Being a Ghibli fan I was periferally aware that the animated film had been based on this book. I intended to eventually read it and now I'm extremely glad I have.While Miyazaki made a brilliant and enjoyable film the book itself really shines a little brighter. Diana Wynne Jones writing makes this a true gem.Whimsical, magical yet still with a tiny foot in reality. I swallowed this book whole and read it in one sitting. It had me smiling so much I just couldn't put it down and while I realise it is a rather small book and that isn't that great of a feat to read it all at once. It's the smiling the whole time that was.