

The cover of the one book looks Seussesque, and I love the interior of the book! I had a similar book as a kid, called The Dot and the Line. I t even had a string going throughout the book, there was a animated movie too.

O.K. said...

Unlike Seuss, I think, there is often a sense of a threat or danger present in Tove Jansson's books. Some are quite philosophical too, and are not just for children.

LS said...

Tove Jansson's books like The Summer Book (one of AREA's favorites I think) is not rally a children's book at all. "Pappan and havet" is similar too, in the sense of danger or an unknown future, the lack of stability, and so on. I think they are great in that they admit that life is not always rosy, that there are fears and you have to deal with them, not act like they don't exist. PP, let's see if we can get some of her books on audio.