My family and other Moomins: Rhianna Pratchett on her father’s love for Tove Jansson

On the anniversary of Terry Pratchett’s death, his daughter reflects on how Tove Jansson’s creations brought them together

I don’t remember the precise moment I was introduced to the Moomins. They were always just there; a cosy, comforting and slightly weird presence in my childhood that has stayed with me. My father called Tove Jansson “one of the greatest children’s writers there has ever been”, and credited her writing as one of the reasons he became an author.

My father’s family were the kind of postwar, no-nonsense British people who didn’t really do hugs or talk about their feelings. Instead, they showed their love by building things: toys, puzzles, go-carts, treehouses. It was a tradition that my father, still very much the awkward hugger himself, would continue during my childhood. He built me a market stall, a beehive (complete with toy bees), a stove and, most memorably, Moominvalley.

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Sir Terry Pratchett remembered by his daughter, Rhianna Pratchett

28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015
The script writer for games, comics and film remembers her father’s gift for observation, his love of nature and an idyllic childhood filled with wonder, wildlife and cats

Read the Observer’s obituaries of 2015 in full here
Henning Mankell remembered by Kenneth Branagh My father talked about death a lot. He believed that we should be more like our Victorian forebears who, although rather bashful when it came to talking about sex, regarded death as a much more comfortable topic of conversation. It’s the great unifier. No matter who you are, one day the reaper will come for you. He didn't teach me magic. He showed me it Continue reading...