If you haven't met a Moomin yet, you're in for the most magical fun! The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Tove Jansson's endearing classic, Moominland Midwinter, read with warmth (and some lively character voices) by the comedian Hugh Dennis. 'This is snow,' Moomintroll whispered to himself. Moomins always sleep through the winter - or they did until the year Moomintroll woke up and went exploring in the silent, snow-covered valley where the river used to scuttle along and all his friends were so busy in summer.
My children have listened to the Moonmins before, so we though we knew what we were letting ourselves in for. I bought this as part of a winter suite (as you do), full of Christmassy wintery stories to listen to for December.
This one stood out as it was very different. It has a strange melancholy feel to it. Moonmin Troll accidentally wakes out of hibernation and is really quite lonely for a while. A squirrel dies from looking at the beautiful Winter Lady. There is much talk about creatures who are shy or un-loved who only come out in the winter as there is no-one around.
My boys (aged 5 & 7) didn't ask me to turn it off, but they were a little perplexed. My 5 year old said it wasn't nice to have people die on the way to school, although he hasn't had nightmares or anything since.
Hence the 3 star rating. Possibly better for age 6 and over I'd say, or anyone who wants to create a real atmosphere of the slightly scary, otherworldly nature of a really cold artic winter.
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