522259919This summer I had the pleasure of translating a children’s novel by the anime filmmaker Mamoru Hosoda, whose past work includes Wolf Children and The Boy and the Beast. The new project – presented in both book and film form – is called Mirai, and it’s just been published by Yen Press. It’s a lovely tale of a little boy who welcomes a new baby sister, Mirai (her name means “future”), into his family…only to discover she’s stolen the attention of his parents and grandparents.  But a series of magical encounters in the courtyard of his house show him that things aren’t quite as they seem.

There’s plenty of slapstick humor to make kids laugh, but also enough sly depictions of how having kids transforms family relationships that grownups can enjoy the story, too. It was a particularly apt project for me because I was getting ready to welcome my own son to the world just as I was translating the book! You can pick up a copy through Amazon – or better yet, ask your local bookseller to order one for you. The beautifully rendered film version comes to US theaters on November 29. Watch a preview here.

UPDATE: The film version of Mirai won Best Animated Feature in the Independent Film category of the Annie Awards. It was also nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Glob.