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.