Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

My Neighbor Totoro

Rate this book
One of Studio Ghibli's most beloved classics, Totoro celebrates its 25th anniversary!

The beloved animation classic by legendary Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbor Totoro is now retold in novel form. This prestige, hardcover edition features original illustrations by Miyazaki himself, accompanying a story written by veteran children's book author Tsugiko Kubo. Sure to delight both existing fans and new readers! Eleven-year-old Satsuki and her sassy little sister Mei have moved to the country to be closer to their ailing mother. While their father is working, the girls explore their sprawling old house and the forest and fields that surround it. Soon, Satsuki and Mei discover Totoro, a magical forest spirit who takes them on fantastic adventures through the trees and the clouds--and teaches them a lesson about trusting one another.

244 pages, Hardcover

First published April 1, 1988

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Tsugiko Kubo

1 book22 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
1,412 (53%)
4 stars
891 (33%)
3 stars
309 (11%)
2 stars
30 (1%)
1 star
11 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 333 reviews
April 14, 2021
If you are unlucky enough to know me well, you'll be well aware of my love for Totoro. Well, love may not be a suitable word; obsession fits better. I own a Totoro handbag, keyring, pillowcases, socks, pens, an umbrella and even a nightlamp. I buy anything associated with it. This is very much a children's story, but I think it is an important one for adults to enjoy, too. I have watched the film version of "My Neighbor Totoro" many times, and it is certainly a firm favourite of mine, although, I must admit, this time the film wins over the book.

Totoro takes us into a magical world where he invites the reader to remember what it was like to be a child again with all it's wonder and imagination. It also shows us that in times of need, the person who you can turn to is not quite so far away.

The book itself is a beautifully presented hardback, and scattered throughout are gorgeous illustrations, that I think really add to the overall experience. This is a wonderful story, which everyone should indulge in, and of you haven't seen the film, then you're definitely missing out on a treat.
Profile Image for Jane.
720 reviews
February 2, 2014
Beautiful book. Well written. Gorgeous story. Lovely illustrations. And, despite not normally being a quotey kind of person, I fell in love with this quote:

"The rain kept falling, falling, falling….

The sound of rain was everywhere.

It plopped in the mud and splashed in the puddles, slithered down branches and tinkled from the leaf tips, a symphony of tiny notes playing and fading away endlessly."

Such a delightful book to read
Profile Image for Shuk Pakhi.
295 reviews45 followers
May 17, 2021
টোকিও শহরে বাবা-মা আর চারপাশে অনেক আত্মীয় -স্বজন নিয়ে দুইবোন এগারো বছরের সাতসোকি আর পাঁচ বছরের মেই এর দিনকাল কাটছিল আনন্দেই ।
হঠাৎ তাদের মায়ের টিবি ধরা পরায় অনেক দূরের স্যানাটোরিয়ামে চিকিৎসার জন্য থাকতে যেতে হয়। তখন বাবা তার দুই মেয়েকে নিয়ে স্যানাটোরিয়ামের কাছাকাছি বনের ধারে একটা বাড়ি ভ��ড়া করেন।

প্রথমদিনই বাড়িতে অদ্ভূত কিছু একটা খেয়াল করে দুবোন। তবে ভয় তেমন পায় না। নতুন বাড়ি, নতুন জায়গা, নতুন মানুষজন, নতুন স্কুল সবকিছু নিয়েই তারা থাকে ভীষন আনন্দিত।

বাবা অফিসে আর সাতসোকি স্কুলে গেলে ছোট্ট মেই গ্রামের দাদীমার কাছে থাকে অথবা বড়বোনের স্কুলে গিয়ে হাজির হয়। সে এতই মিষ্টি বাচ্চা যে সবাই তাকে ভালোবাসে।

ছোট্ট মেই বনের ভেতরে বি-শা-ল গাছটার মাঝে আবিষ্কার করে তোতোরোকে।
কিন্তু কে এই তোতোরো??
বনের দেবতা নাকি রাজা?
দুবোনের জীবনে কি সে আনন্দ নিয়ে আসবে নাকি নিয়ে আসবে কান্না? তাদের মা কবে বাড়ি আসবে?

সাধারনত মুভি আর বইয়ের মধ্যে আমি বই পড়তেই বেশি পছন্দ করি। এটার ক্ষেত্রে এ্যানিমেশন মুভিটা দেখেছি আগে এবং সেই মুভি থেকে বই হয়েছে জানার পরও বইটা পড়েছি। দুইটাই অসামমমম।
মুভিই দেখেন আর বইটাই পড়েন সাতসোকি, মেই আর তোতোরোর প্রেমে না পরে উপায় নাই একদম। 💛

বইয়ের শুরুতে একটা ম্যাপ দেয়া আছে। কোন একদিন ব্যাগট্যাগ গুছিয়ে সাতসোকিদের বাড়ি রওনা হয়ে যাবো। তখন তোতোরো আমারো প্রতিবেশি হবে।
Profile Image for Diniya.
82 reviews17 followers
November 30, 2021
"همون‌طور که نمی‌تونیم هروقت که می‌خوایم توتورو رو ببینیم، چیزهای خیلی مهم هم انگار هرگز اتفاق نمی‌افتند."

"روزها باید بگذرند، یک‌به‌یک. "
Profile Image for Stay Fetters.
2,016 reviews116 followers
January 20, 2021
""Try Laughing. Then Whatever Scares You Will Go Away."

My first experience with Totoro was when I spotted a big plushie at a store in my hometown. He just sat there looking super adorable and I had to have it. Was hooked ever since. I absolutely love Totoro.

This made me reminisce about my childhood. About how innocent and pure life was. That I could use my imagination to create anything and just live a happy and carefree life. Totoro brings out the best in everyone. It was a touching and sweet book. I’m glad to have it in my collection.
Profile Image for ZOË.
176 reviews149 followers
June 15, 2022
2.75 I enjoyed my time with this little book, but I still believe the movie is 10x better! To be fair, I haven’t watched it in nearly a decade so I could be remembering things wrong, but I was a bit disappointed in the lack of Totoro in these pages. From what I can recall, he played a much bigger role in the film and though I acknowledge that the family dynamics are very important to the story, I wish we could’ve seen more of its charm and magic through the book adaption. This was also told using third-person omniscient, which makes sense considering this is a kids book, but it’s still my least favorite POV to read. I also had issues with the pacing, and found it pretty odd throughout the book; many parts were very faithful to the anime, while others were anywhere from too dragged out to completely omitted. Overall I was a bit dissatisfied, but reading this has definitely made me want to watch the movie again for nostalgia’s sake so I’m definitely glad I picked it up!
Profile Image for Saeed Aj.
46 reviews17 followers
February 12, 2021
جزو بهترین کتاب‌هاست برای رده‌های سنی پایین‌تر،در کل همون داستان انیمه‌ست ولی با جزئیات و یکی دو بخش بیشتر
Profile Image for Widyanto Gunadi.
100 reviews36 followers
May 18, 2021
My Neighbor Totoro is a movie novelization of the eponymous iconic animated feature film, which stems from the creative imagination of a Japanese master animator, Hayao Miyazaki. It follows the source material, from which it's derived, quite faithfully, albeit a few minor tweaks may be discovered here and there throughout the tale. Although the book was meant for and geared specifically towards young children, some portions of the writings can sometimes be found, to a fixed extent, metaphorical, and beautifully poetic. Not that it is off-putting, by any means, far from it, there is a slight chance that the younger readers, to whom the book created for, may never appreciate the magic of the surreal, larger-than-life descriptive passages of leafy milieu presented in the storytelling. However, complaints aside, more mature readers should be able to identify almost immediately the artsy and grandiloquent writing chops harnessed and displayed here sufficiently by Mrs. Tsugiko Kubo, the veteran adapter of the saga. Jim Hubbert's well-done translation job also manages to retain the lively, dreamlike, and splendidly nuanced qualities that the Japanese version has. Finally, to give the novel a dash of extra exclusivity, several bonus inserts of original artworks hand-drawn by Miyazaki himself included, because a children's book cannot be called one without any drawings in it. These pictures are there, serving as a sort of anchor, to keep the fantasy and adventure very much grounded and alive inside the little readers' curious minds.
Profile Image for Amy.
226 reviews37 followers
April 21, 2015
My second book read today while we're stuck in a storm with no power, woooop! This was sweet as a novelisation of one of my favourite childhood movies but also fantastic as a middle grade novel in its own right. It's been a while since I've seen the movie, so j can't really say how accurate this is as an adaptation, but I really feel like it captured the spirit and magic of the beautiful movie. My favourite line totally deserves a mention: 'The rice plants were so green it almost made you want to sneeze.' How can you not love that?!
Profile Image for  Kayleigh ⚔.
9 reviews3 followers
June 30, 2021
"Yes-this huge, bushy, gray hodgepodge of racoon, owl and bear." will forever be the best and most accurate description of Totoro.
Profile Image for Jamie.
1,375 reviews1,103 followers
April 5, 2022
This was cute. It follows closely to the movies (or is that the other way around?). Although it was a bit less whimsical. You really get a better feel of the hardships this family is going through. Don't get me wrong, there is that magical feel of adventure with Totoro and company but the struggles of country living, mixed with school, medical fees and work commutes plays out more strongly here. I also like how it better pulled in other family members and explained their connections. These girls are adorable to read about!
Profile Image for Irina (Lohe Loeb).
381 reviews37 followers
May 5, 2021
Totoro is one of my absolute faves and I was a bit afraid of reading this novel. I know the story, what new can I get from this book?
Turns out there were some new things and it was written really well. I really enjoyed reading it, now on to rewatching Totoro for like 20th time :P
Profile Image for Nina.
570 reviews48 followers
March 3, 2020
Book read #20

Satsuki, Mei and Tatsuo (their father) moved to a country side to get closer to the girls' mother, Yasuko, who'd been in a sanatorium due to an illness for a year. They moved to an old house that had spirits inside.
Those three really struggled in their new house. Satsuki learned how to cook traditionally, to keep the house clean and everything in order. Tatsuo had to go to university (he's a professor) very early since it's farther than when they lived in Tokyo.
One day, Mei met Totoro.
The parts where the girls went to the bus stop to pick up Tatsuo and Mei went to Satsuki's school wrenched my heart 💔💔💔

Setelah membaca Totoro, saya jd pengen nonton animasinya. Untungnya buku ini ada ilustrasinya shg saya tidak kesulitan membayangkan sebesar apa Totoro, cat-bus yg sesuai namanya, bus ajaib berbentuk kucing dan kucingnya hidup. Dibandingkan fantasinya, porsi slice of life-nya lebih besar.
Kesan saya malah tercurah lebih besar pada kesedihan dan perjuangan keluarga Kusakabe tanpa sang ibu yg sudah dirawat di RS selama setahun. Satsuki, Mei dan Tatsuo pindah ke desa Matsugo, lebih dekat dg RS sang ibu. Suatu hari ibu akan diperbolehkan pulang selama bbrp hari. Satsuki dan Mei bersemangat sekali, tapi sayang, menjelang hari yg dinantikan, malah ada telegram dari RS untuk sang ayah. Satsuki kecewa, sedih dan takut sesuatu yg terburuk menimpa ibu mereka. Setelah dia melampiaskan ketakutannya pada Mei dan Nenek, Mei malah hilang.
#Totoro bersetting tahun 1950-an, ketika teknologi jelas tidak seperti sekarang. Kesan jadulnya terasa sekali, jadi suka dan asyik membacanya. Ada ilustrasi desa Matsugo, bus stop, rumah tua Satsuki. I think, Totoro kurang dapat porsi 😅 makanya jd pengen nonton animasinya. Yah, buku dan adaptasinya bisa saling melengkapi. Dan saya msh blm bisa menginterpretasikan dg tepat, apakah Totoro dll menyimbolkan harapan, ketakutan, atau apa. Yg jelas dia muncul ketika Satsuki dan Mei sedih, kesepian atau putus asa.
Makasih banyak Mbak Rumi @mybookshelf111 yg sudah meminjamkan buku ini. Tinggal Mrs Frisby yg blm kubaca, semoga lekas selesai 😄
Profile Image for I'mogén.
830 reviews39 followers
September 2, 2022
Reading vlog: https://youtu.be/KVW687MtUeM
Book vs Movie Review: https://youtu.be/7X1UQwLRGys

Oh this was a delight. I love this movie and the book adaptation matched its energy perfectly. I think you can tell it was written after the movie but not in a bad way. I could picture each scene as the movie, but it worked.

It was a pleasant suprise to have some beautifully green toned illustrations dotted throughout.

This encompassed the element of the movie perfectly & now I wanna read it and watch it all over again!

Pick it up, give it a go & enjoy >(^_^)<
Profile Image for Sophie Crane.
3,538 reviews115 followers
June 21, 2022
It's the story of Two girls who (with their father) move house and meet a forest spirit and his friends who help them in their time of need. The characters are very friendly and loveable and my favourite was the cat bus. This book is a lovely introduction to the world of Japanese anime.
Profile Image for Melissa Chung.
903 reviews325 followers
January 30, 2021
Biased review here. I love this movie. I own sweaters, hoodies, pullovers with Totoro on it. My phone case, purse and wallet are Totoro. So of course, Im giving this book 5 stars.

If you’ve never seen the movie. Satsuki and Mei are sisters that move out of the city (Tokyo) to the country, in a small town. Their new house is run down and “haunted”, according to the kids in the neighborhood. The girls’ mother is in the hospital with tuberculosis. Their father is an archeologist. The girls are learning what its like to work hard like the country folk and Satsuki is becoming more of a big girl, helping her father keep up the house and cook food.

Totoro is a forest spirit that shows himself to the girls. He is the cutest thing ever! Along with the mini totoros, soot spirits and cat bus.

The only difference between the movie and the book is the book talks more about Satsuki’s family. What her mother is sick from and the 10 days the girls go back to Tokyo to visit their Gramma. I don’t remember that part in the movie.

Its a cute fantasy that will make you smile.
Profile Image for Dessa Mae.
354 reviews82 followers
September 6, 2020
Adorable and fun to read.
There were some differences with the movie, but this book offered more info about the characters, which I really liked. I just wish Totoro was more present. The scene on the cover was not even in the book!
Profile Image for Chris Greensmith.
632 reviews4 followers
September 30, 2018
"You're such a baby! Just grow up!" If you have seen the film then you have read the book. I have this an extra star because of the actual book itself, a lovely hardback, great illustrations, and compact. If you have kids or like kids then this would be a good story to read them, but as I say pretty much the film...3 🌟
Profile Image for Lia Ung.
284 reviews29 followers
June 5, 2015
When I first saw this book I was very OHMYGOD-JUMP-UP-AND-DOWN-TOTOROOOO. I still felt that way when I started reading, both because I love the My Neighbour Totoro movie, but also because the book itself is really beautiful and kinda magical with pictures in it and on the cover. So I was really looking forward to reading it but it soon became clear that the book is not really like the movie.

This is a movie-to-book adaptation, which I have never read before. In most cases when a book become movie a lot of stuff is cut, and I understand why because else the movies would probably be too long (in many cases that wouldn't bother me at all but that's besides the point). Therefor I thought this book would be great because for once there would be no nead to cut or change, you can just take a wonderful movie and turn it into a book.

Or so I thought.

Right from the start I noticed small changes in the story and was surprised but still okay with it. Soon however the changes grew bigger and they started to bother me more and more. The feelings I get from watching Totoro is happiness and a general calm. The book didn't give me those feelings. The biggest reason for that I think is the change in the main character, Satsuki, and her father, Tatsuo. Book-Satsuki is too grown up and book-Tatsuo to focused on his job, and not enough on his daughters.

I also didn't like that the book was only from Satsuki's point of view; the movie (at least so I think) is just as much about Mei.

But when it all comes down to it the book was still kinda good, and it is still Totoro, so I can't help but like it. I just had expected more.
Profile Image for Karen Mace.
1,780 reviews66 followers
June 29, 2017
One of my favourite films by Studio Ghibli so of course I'm going to love the book version! A beautiful book inside and out!

A simple but magical story of the bond between a family and enjoying the simple things in life - helped by giant fluffy creatures who like umbrellas!
Profile Image for tom  meadham.
26 reviews
November 9, 2021

Chose to read this one as I wanted something a little easier to read after finishing ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ - I also wanted something that I could break away from and come back to without having forgotten key elements. My Neighbour Totoro was perfect for this, it’s familiarity and simplistic nature was exactly what I was searching for. Having watched Miyazaki’s gorgeous animation I knew when I saw this book in a comic book shop in Brighton I had to pick it up.

This book resembled the film in the sense that the feelings it generated within me, warmth at the sweet relationship between Mei and Satsuki, joy at the idea of a spirit living in the forest next door and excitement at the potential that a cat bus is one stop away from picking you up if you wish for it hard enough. It’s a lovely story following the move of a family from Tokyo to Matsugo, a small village, as a result of the mother of the family being placed in hospital. Her children and husband miss her dearly and all three try and make the house as clean, homely and wonderful for her return.

Satsuki’s perspective is the one the reader follows and we watch her handle all the challenges of moving home and having only one parent around for a portion of her life. It’s inspiring to see these young children, learn, play and grow throughout the novel and it’s even more entertaining when they meet Totoro, the loveable spirit next door.

I really liked reading this book, however I wouldn’t say it’s as good as the film. The visuals and the potential to not just witness one character’s perspective makes Miyazaki’s film much more detailed and developed in its storytelling. I wouldn’t say that Kubo doesn’t write well or didn’t develop the story brilliantly in this book, I just find that it is done better in the film. I’ve never read a film -> book adaptation before but this was really good, and an interesting take on the story of My Neighbour Totoro, I’m looking forward to reading another adaptation like this.
Profile Image for Nulaniah.
339 reviews8 followers
May 9, 2020
Akhirnya selesai 😆

Cerita yang menghangatkan hati, kagum banget sama Satsuki, dia baru kelas 4 SD tapi udah dibebani begitu banyak tanggung jawab, mulai dari mengurus rumah, sampai mengurus adiknya... Dengan ibu yang dirawat di rumah sakit, serta ayah yang sibuk bekerja, Satsuki seolah "dipaksa" bersikap dewasa.

Hidup di Mayugo juga rasanya beda banget sama Tokyo, dan aku jadi agak bingung, ini sebenarnya setting-nya tahun 1958, tapi Jepang digambarkan begitu modern, udah ada kereta yang pintunya terbuka otomatis, pun bonekanya juga ada yang bisa minum dan pipis (cmiiw) apa aku yang pengetahuannya kurang luas ya? XD

Ada ilustrasi yang menyerupai goresan pensil di dalamnya, cakep banget, kelihatan sederhana, tapi dalem gitu, aah suka deh pokoknya! 😆

Belum lihat animenya sih, tapi jadi penasaran setelah baca bukunya, kayaknya nanti bakal nonton ya..
Profile Image for Mikayla.
70 reviews
August 27, 2019
Let me preface this by saying that My Neighbor Totoro is definitely a children's book. However, I think every adult should read it. The story has been a favorite of mine since I was very young. I remember watching Fox's dubbed-version over and over, loving the every day place magic seemed to find in the plot. This novel is a little different than the story I grew up with, but it is no less extraordinary. It asks the adult reader to remember what life was like as a child, when we looked at the world with a little more hope and were more ready to accept magic as an explanation for anything wonderful that we couldn't explain. I had a delightful time reliving this story, and I think it's important for everyone to spend a little time with something that reminds them there's still something more exciting out there than the mundane of our every day lives.
Profile Image for Sula.
209 reviews24 followers
May 17, 2021
Most of Studio Ghibli's movies are based on books, so I was really intrigued to see how an original story of their's would be like when adapted to a novel. Sadly, this was a disappointment. Some of it I think is partly due to the translation, the wording and phrases feel a little awkward. However, the flow and structure I suspect is more down the original adaption. I was hoping for something with beautiful, descriptive writing - the equivalent of the artwork in their movies - but this is simplistic, with some peculiar turns of phrase and structure.

I would be interested to know how much the adapter worked with Hayao Miyazaki when writing. Did he work directly from the movie, or are some of the extra details and information Hayao Miyazaki's ideas too?

I still want an epic, several books long, novel adaption of Hayao Miyazaki's manga of Nausicaa though...
Displaying 1 - 30 of 333 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.