Kiki’s Delivery Service


Koriko is a township by the sea without a witch. It’s never bothered it very much, so when Kiki alights there as the place in which she will begin the next stage of witch training, there is some suspicion. However, Kiki is positive and industrious. Shortly after her arrival, she helps Osono, the baker, with a delivery. Osono is grateful and offers Kiki and Jiji, her witch’s cat, a place to live.

It’s not long before Kiki realises that her flying ability might offer her a business advantage. Could she open Kiki’s Delivery Service? She must find a way to live as part of her training, trading what she does for the few things she might need. Therefore, when an old lady hires her to take knitted belly warmers to her sea Captain son and his crew, Kiki learns to knit. What will she do when an orchestra employs her to retrieve the instruments left aboard the express train?

Kiki’s Delivery Service is a classic Japanese novel, translated into many languages, and spurning film adaptations. What’s more its author, Eiko Kadono was awarded the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen award for services to children’s literature. Bookwagon is excited to read, review and recommend this newly translated title to our readers. Not only is the translation a triumph, but the illustrations from Joe Todd-Stanton are so sympathetic. Kiki’s Delivery Service is a triumph.

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Kiki’s Delivery Service

Eiko Kadono

Illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton, translated by Emily Balistrieri

(Penguin Random House)

Kiki’s Delivery Service is set up in Koriko, the town Kiki decides will be hers. It seems a new witch is charged with finding the town in which they will live and work when she comes of age. Therefore, Kiki and Jiji, her witch’s cat, leave their small township home and  Kokiri and Okino.
Despite her mother’s advice that small towns are best, Kiki seeks a town by the sea. Furthermore, she flies further than planned. Thereafter, Koriko is bigger than her mother advised. In addition the townspeople appear slightly hostile to having a town witch. However, as Kiki begins to lose hope, she encounters Osono. In return for help Osono offers Kiki a room in the floury hatch above her bakery. Thereafter, little by little, Kiki sets up her business.
Eiko Kadono won the Hans Christian Andersen award in 2018, the highest prize in children’s literature. Therefore, Bookwagon is delighted to welcome her best known title.
Like The Apprentice Witch, Kiki is striking out alone. However, Kiki, like her witch mother, Koriko, or Arwyn, is her own, determined, witch creation.
Bookwagon loves and recommends Kiki’s Delivery Service. We hear a unique voice in Kiki and then imagine her quite wonderful story.


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