July 11, 2014 by Beth - I SNIFF BOOKS blog
As a surprise in June, Flying Eye Books (an imprint of Nobrow Press) sent me book #4 in the Hildafolk series, Hilda and the Black Hound — review here. I enjoyed it so much that I sought out the other three titles — thankful they were available at my library! The Hilda series is written and illustrated by Luke Pearson.
Hildafolk #1 – When I first opened the book, I was enchanted by the two-page map spread — fictional maps make the story seem more real — and the subsequent illustrations. But admittedly, I was let down by the story, it was seriously short at only 24 pages. Luke definitely conveys the fantasy vibe of Hilda’s world, but not a lot really happened story-wise. I actually said, “wow, is that all?” when I turned the last page. The story took no time at all to read and I was really left wanting more. I was also quite surprised to see the word “damn!” (not spoken by Hilda or her mom) in a children’s comic book — it will be up to a parent or other adult figure to determine if this book is appropriate for their young one to read.
Hilda and the Midnight Giant #2 – Thank goodness, book number 2 was super awesome!! Charming illustrations, lovely story. I might even like Hilda and the Midnight Giant a smidge better than Hilda and the Black Hound if only for the reason that there is way more emphasis on the fantasy people and creatures. I’m glad this was a longer story, at 40+ pages Luke had plenty of opportunity to develop a story with a couple of different story lines. The only thing I’m slightly concerned about is that in one of the comic panels it seems like the prime minister’s cat died (or fell asleep??)– this is not a spoiler alert — but I could be interpreting the art wrong.
Hilda and the Bird Parade #3 – Another awesome story (44 pages). In the this third book in Hildafolk series, we get a true sense of who Hilda is. She’s likes to explore and seek adventures, she’s a nature enthusiast, and she is a friend to the animals. At one point in the story, one of Hilda’s classmates hits a bird with a stone and fells it from a tree. I was concerned the Luke would include this kind of content but then I realized not all children’s stories can be full of rainbows and cute fluffy baby animals. The scene with the bird gives Luke the opportunity to show us that Hilda is a a strong individual and doesn’t just follow whatever the crowd is doing. Hilda is shocked at what happened and immediately rushes to care for the bird — despite her friends warning her that it’s time to leave and then they do, without her. Hilda and the Bird Parade is a great story and also reinforces the strong bond between Hilda and her mom.