It’s World Book Day! What better way to celebrate than to review not only a fantastic book, but one that was made into an anime by Studio Ghibli??
Howl’s Moving Castle has become extremely popular as the Studio Ghibli Anime, but not many of the people I’ve spoken to about it are aware that it was first a book, much less know that the author is British!
Whilst the anime is very different from the book, Miyazaki has simply taken artistic license with it. Adding in a few of the things he wanted to see, such as flying machines and war scenes. That is what Diana Wynne Jones is about, she wrote the book to make real all of the fantasy things which people want like Seven League Boots for instance.
Being a big Studio Ghibli fan, I tore open the wrapper of my Howls Moving Castle steel book and set to watching it. I watched it, ordered the book by Diana Wynne Jones and then watched the movie twice more whilst waiting for it to come in the post! I enjoyed the movie but felt that some things didn’t quite make sense. Since reading the book, all of those little bits have come much clearer to me and I adore the book.
Diana Wynne Jones has a method of writing which could hook most adults and children, the book is packed with fantastical events and amazing imagery. There are a great many references to fairy tales and one thing that the story made me think of is Beauty and The Beast. Anyone who knows Studio Ghibli will probably know the outline of Howl’s Moving Castle but I don’t really want to spoil the story for anybody who hasn’t heard of it before – and yes there are people who haven’t! Suffice to say, you will read through love, adventure, danger and a great many fantastically developed characters who you will grow to love.
If you want to read the book you can get it here;
Diana Wynne Jones has also written Castle In The Air and The House of Many Ways which are sequels and star Howl, but perhaps in disguise!