Hilda and the Black Hound by Luke Pearson

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Hilda and the Black Hound by Luke Pearson

Buy Hilda and the Black Hound by Luke Pearson at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Graphic Novels
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Steve Shayler
Reviewed by Steve Shayler
Summary: In the magical little town of Trolberg a huge black hound is terrifying the population but Hilda is more concerned with the worries of one small house spirit named Tontu.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 48 Date: March 2014
Publisher: Flying Eye Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1909263185

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Hilda and the Black Hound is the fourth book in the “Hildafolk” series, each of which is a self-contained tale about a highly inquisitive little girl and her adventures. This time Hilda joins the Sparrow Scouts and befriends a house spirit whilst in the meantime a mysterious beast stalks the town of Trolberg.

Hilda is an unusual and independent girl who is also incredibly compassionate, so when she notices a house spirit or nisse sitting alone on the street she cannot just pass on by. She learns that the nisse has been banished from its home and knowing this prevents Hilda from concentrating on anything else including the Sparrow Scouts.

We learn that nisse live in the gaps in houses where lost things end up; gaps in sofas, behind bookcases and the like. The whole scenario is well delivered and charming and feels very reminiscent of the kind of ideas and feelings created by Neil Gaiman in many of his books and graphic novels (which is high praise indeed). Hilda soon discovers that many other nisse have been banished recently and are struggling to live outside houses. This all coincides with the appearance around town of a gigantic black hound that is terrifying people and proving incredibly elusive when hunted.

This story is just as charming and absorbing as the last and the artwork and storyline create a surprisingly rich world considering the page total and the simplicity of the delivery. Luke Pearson effortlessly creates a magical world that is both enchanting and understated; yes there are trolls and spirits and little people but that is just the way things are, they live alongside their human neighbours with little fuss and barely even being noticed. Only Hilda seems to pay much attention to the wonders of her world and as a result is humorously distracted from every task that might earn her a scout badge.

Hilda and the Black Hound is a fantastic read for children and adults alike and has a folkloric quality that feels very natural when often authors trying for this effect create something that feels forced. Like the other Hilda adventure I have read this was quirky, imaginative and whimsical and the standard hasn’t dropped between books at all, the only criticism I can really make is that I personally wish they were longer (the pacing is great at the length they are but I would just like to experience even more of Trolberg). The Hildafolk series deserves to be better known and I for one am really looking forward to the next in the series.

The fantastic Hilda and the Bird Parade is a must-read and these tales can be read out of sequence with no problems. You might also like Jane, The Fox and Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault.

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Buy Hilda and the Black Hound by Luke Pearson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Hilda and the Black Hound by Luke Pearson at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Hilda and the Black Hound by Luke Pearson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Hilda and the Black Hound by Luke Pearson at Amazon.com.


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