Author: Hayao Miyazaki
Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Series: My Neighbor Totoro
Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC; New edition
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars
Damn! Has it really been 25 years? I remember watching “My Neighbor Totoro” when I was a kid and now I have been introducing it this year to my 17 month old daughter. In fact, I have a feel that she is going to love this picture book as well as she learns the film and grows up with it like I have. Viz Media is releasing this new edition to celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary and they have done a great job here for sure. If you do not already own this book, then this will be a great way to parents to introduce the film to their children and keep the fandom surrounding this film and Studio Ghibli overall going for another generation.
Official Premise: The companion book to the beloved animation classic My Neighbor Totoro, by legendary Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki. Featuring artwork taken directly from the movie, this updated edition will allow parents and children to relive Totoro’s magical adventures with scene-by-scene illustrations and character dialogue. Eleven-year-old Satsuki and her sassy little sister Mei have moved to the country to be closer to their ailing mother. While their father is working, the girls explore their sprawling old house and the forest and fields that surround it. Soon, Satsuki and Mei discover Totoro, a magical forest spirit who takes them on fantastic adventures through the trees and the clouds–and teaches them a lesson about trusting one another.
To be honest the title of the book says it all. We get the entire story of the film within some text and illustration. So you can get the jist of the film as it is perfect laid out. I feel like it is giant comic book but also like a visual journey of the film. The images in the book are basically screenshots from the film and they are presented in very high quality. My daughter already is able to say Totoro or “Torto” as she says it since we have plush dolls and various merchandise all over the house. So watching her sit quietly and flip through this book made me very happy and I am sure that this will be used quite a bit over the years. No brainer if you are a fan of the film and Studio Ghibli. I hope that Viz has future plans for more collaborations with their films.