Sunday, July 3, 2011

Moomin's Little Book of Colours

Tove Jansson wrote and illustrated the Moomintroll books between 1945 and 1970. The characters and stories in books such as Finn Family Moomintroll, Comet in Moominland and Moominsummer Madness have become favourites of several generations of children throughout the world.

Recently a series of board books featuring the Moomin characters have been made for very young children - Moomin's little book of words, colours, numbers and opposites. A boxed set of small board books designed to introduce children to the Moomin characters - Meet Moomintroll, Moomimpappa, Snorkmaiden and Moominmama - is also available. It is good to see the revival of these characters in this format which hopfully will introduce another generation of children when they are older to the world of Moomins.

Several volumes of the cartoon strips about the Moomins that originally appeared in Finnish-Swedish newspapers in the late 1940s are also available (in English) in some bookshops including Readers Feast.

Naked Heat

For a number of years Sunday evening television entertainment provided by Channel 7 in Melbourne has been Bones followed by Castle.

Don't get me started about television stations who promote a new series, eg Bones, show a few episodes then return to reruns before replacing the series with another program. The remaining programs in the new series can be viewed on the Internet so they do exist. I guess that Channel 7 may agree to show them to their viewing public.

Anyway, back to Castle. Richard Castle is an author who gains permission to follow the daily activities of Detective Kate Beckett  and her team in the murder squad as source material for a new series of books that he is writing. His main character, Nikki Heat, is to be based on Detective Beckett. An improbable situation but an entertaining television program. A spin-off from the program is the publication of a series of Nikki Heat books purported to be written by Richard Castle. Heat Wave, the first book, made the best seller lists in the USA. It was shortly followed by Naked Heat with Heat Rises recently published.

In Naked Heat, Jameson Rook is a journalist who has written a magazine article based on his time following Detective Nikki Heat and her team as they go about their work solving murders. They meet again when Rook is waiting for them at the scene of a murder, the victim being the gossip columnist about whom his next  article will be written. Together Jameson and Nikki work together to identify the murderer, not an easy task as few people liked the murder victim. This is an entertaining story with plenty of action to keep you wanting to read further. The parallels between the characters and plot in the book and the television series are also interesting to observe.

Fans of the television series will certainly enjoy this book but it can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone detective story. A film of the first Nikki Heat book will be out soon.

Further information about the Casle books can be found at or at