Tove Jansson and Too-ticky

“Supreme Court Clears Way for Gay Marriage in 5 States”

So read the NY Times message that popped up on my phone this morning — right as I read Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings post (thanks for the forward, Deenah) from last week: “Too-ticky’s Guide To Life: Wisdom on Uncertainty, Presence and Self-Reliance from Beloved Children’s Book Author Tove Jansson”. The dominoes keep falling — hallelujah!


(my desk-dwelling Moomintroll)

I only encountered Tove Jansson (1914-2001) as an adult, and read a bunch of Moomintroll books to my kids (Finn Family Moomintroll, Comet in Mooninland, Tales from Moominvalley, Moominvalley in November…). Somehow, though, we missed Moominland Midwinter and so, apparently, also gypped ourselves of a fuller acquaintance with Popova’s favorite Jansson character, Too-ticky

The delightful and wise Too-ticky, it turns out, is based on Jansson’s partner/spouse, Tuulikki Pietila. Both were women — hardly the thing in Jansson’s day. Having just read about the Tuulikki/Too-ticky connection, I got a little shiver when the NYT news byte appeared.

It is a lovely post — romantic and smart and full of philosophical Too-ticky quotes — and touches on all sorts of ‘important stuff’, redirecting readers to myriad links that quickly reveal Popova’s Brain Pickings as a rabbit hole of the best sort. Popova is a broad reader, writer and thinker (bio here). Of course: the fact that she mushes kidlit right in there with her grown-up musings and book picks certainly adds to the blog’s charm. (Search “children’s books” there; a bounty awaits!)



  1. Thanks, Anna, for reminding me about these books. I never read them as a child either but keep meaning to read them with Amelia and Eliza. I love the idea of basing Too-ticky on a person named Tuulikki….

    1. Thanks for reading!
      When you have a minute (ha), do check out Maria Popova’s post. You will love it — and her Brain Pickings blog in general. She’s a good one…

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