My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

We were both feeling a little bit tired and in need of a comfort watch this evening, and after reading The Guardian article about the RSC putting on a live version of ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ we knew it would be the perfect watch.

Based in 1958 Japan, a family move to the countryside to be nearer the wife/mother who is in hospital with an undisclosed illness and when they get there they discover that their house is haunted with soot sprites and their neighbour is a forest spirit, Totoro.

Ever since discovering this film it became one of our favourite go-to films for when we were tired and with little concentrations span.

Not because it is rubbish but because of the beautiful study of nature that is threading through the film at all times, the sound of the wind, the hollyhocks suddenly appearing alone mid-scene, all adds up to show a vivid love and understanding of nature from the animators.

The way the two main characters, Satsukei and Mei, are treated is wonderful, full of respect and understanding and was further enhanced by having Elle and Dakota Fanning do the English version voices.

A beautiful film all over, with some great touches of warmth and humour, especially love the bit where the two girls discover the soot sprites for the first time, oh and the bus stop scene is brilliant, and I could go on like this highlighting scenes but the whole film is greater than the individual scenes and leaves you feeling warm and content at the end.

Talking about the end, watch the titles.

My Neighbor Totoro | July 13, 1990 (United States) 8.1

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Mum, Me and the Mulberry Tree

Tanya Rosie, illustrated Chuck Groenink. Walker Books. (32p) ISBN 9781406389807
Mum Me and the Mulberry Tree

Mum Me and the Mulberry Tree

I received this from Walker Books recently after seeing it on Twitter a few times and falling in love with the cover illustration.

Got a chance to savour it this afternoon!

A beautiful little story about a young girl and mother who take an annual trip to ‘their’ tree, through a town on a bus and a bit of a walk.

There is a simple rhyming structure throughout which gives a pleasant pace to the story, the pace matching the journey and the shared experience.

The illustrations by Chuck Groenink beautifully match the story, feeling very late summer / autumnal and give the whole a very traditional feel to it.

A wonderfully sweet and warming story, felt like a hug throughout, and scanned really well when I read it out loud.


If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

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The Time of Green Magic

Hilary McKay. Pan Macmillan. (224p) ISBN 9781529019247

The Time of Green Magic

The Time of Green Magic

I was really lucky to get a proof copy of The Time of Green Magic from Macmillan as I really loved The Skylarks’ War and was looking forward to this.

When Theo and Polly met Abi’s life went through some big changes, two families blended, and she didn’t have her dad Theo all to herself anymore. More than that though she also had Max and Louis, two new stepbrothers to share everything with.

When they move into a mysterious ivy-clad new house for the extra space, mysterious happenings start to haunt them.

Shadows throughout the house and a mysterious visitor makes for a magical mysterious adventure with a real hint of danger.

Themes of change, growth, and familial love give this book a wonderful magical depth that needed a couple of read throughs to get everything out of it.


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Jungledrop

Abi Elphinstone. Simon & Schuster. (288p) ISBN 9781471173684

Jungledrop

Jungledrop

I’ve got to admit that this is the first in the series that I’ve read and was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to follow the story and miss out on the full experience.

I’m so glad to say that Jungledrop stands alone as a wonderful adventure in a stunningly magical world.

We follow the adventures of Fox and Fibber Petty-Squabble who’ve been brought up to believe that stomping on people and not thinking of others was the way to success and success equals monetary wealth and power over others.

They are unceremoniously brought to Jungledrop, the source of rain in our world, where Morg the Harpy has been draining the world of its magic which will eventually spell the end of both worlds.

Strong themes of trust, growth, friendship, kindness, and family are dealt with throughout this exciting adventure and what seems impossible at first becomes easier with friends and family.

Jungledrop is an imaginative and beautiful world, lots of strong supporting characters and Morg is a great baddie.

Looking forward to reading the preceding book and what’s still to come.

Another Elphinstone cracker!


If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.