ARC Review: Kiki’s Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono, Translated by Emily Balistrieri

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Author: Eiko Kadono

Published: July 7, 2020

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Format: eBook

Source: NetGalley

Nostalgic fans of the Miyazaki film and newcomers alike–soar into the modern classic about a young witch and her clever cat that started it all! 

Half-witch Kiki never runsfrom a challenge. So when her thirteenth birthday arrives, she’s eager to follow a witch’s tradition: choose a new town to call home for one year.

Brimming with confidence, Kiki flies to the seaside village of Koriko and expects that her powers will easily bring happiness to the townspeople. But gaining the trust of the locals is trickier than she expected. With her faithful, wise-cracking black cat, Jiji, by her side, Kiki forges new friendships and builds her inner strength, ultimately realizing that magic can be found in even the most ordinary places.

Blending fantasy with the charm of everyday life, this enchanting new translation will inspire both new readers and dedicated fans.

Given that I am a Studio Ghibli fan, I was very excited to pick up this ARC!  I’ve seen several reviews that point out that this book is not the same as the movie.  I think it’s fitting to point this out, but it’s also a good point to say that this book doesn’t have to be the movie.  There is no need for the book to match the movie, particularly because this is the book that inspired the movie adaptation.  Originally published in 1985, this translation by Emily Balistrieri captures the heart of the original Japanese text. 

This is just the uplifting story that I wanted to read in the middle of quarantine and in a place where hope feels lost.  The message of this book is that while humans are annoying, there is good in all of us.  There is no ‘evil’ in this book, but there are mean-spirited people.  Fans of the Ghibli film will feel a level of nostalgia for this book, but will also find fun new story elements.  This is wholesome and perfect for YA readers!  It would also be fun to read this book as a family and watch the Ghibli film to see the differences and talk about the translation.  Great book, beautiful story, stellar translation, and a great read in a trying time!

Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book and to the publisher for releasing it on NetGalley!  I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Starting with this review, I am doing something new! Each review (non blog tour review) will have a recipe based on the book included with it! Kiki’s Delivery Service takes place in Japan and Kiki lives near a bakery! It seemed only fitting to feature a recipe for Japanese Milk Bread! This is adapted from King Arthur Flour, click here to get the original recipe. Have you made Japanese Milk Bread before? How was it? Embarking on this new recipe? Leave a picture in the comments or send me an email! I’d love to see how your adventure turned out!

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