A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Fantasy meant to entertain.
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
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.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.