Tove Jansson was born and died in Helsinki, Finland. As a Finnish citizen whose mother tongue was Swedish, she was part of the Swedish-speaking Finns minority. Thus, all her books were originally written in Swedish. Although known first and foremost as an author, Tove Jansson considered her careers as author and painter to be of equal importance. Tove Jansson wrote and illustrated her first Moomin book, The Moomins and the Great Flood (1945), during World War II. She said later that the war had depressed her, and she had wanted to write something naive and innocent. Besides the Moomin novels and short stories, Tove Jansson also wrote and illustrated four original and highly popular picture books. Jansson's Moomin books have been translated into 33 languages.