Independent publisher Sort Of Books is set to release eight of the original Moomin novels after acquiring world English rights to Tove Jansson’s works from Moomin Characters Ltd.
Sort Of will market the eight hardbacks as Special Collectors’ Editions, with the first four titles published in October 2017 to coincide with the opening of the Tove Jansson retrospective at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Four further titles will follow in Spring and Winter 2018.
The titles will be “lovingly restored” to their original 1950s and 60s designs, with “stunning” full colour wrap-around art paper jackets, the publisher said. Meanwhile Finn Family Moomintroll – the "most popular" Moomin title – will include the book’s original fold-out map of Moominvalley.
Sort Of publisher Nat Jansz said: “Our aim is to recreate the books that the first Moomin readers treasured. There’s a touch of Moomin mania at the moment, with the sell-out Adventures in Moominland show at the Southbank, a new animation series in development, and beautiful Moomin merchandise wherever you look. But these eight Moomin novels are at the heart of everything. They are philosophically wise, packed with adventure and have enduring values of non-materialism, love of nature and the imperative of hospitality.”
Janz told The Bookseller she was “amazingly proud” to be publishing the books. “[We were chosen to publish the books] because we’re done so well, even though we’re tiny. We only publish four or five titles a year, but we put everything behind it. That’s the reason they thought we could do something special.”
Sort Of Books is also the publisher of Jansson’s books for grown-ups, including The Summer Book which has sold 145,163 copies for £996,862, according to Nielsen BookScan. For the Moomin hardbacks, the publisher has created covers featuring Jansson’s original art, working with the designer of Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent (Serpent's Tail), Peter Dyer.
The first four titles will be Finn Family Moomintroll, Comet in Moominland, Exploits of Moominpappa and Moominland Midwinter. Publication date is 5th October 2017.
The books were previously published by Puffin.