Kiki's Delivery Service

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
Kiki's Delivery Service Book Poster Image
Fun, adventurous tale of young witch has depth, kindness.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Fantasy meant to entertain. 

Positive Messages

Keep an open mind, especially in new situations. Trust yourself, and always try to do the right thing. Communicate your thoughts and needs clearly.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Kiki's parents love her and give her both a safe home and encouragement to make her own life. New friend Osono is kind and supportive, and cares for Kiki and Jiji.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kiki's Delivery Service, by Eiko Kadono, is a fun, magical, and relatable adventure featuring a young witch trying to navigate during her coming-of-age year alone at 13. The original edition was published in Japan in 1985, then translated and illustrated for a U.S. edition, and adapted for the beloved 1989 animated film by Hiyao Miyazaki (released in the U.S. in 1990). This edition features a new English translation by Emily Balistrieri and anime-inspired illustrations by Yuta Onoda. There's a big focus on trust and communication here, since Kiki is so young and living on her own, and because she shoulders the burden of making sure the town accepts her as a person and doesn’t think she's evil just because she's a witch. Many of Kiki's adventures are contained within one chapter, so emerging readers will be able to tackle the longer story arc in smaller chunks.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byEnidaddy March 6, 2021

A charming hidden gem

I was amazed at just how good this movie is. It kept the attention of my short attentioned 4 year old daughter from beginning to end. I didn't see anythi... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

In KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE, young Kiki is the beloved daughter of a human man and a witch, and she must choose which path to follow. She decides to be a witch because she loves to fly on her broom, and loves her black cat, Jiji. As a young witch, she must spend her coming-of-age year at 13 living away from her parents. Kiki leaves her hometown and sets out to find a place of her own, where she can be the town's witch, learn skills to keep witchcraft alive for future generations, and grow up away from her family's protective bubble. But once she's in a new home, she has to find a way to contribute to the town in a unique way to earn enough to survive. Her broom becomes the key to her livelihood, and she zips around town and over mountains to deliver some odd requests for the townspeople.

Is it any good?

There's delightfully little drama between humans and witches here -- they live among one another without fear or deception from either side, and they're a natural part of one another's lives. Kiki's Delivery Service focuses on the everyday life of a young witch whose worries and escapades are entirely relatable to young readers: fitting in, wondering about the future, going new places and trying new things. The characters are kind and goodhearted, and most adventures in the story wrap up within one chapter, making this an excellent book for readers looking to stretch their skills in small bites.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it would be like to leave home at a young age, as happens with witches in Kiki's Delivery Service. If you left home next week, what would you miss, and what would you be happy not to be near anymore?

  • If you've seen the animated movie Kiki's Delivery Service, how do you think the book compares? If you haven't seen it, would you like to after reading the book? 

  • If you could fly, how would you use that abiity to improve the world, and where would you go?

  • Kiki is only just starting to realize that there are things she misses about home. What things would you want to learn to do or make before you leave home?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate