Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki's Delivery Service book coverTitle: Kiki’s Delivery Service

Author: Eiko Kadono

Summary: When Kiki lands in the town of Koriko she uses her trusty broomstick to start a flying delivery service. Although the local people are a little wary of having a witch in town at first, they soon come to rely on her to deliver their parcels. No job is too big or too small for Kiki and her wisecracking cat Jiji, but some deliveries are much tricker than they seem…!

Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5

Review: Kiki’s Delivery Service is one of my favourite Studio Ghibli films and I think I knew, somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, that it was based on a book. My other favourite Ghibli film, Howl’s Moving Castle, also is and I read that book ages ago now. Yet still, it took me by chance spotting this book on a table in the children’s section of Waterstones to think, “Of course it was a book first,” and, “I should definitely read it.” I bought it on the spot and couldn’t wait to get cracking on it.

Having seen the film first (and several times) before reading the book, a lot of my opinion is based on its comparison to the film. Which might have been unfair to the book, if it weren’t for the fact all the comparisons and all my opinions are positive!

Immediately it’s clear to see the film captured the mood and vibe and essence of the book really well. It is light and whimsical and full of fun. Actually, the book is more of all of those things, because the film added a deeper layer to the coming-of-age aspect of the story. Which, of course, I love, but it was also nice just reading a truly happy story.

The plot of the book is very simple. Young witch makes her way in the world by moving to a new town, making new friends, and delivering things on her broom. Each chapter is a new delivery adventure. It’s so simple and so lovely. I smiled a lot while reading this, and it had me laughing out loud a few times.

I loved all the characters, but my favourite is Jiji. He’s very similar to how he is the film. Full of slightly insecure snark and fragile ego. I was hoping against hope my favourite of his lines from the film would be in the book, but it wasn’t. However, there was a line that’s not in the film that I absolutely adored. It’s Jiji’s reaction when they first spot the sea…

“What, so it’s just a big puddle?” Jiji seemed dissatisfied.

There was artwork in my edition of the book, which was also fun and full of whimsy. The pages with illustrations were definitely the ones that got more of my attention. I wish they all could have been in colour like the cover, but alas.

kiki illustration

Having found reading a real struggle in recent years, this book was like a breath of fresh air. I don’t care that it was familiar because I’ve seen the film. I don’t care that it’s a children’s book. I don’t care that it’s got lots of pictures. I care that it’s invigorated my motivation for reading. I care that it’s made me want to pick up another book. I care that it made me happy.

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About Wendleberry
I'm odd.

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