Illustrating Thursdays: Howl’s Moving Castle

Illustrating Thursdays is a new meme Created and Hosted here on I’ll Read Anything Once. Along with reading, one of my great loves is art and illustration. Illustrating Thursdays is made to show off both. Favorite picture books or illustrations from a book, illustrations or art based on a book, or art that reminds you of a book you love are all fair game. Make sure to credit the artists and provide info on the books you choose. If you want to participate please do! Leave a link to your posts in the comments and link us in your post. (we’re working on a widget for everyone to use when they participate in the future).

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones; first published in 1986.

From Goodreads:

In the land of Ingary, such things as spells, invisible cloaks, and seven-league boots were everyday things. The Witch of the Waste was another matter.

After fifty years of quiet, it was rumored that the Witch was about to terrorize the country again. So when a moving black castle, blowing dark smoke from its four thin turrets, appeared on the horizon, everyone thought it was the Witch. The castle, however, belonged to Wizard Howl, who, it was said, liked to suck the souls of young girls.

The Hatter sisters—Sophie, Lettie, and Martha—and all the other girls were warned not to venture into the streets alone. But that was only the beginning.

In this giant jigsaw puzzle of a fantasy, people and things are never quite what they seem. Destinies are intertwined, identities exchanged, lovers confused. The Witch has placed a spell on Howl. Does the clue to breaking it lie in a famous poem? And what will happen to Sophie Hatter when she enters Howl’s castle?

I have to admit, I saw the movie before I even knew the book existed. I fell in love almost instantly with sweet Sophie, cranky wizard Howl, young Markl, and feisty Calcifer. I tracked down the book within the week and found myself equally enamored with the story within its pages as I had with the characters on the screen. Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli pulled out all the stops with their stunning animation, in spite of some (pretty significant) changes that had occurred between the book and the movie, I found that Studio Ghibli’s amazing artwork was what played through my head as I read Jones’ words.

There was no way I could host Illustrating Thursdays and not praise the incredible storytelling of Diana Wynne Jones and the achingly lovely illustration that brought her story to life. It’s incredibly rare for a book to be among my favorites and for the movie based on it to be a favorite as well. It has happened with Howl’s Moving Castle, I don’t think that any other book-movie pair for me hold the same feeling.

Do you share my love for Howl? What other book-movie pairs do you love?

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