Tove Jansson: Biography

Tove Jansson

09 aug 1914

Tove Jansson was born on August 9, 1914 in Helsinki to artistic parents who no doubt later influenced her life as she was both an artist and a writer. She studied art in Sweden, Finland and Paris. She showed an interest in art from early as while her mother was busy doing her work as an illustrator, Tove was also drawing her own pictures to which she added text and had her first book published when she was only thirteen.

Tove went on to study art in Sweden, Finland and in Paris and throughout her life has been both an artist and a writer. She wrote many short stories, articles and a handful of novels for adults. However, she is best known for her children’s books and is regarded by many as one of the most successful writers for children that has ever lived.

Her most famous books belong to the Moomin series about a family of trolls who encountered many adventures that enthralled children everywhere. These stories were translated into 45 languages and sold over 15 millions of copies worldwide. Tove Jansson also wrote picture books, comics and she illustrated her own works and children’s books written by others.

Tove Jansson was one of the most celebrated Finnish authors and she has won numerous awards for her children’s books, the most prestigious being the 1966 Hans Christian Andersen Award given for an author’s life time of writing for children.

Jansson’s books have been made into plays, operas and films and she has become a cultural icon in her own country, Finland. Jansson has been featured on two coins, appeared on stamps, had a park named in her honour and there is also a Moomin museum.

As an artist, she held several solo exhibitions and some of her public murals can still be seen throughout Finland. Tove died on June 27, 2001.