Review: Kiki’s Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Kiki is a trainee witch. On her thirteenth birthday she must follow tradition and leave home to find a new village.
She knows she has to use only her powers to make a living, but Kiki’s no good at potions or spells…can she use her flying abilities to make her own way in the world?
She sets out with her beloved black cat Jiji on an exciting journey, making new friends along the way.

I’ve loved Studio Ghibli for probably close to 10 years now, but I only watched Kiki’s Delivery Service a couple of years ago for the first time (and it quickly became my favourite Ghibli!). After seeing this gorgeous book around, I knew I wanted to read it. And after rewatching the film a couple of days ago with my lovely friend Alex, I knew it was time to pick it up.

I just loved reading this book. It is the ultimate comfort read and obviously felt somewhat like a reread due to re-watching the movie so recently. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how different this story was. A lot of this was only in subtle ways, but Kiki really does get up to some adventures that aren’t in the movie, which made it so fun to read about and gave me a fresh perspective!

Kiki don’t get too hung up on appearances,

Some of the aspects I preferred in the movie, and some in the book, but I honestly love both of them despite the differences. The main feeling of the story, of Kiki moving away from home and settling as a witch in another town, remains the same. The joy and beauty of the pretty seaside town shine through just as well in the book and are helped along by some gorgeous illustrations by Joe Todd Stanton. The characters are also so lovable and I can really see which characters in this one inspired aspects of the movies.

it’s your heart that’s important.

This is the kind of story that is perfect for any age. I would have adored this as a child I’m sure, but I loved it as an adult too. It is one of those beautiful, charming stories that you can’t help but fall in love with.

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: My Neighbor Totoro by Tsugiko Kubo

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Goodreads | Amazon

The beloved animation classic by legendary Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbor Totoro is now retold in novel form. This prestige, hardcover edition features original illustrations by Miyazaki himself, accompanying a story written by veteran children’s book author Tsugiko Kubo. Sure to delight both existing fans and new readers! Eleven-year-old Satsuki and her sassy little sister Mei have moved to the country to be closer to their ailing mother. While their father is working, the girls explore their sprawling old house and the forest and fields that surround it. Soon, Satsuki and Mei discover Totoro, a magical forest spirit who takes them on fantastic adventures through the trees and the clouds–and teaches them a lesson about trusting one another.

I can’t even begin to tell you how lovely this book was. I found it so comforting! I started watching Studio Ghibli movies a few years ago, and they really hold a special place in my heart. I’ve come to love the franchise, and when I saw this book I knew I’d want to pick it up. I wasn’t wrong in adding it to my TBR, I got through it in just a day and I adored it!

“The rain kept falling, falling, falling….”

If you’re a fan of the movie like I am, this book is definitely worth the read. Told mostly from the view of 11 year old Satsuki, it explores the challenges of moving to a new house and having an ill family member. It’s lighthearted and extremely gentle, but still nostalgic of the more emotional undertones of the beautiful movie.

This book is extremely cute as a physical item, and is scattered with beautiful watercolour illustrations that are reminiscent of the animation. The story reminded me of Enid Blyton, who I adored as a kid! It really made me think how much I would have loved this book if I’d had it read to me as a child.

“The sound of rain was everywhere.”

I read this in bed, with fairy lights on, while I wasn’t feeling well one rainy day. The countryside setting is described beautifully, and overall the narrative is sweet and calming. If you like the movie/Studio Ghibli in general, this book is definitely worth the read.

★★★★★
5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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