Because I can't believe this book exists. I just......cannot truly take in and process that the best movie ever made for children (that's right) exists in book form.
Have you seen 'My Neighbor Totoro'??? Have you seen it?? If you have, then you know. And it's silly for me to expound on and on. But if you don't know.....just imagine a movie that perfectly realizes the magic and imagination of childhood in one big, beautiful, hazy, and breathtaking spectacle. THAT'S what's going on in the 'Totoro' movie. I've lost track of how many times we've seen this film. If all you've ever seen are Disney movies and the like, you will be knocked down flat by the haunting beauty of a Miyazaki film. (not to knock Disney, because no one loves 'Frozen' more than I do.)
a book! And I got it! Just sitting there at the bookstore. And not just any book, but a chapter book, a beautiful beautiful chapter book with tons of little details and added elements to the story that aren't present in the film (which does not rely very heavily on dialogue). We get to be inside the character's heads in the book version, in a way that wasn't possible to experience in the movie version.
After encountering the little totoros and some funny little creatures called soot sprites, the girls then run into a not-so-small Totoro ~ he's a BIG one! Who looks like a giant bunny-slash-cat. He and the girls develop a friendship, and the Totoro, in his big, silent way, helps the girls to better navigate their emotions as they process their grief over the absent mama. (don't worry, the mama recovers and comes home at the end of the story.)
artist/director Miyazaki himself, made specifically for the book. I was especially thrilled to discover a map in the front, which depicts important places in the story. I love maps like that!!
OH FRIENDS! (I had to shout a little.) Please see 'My Neighbor Totoro' if you haven't already. And for those of you who have seen it and love it, I'm going to go out on a limb and imagine that you are pretty thrilled, like I was, to see it in book form! I can't WAIT to get started reading this with Julia! I'm going to peg the book for kids aged 7-11, but the movie we first saw when my kiddo was 4, and she looooooooved it then.
Truly one of my happiest book finds EVER.
(i linked to the book, like, five times, just so you won't forget about it! i linked to the movie as well. all links are Amazon affiliate links.)