Hilda and the Troll by Luke Pearson
|Hilda and the Troll by Luke Pearson|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Quirky and a little strange, I thoroughly enjoyed this and wanted more!|
|Buy? yes||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 40||Date: October 2015|
|Publisher: Flying Eye Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Hilda, a rather delightful small, blue-haired girl, is never far from an adventure. She is confident and excitable, brave and creative, and her stories are slightly mad, and very, very readable!
In this story there are flashes of moments that are a little like the moomins, only I never really got on with the moomins but I liked this book a lot. It is fantasy (there is a strange man made of wood who keeps sneaking into Hilda's house) and yet it is a weird, acceptable realm of fantasy, as you see the strange little wood man and think to yourself 'ah yes, there he is again!' and Hilda's activities seem perfectly normal and acceptable. Initially, for example, she decides to sleep outside in her tent, because it is raining and she likes to hear the sound of the rain on the canvas whilst knowing she is safe and dry inside. This immediately endeared her to me as I also love that drumming rain, just so long as I am warm and dry!
Hilda lives near the mountains and, apart from having blue hair, appears to be a normal little girl. She does have a pet fox. With antlers. But again, after a couple of panels that seems perfectly normal. Her story is told as a graphic novel, and moves through normal cartoon panels to some larger page features, some panels with speech bubbles, and some sections merely illustrated. It isn't too heavy on the reading, which makes it a good starter for an emerging reader who is looking to go beyond a short chapter book, and it is wild and interesting enough that it will entertain confident readers too. Actually, I know plenty of grown ups who would enjoy it, just as I did, as it has some lovely moments, one or two of which made me laugh out loud.
Through the story she discovers a troll rock, has to run for her life, is rescued by an unlikely hero and manages to find her own happy ending. There's a lot going on here, and even after the story ends there are more bits and pieces to read and discover, that tell you more about the story, about the characters, and even some sketches from the author about the development of Hilda as a character. I liked Hilda herself a great deal, but I was also particularly interested in the strange little wood man. I laughed at how he kept on sneaking into Hilda's house, and it's intriguing to see his story through the book.
With a strong Scandinavian flavour, this story is an intriguing and delightful graphic novel that will engage reluctant readers, both boys and girls, as well as entertaining more confident readers who are just looking for a good story. I liked the feeling of not knowing what was going on, or what was going to happen, and my only quibble was that it was far too short!
You can read more book reviews or buy Hilda and the Troll by Luke Pearson at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Hilda and the Troll by Luke Pearson at Amazon.com.
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