Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Howl’s Moving Castle (Picture Book) by Hayao Miyazaki
In order to properly spotlight this book I must first trust you all with a small confession. A confession which I find is just a little hard to put to keyboard now that I come to it…so no laughing, alright?
The thing is, when I heard that Mr. Miyazaki was retiring, I was horrified. [that's not the confession] Of course I adore his work, especially his manga and the truly gorgeous adaptations. But, my pain was fueled by a very private hope I’ve nurtured that maybe one day Mr. Mayazaki would do to one of my books what he did to Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle, the novel. He took an already lovely story and breathed his artistic magic into it, creating a new layer of story without taking from the original.
Now of course I know how presumptuous it was for me to even nurture a hope that Mr. Mayazaki would one day adapt a book of mine. We are talking about one of the greatest artists and creators of our time, and a little wanna-be not-yet-even-there book! But on the other hand, how could I not nurture that hope? Just look!
Here we have the cover, of course.
With the very cool moving ‘castle’ and a glimpse of the mountains.
And here’s a lovely shot of Sophie’s hat shop.
This one’s taken from the film, but you see the same rich colors and details in the picture book.
Calcifer, the fire demon, who’s not nearly so scary as he looks–or wants to be.
And a lovely place from Howl’s childhood that has become a quiet haven of my soul.
Thanks to Hilary for this last pic, which was harder to find. Isn’t it lovely? Just looking at it makes my soul breathe!
Mr. Mayazaki’s retirement may mean some other great will get to discover my one-day books, and that makes me a little sad. But I’ll continue to write stories that I hope he’d want to work his magic on, and he has my heartfelt thanks for the inspiration.
So, that’s my confession AND my spotlight for this week. You can probably guess that I highly recommend the book. If Apricot-kitty does otherwise…well, perhaps I should send her off to spend an afternoon in the Waste!
Hmph. I guess that’s as good as I’ll get from her. And at least it proves that she does know how to hold her tongue. If you have any books you’d like to recommend please leave them in the comments. Sometimes it takes me awhile, but I do generally work my way around to most books that come with glowing praise. Even (gasp) books that aren’t middle grades!