Macmillan Children’s Books (MCB) is moving in on the Moomins after signing a deal to publish gift titles with the brand’s rights’ owners Moomin Characters Ltd.
The deal, which was brokered between licensing agents Bull’s Licensing and Caroline Mickler, and MCB publisher Stephanie Barton, is for the world rights to three titles; the first of which will be published next month.
The idea for the range was Barton’s, who said she “couldn’t be happier to have this opportunity to be publishing this new range of gift books for families and fans, celebrating [Moomin creator] Tove Jansson’s unique and wonderful world”. The first MCB title, The Moomin Colouring Book, will be published in paperback in February, priced at £10. The other two books, as yet untitled, will follow in 2017.
The Moomins first appeared in a series of books by Swedish-speaking Finnish illustrator and writer Jansson that were published between 1945 and 1970. They have since been translated in to more than 30 languages.
Since Nielsen BookScan records began in 1998, the biggest selling Moomin title in the UK is Finn Family Moomintroll, released in 1973, which has sold 56,308 copies. It is followed by Comet in Moominland, (22,064 copies sold) and Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip (19,943 units).
In the UK, Puffin has a licence to publish pre-school Moomin titles, a deal that will not be affected by Macmillan’s publishing line, said licensing agent Mickler. Puffin has three Moomin titles lined up for release this year: The Curious Explorer’s Guide to the Moominhouse (mini hardback, July), Moomin and the Ocean’s Song (hardback and paperback, September), and an untitled lift-and-find book (June).