I woke up this morning and hit the Google homepage button to find a doodle tribute to one of my favourite writers, Diana Wynne Jones, author of the excellent book Howl’s Moving Castle. She would have been 80 today, although she sadly passed away in 2011, after battling lung cancer.
If you hadn’t heard of the book version of Howl’s Moving Castle, you will certainly have heard of the film version, made famous by Studio Ghibli. The animation is only loosely based on Wynne Jones’ book, but the character are the same and it has the same magical feel to it. It was a long time ago that I first discovered Howl and his moving castle, and it has always been a firm favourite of mine. The characters in the book are as follows; Howl; womanising wizard. Sophie; quiet girl who is turned into an old woman by the cruel Witch of the Waste. Calcifer; an adorable fire-demon.
Hayao Miyazaki’s 2004 film is the only feature film adaption of the book to date, and it is a version that fans have fallen in love with. The character of Sophie, a shy young girl trapped in the body of an old woman, is one that I have always been able to identify with. She is kind-hearted and goes above and beyond to help Calcifer and Howl, who she eventually falls in love with.
It is a perfect book for young children and nostalgic adults alike, full of magic and wonder, as are Diana’s other books, Castle in the Air, Charmed Life, Cart and Cwidder… I could go on and on.
If you are a fan of Neil Gaiman or Harry Potter, you will love Howl’s Moving Castle. And if you’ve not yet read this fabulous book, take this as your invitation.