Week 13, Hilda and the Troll

Bibliographic Information: Pearson, Luke. Hilda and the Troll. Flying Eye Books, 2013. 40 pages. Tr. $18.95, 978-1-909263-14-7.


Pearson, Luke. Hildafolk. Nobrow Press, 2011. 48 pages. Pbk. $10.24. 978-1-907704-04-8.

Reading level: NoveList recommends this book for ages 9-12, Amazon’s age range is 6-10.

Genre: Graphic novel, fantasy

Awards for the Hildafolk series:

Hilda and the Midnight Giant, Best Children’s Picture, PW 2012 | Hilda and the Bird Parade NY Times Notable Children’s books of 2013

Hilda and the Black Hound — Young People’s Comic Award (British Comic Awards 2014)
Bester Comic für Kinder (Max & Moritz Prize 2015)
Pépite de la Bande Dessinée (Montreuil Book Fair 2015)
The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kid’s Comics 2015

Hilda and the Midnight Giant — Eisner Award Nominee (Best Writer/Artist, Best Publication for Kids)
Winner of Young People’s Comic Award (British Comic Awards 2012)

Reviews and celebration for Hilda and the Troll:



Found on CLCD:

Hilda and her mother live in a mountainous region, in a cabin that was built by her great-grandfather. Hilda is unlike a typical child. Aside from the pointy nose and the blue hair, she has a thrill for unusual experiences. For example, hearing that there will be heavy rain in the evening, Hilda runs to her mother and asks to sleep in the tent. Fortunately for Hilda, her mother is unlike a typical mother. She says yes. Hilda spends an uncomfortable night in the cold and noisy outdoors but declares it the life of an adventurer that she wouldnt have it any other way. She studies trolls in the meadow; but when one follows her home, Hilda is not sure what to do. In this first Hildafolk graphic novel, her neighbor the Wood Man and her strange pet Twig are introduced. Children will thrill at the excitement and danger that make up Hildas world and sigh at the turn of the last page. Fortunately, they need not wait long since two additional books are now available in the Hildafolk series: Hilda and the Bird Paradise and Hilda and the Midnight Giant. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green


On the cover, the picture of Hilda petting what seemed to be a fox with horns and the geometric designs around her will peak your interest. The map at the beginning of the book and overall design of the comic encourages you to read further. Hilda’s spirited adventurous attitude will get you hooked. This book is also chock-full of whimsical fantasy characters like trolls, giants, a woodman, and a sea spirit.

My favorite panels:

“Such is the life of an adventurer.” This panel captures that feeling of satisfaction and drive for more adventure that one feels after an uncomfortable and sometimes grueling experience. I can see her series being a wonderful success. Her adventures are being made into a Netflix series, due 2018. Read it before you watch!


While on an expedition to seek out the magical creatures of the mountains around her home, Hilda spots a mountain troll. As she draws it, the blue-haired explorer starts to nod off… when she wakes, she finds herself lost in a snowstorm and her troll has totally disappeared. On her way home, Hilda ventures deep into the woods, befriends a lonely wooden man and narrowly avoids getting squashed by a lost giant.

Common Core Tie-in:

The third grade (age 8-9) Reading Literature (RL) standard states, “Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.” Fourth grade (age 9-10) RL.4.4 states, “Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).” Fifth grade (age 10-11) RL.5.7 states “Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).”

So, discussion of mythology and it’s place in literature is found in many of the common core standards. We could talk about how this author may have been influenced by Icelandic troll mythology when creating the troll rock. Then we can ask if there was any mythological influence on the sea spirit or the woodman? Does this also originate from Iceland? Or, maybe Finland or Sweden where we also find fjords? We can find the deeper meaning and beauty in this text through discussion of mythology.



Week 12, Digital Media

Spina, C. (2014). Finding, evaluating, and sharing new technology. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 53(3), 217-220. Retrieved from http://queens.ezproxy.cuny.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.queens.ezproxy.cuny.edu:2048/docview/1515296971?accountid=13379

This article recommends ways to approach the process of keeping abreast of new technology. Then, the author outlines criteria for evaluating new technologies. The evaluation criteria are meant to help manage the onslaught of apps and digital media that librarians need to sift through.

The author provides blogs and groups that will share new content and digital media. Though using technology to find technology works, I also liked the fact that the author encouraged reaching out to humans that belong to librarian groups — “Don’t be shy about actually striking up conversations with these people either. I have found that most are happy to discuss their own strategies or the tools they like the best.” (Spina, 2014).

Unlike most of our readings this week, this article is not for reviewing apps or recommending screentime use and management. This article is geared towards librarians and intended to help with evaluation and selection of apps and technology.

I decided to condense the information of this article into an evaluation tool:

PRICE Priority goes to free apps. Pricey apps with free trials. Pricey apps with no free trial.
PLATFORM (you may need to collaborate with other librarians to test all platforms) Available and works well on all/most platforms. Available on all/most platforms, but may not work well on all. Not available on all platforms. Especially needs to be available on the most used platforms in your community.
USER INTERFACE The tool is usable and easy to use for everyone (including people who are not as familiar with technology). It also is accessible to people with adaptive devices. The tool may lack is usability accessibility, but it is effective and has a nice layout/design. Or vice versa. Ultimately lacking in usability, pleasing design, and accessibility.
FLEXIBILITY (This might need a new name… like HELPFUL or USEFUL) Basically, Does the app or website make your life easier? It can integrate with other technology and makes technology use simpler and enticing. — Think about all that Google provides and how seamlessly the apps work together A standalone tool that does not work with other apps or technology, but is helpful and makes life a little easier. Purely for fun. OR, even worse, this app is meant to make your life easier and it just creates more confusion. (Like, for me, a lot of the List Apps have too much going on. They make lists complicated!)
SECURITY/PRIVACY Answers yes to 0-1 questions below.
Questions to ask: -does it collect/require personal information?-does it connect to social media or other websites?-does it share information?
Answers yes to 1-2 of the questions. Answer yes to 2-3 questions.
AGE LEVEL The content, style, and other features are age appropriate for the exact age group you cater to. The content, style, and other features are appropriate for teens and children, but not specific to the age group you cater to. The content, style, and other features are not appropriate for your age group.
COMPETITORS/ALTERNATIVES You can associate the app/tool with others. Answer yes to all of the following:

-Are there cross-platform equivalents?

-Can you recommend a similar good game when a patron has mastered one?

-Is there a free alternative?

Answer yes to 1-2. Answer yes to 0-1.



Partner Post: Importance of Diverse Collections

Co-written with Lisa.

An ideal, diverse collection supports our young patrons’ search for self-awareness. When building such a collection, the librarian must realize a child’s understanding is based surrounding experiences (Naidoo, 2014, pg. 2). Therefore, diversity is based on exploring the familiar or understanding the unfamiliar. Every book sends a message, whether directly or inadvertently. Before selecting any books, every librarian must understand that culture goes beyond ethnicity, and includes gender, religion, sexuality, ability, language, class, etc. (McNair, 2016, para. 5) In this post we focus on three ways that literature can help children recognize how they affect others and gain perspective of themselves and the world: universal theme, inclusion or representation, and exposure.

Books that include universal themes show children that there are common human experiences or things that we all feel. For example, in A Birthday Basket for Tia by Pat Mora, Cecilia is attending her Tia’s surprise birthday party and trying to decide what she should give to her. The excitement of having a birthday and giving thoughtful birthday presents are ubiquitous. Cecilia’s experience and her Tia’s party may look and sound different to some children, but the theme is familiar. Another example is the Moses Goes series. Moses is deaf, but he goes to school, plays an instrument he enjoys (drums), and can speak to his friends by signing. These books “positively represent” cultural differences (Thomas, 2016), while showing memorable occasions that most children have the opportunity to experience .

Diverse collections allow all children to feel included and represented. Jacob’s New Dress by Ian and Sarah Hoffman, provokes positive insights that push the societal boundaries of gender. These books allow children to recognize and question the boundaries that may be set up in their own households. Therefore, inviting them to recognize that there are differences in families and people around them. Creating a collection that encompasses all, fosters self-identity and elicits “positive insights about others” (McNair, 2016, para. 22) and will lead to self-awareness.

Diverse books offer children the opportunity to recognize that there is a world outside of their immediate community. The book Same, Same, but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw follows two boy penpals; one living in America and the other in India. They talk about their ordinary lives, and reveal that their day-to-day lives have similarities and differences. As librarians, our focus should not be on diversity for diversity’s sake. We should choose children’s literature with the intention of cultural competence, “awareness of one’s own culture and the contribution of other cultures” (Naidoo, 2014, p.4).

Including books that explore all facets of humanity allow all youth to be supported through their personal journeys.


McNair, J. (2016). #Weneedmirrorsandwindows: Diverse classroom libraries for K–6 students. Reading Teacher, 70(3), 375-381.

Naidoo, J. C. (2014). The importance of diversity in library programs and material collections for children. Association for Library Service to Children, American Library Association.

Thomas, E. E. (2016). Stories still matter: Rethinking the role of diverse children’s literature today. Language Arts, 94(2), 112-119. Retrieved from http://queens.ezproxy.cuny.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.queens.ezproxy.cuny.edu:2048/docview/1835329714?accountid=13379

Picture Books:

Hoffman, Sarah & Ian and Case, Chris (Illlustrator). Jacob’s New Dress. Albert Whitman & Company. 2014. 32 pages. $16.99. 978-0-80-756373-1.

Kostecki-Shaw, Jenny Sue. Same, Same but Different. Macmillan Publishers. 2011. 40 pages. $17.99. 978-0-80-508946-2.

Mora, Pat and Lang, Cecily (Illustrator). A Birthday Basket for Tia. Aladdin Books, 1997. 32 pages. $16.00. 978-0-02-767400-2.

Moses Goes… series by Isaac Millman

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Haiku of Kidlit book’s published in 2017 – titled Lola’s cat Karl wreaks havoc in the garden.

Lola gets a cat*

Karl, get out of the garden!**



*McQuinn, Anna & Beardshaw, Rosalind (Illustrator). Lola Gets a Cat. Charlesbridge. 2017. 28 pages. $15.99.  978-1-58089-736-5.

— Picture book.

**Sanchez, Anita & Stock, Catherin (Illustrator). Karl, Get Out of the Garden: Carolus Linnaeus and the Naming of Everything. Charlesbridge. 2017. 48 pages. $17.99.  978-1-58089-606-1.

— Informational picture book.

***Gibbs, Stuart. Panda-monium. Simon & Schuster. 2017. 352 pages. $16.99. 978-1-4814-4567-2.

— Young Reader, part of the FunJungle series


Book Review #3, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Alexie, Sherman. (2007). The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Little Brown Books. 240 pages. $20.00. 978-0-31-601368-0.


2007 National Book Award Winner

The New York Times Book Review Notable Books of 2007 (children’s books)
NYPL Books for the Teen Age 2008
2007 PW “Off the Cuff” Awards: Favorite YA Novel,
2007 Horn Book Fanfare Best Books of the Year
2007 Kirkus Reviews Best YA Books
2007 School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
2007 Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of the Year
A Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Winner

Sherman Alexie is an author with multiple publications: here is a link to a list of Alexie’s publications on his website. He grew up in Wellpinit, WA on a Spokane Indian Reservation and attended an all-white school just like The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian main character, Junior. In fact, a lot of Junior is similar to Alexie. In Absolutely True Diary, Alexie writes about growing up on the reservation with honesty, humor, and a hopeful tone. In 2014, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie was the most challenged book of the year. Reasons for challenging this book included, “anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence” with an additional reason of “depictions of bullying” (ALA’s Lists for Top Ten Most Challenged Books by year).

What we as readers (and parent’s of readers) need to recognize is that this book represents a realistic experience.Contemporary realistic novels like this one can be “the best, most thought-provoking writing for kids, but it also can be edgy and disturbing — like real life for many kids, unfortunately” (Vardell, p. 64, 2014) One example of edgy material in this book is the use of culturally insensitive language. In real life some people still use this language to oppress, but in The Absolutely True Diary the language reflects a realistic experience. In an interview conducted Rita Williams-Garcia on The National Book Foundation’s site, Garcie asks Alexie what literacy is to Arnold (Junior).  Alexie says, “literacy is a form of self-defense. If one reads enough books one has a fighting chance. Or better, one’s chance of survival increase with each book one reads”. If your child has been bullied, or called different, then this book will give them humor and tools to survive. If your child has never felt an ounce of oppression in their life, then this book will help them to expand their world through literature.

The Absolutely True Diary is about Junior, who was born on a Spokane Indian reservation with multiple health issues including seizures and too much water in his skull. Maybe the fact that he has survived so far is what makes him so resilient. Or, maybe it’s his macabre sense of humor that allows him to take everything in stride. Many rough situations are thrown at Junior, but he does not give up. If he still has the drive to succeed upwards, then everyone should.





Week 10, Informational Books

The two books I chose this week were Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes, a winning title of the 2015 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book award and The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, winner of the 2015 Sibert Book Medal.


The Right Word is an informational storybook (Vardell, 2014, p. 260) about Roget growing up, writing lists, and eventually developing his Thesaurus. This is a post-modern picture book that at times is visually overstimulating but held together by a simple storyline. I believe this book is best read individually, because each page could easily be studied for 10 minutes (or more). Or, this book could be read with a partner, but it would not work in a story hour environment.



downloadTiny Creatures is a scientific concept book (2014, p. 259) about microbes. I am not a science person, in that I do not understand nor will I retain scientific information, but this book sparked my interest. My favorite pages for discussion concern E.Coli and it’s ability to multiply, using the page itself as a size-marker. This is also the point where the book turns from fun information about microbes to information on bad microbes and disease prevention. This book is an example of an informational text that would be great for story hour, discussion, and program activities.


Davies, Nicola and Sutton, Emily (Illustrator). Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes. Candlewick Press, 2014. 40 pages. Tr. $15.99. 978-0-7636-7315-4.

Preferred Reading: 5-8 years

Bryant, Jen and Sweet, Melissa (Illustrator). The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus. Eerdman Books for Young Readers, 2014. 42 pages. Tr. $17.50. 978-0-8028-5385-1.

Preferred Reading: 7-18 years

Vardell, Sylvia M. (2014). Children’s literature in action: a librarian’s guide (2nd ed.). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.