Friday 9 September 2016

ReadItDaddy's Second Book of the Week - Week Ending 9th September 2016 - "Hilda and the Stone Forest" by Luke Pearson (NoBrow / Flying Eye Books)

Our Second Book of the Week this week, well it was inevitable wasn't it, we utterly love "Hilda and the Stone Forest" by Luke Pearson...
Ah Hilda! Has there ever been a comic book hero that was more tailor-made for Charlotte than the blue-haired beret-wearing super-troll-hunter herself?

"Hilda and the Stone Forest" hit us like a big square "whump" in the guts. Mostly because this book ends on such a devilish cliffhanger that our mouths were literally hanging open.

"HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN!" we gasped. "WHEN IS THE NEXT BOOK!" we clamoured.

Like all the best things, it will be worth the wait but let's get back to the here and now, and the latest adventure for Hilda as she copes with life in Trollheim. Hilda has a habit of getting into trouble but as she tries to be a friend to all the mythical creatures she shares her burgh with, her mother becomes a bit distraught with how distant Hilda is becoming.

It's not easy being a pint-sized hero after all...

Fast paced and gripping from start to finish. Just how we like our Hilda books!
The story kicks off with an amazing action-packed chase as Hilda tries to rescue the tiny elf folk from a mischievous clod of earth on legs (we tried to think of a better description for it but...well, see for yourself in the panels above!)

That done, Hilda is soon off on an adventure riding big fuzzy migrating creatures, or flying high in the skies above Trollheim on the back of a mythical bird.

She seemingly knows no fear, has no sense of danger - and understandably Mum is worried. When Mum tries to arrange some quality "Mum and Daughter" time (playing an awesome-sounding board game and goofing around) Hilda can't sit still for five seconds and ends up dragging mum into deep, deep trouble too as they enter the hidden space between worlds.

Always trying to do the right thing, that's Hilda!
Mum begins to get a sense of just how devil-may-care her daughter is. Even when they narrowly avoid being squished to death by angry mountain trolls, it doesn't seem to serve as a lesson to Hilda but perhaps the way the book ends might just shake her up a bit...

(We won't spoil it for you, even if Amazon's listing pretty much does! Tchoh!)

It's fast-paced and action packed stuff. Luke Pearson makes it all seem effortless, creating the most adorable (and dangerous) mythical world for Hilda to play in. The art is stunning, gorgeous, drool-worthy as ever it was. But the real delight here is in once again digging deeper into the relationship between Hilda and her stay-at-home Mum, who is increasingly finding it difficult to cope with her daughter's wanderlust and danger-fuelled little life.

There are so many tense moments and interchanges between Hilda and her mum. Parents will definitely recognise how it must feel to be a parent in those situations. Kids, however, might also develop an understanding of why parents get like that. Then again they might just think it's actually quite fun to be a sassy madam!

We are now sitting here in a bit of a blue funk, wondering when we can see the story continued. Luke Pearson pulls out all the stops in this latest adventure, let's just hope he doesn't keep us waiting too long for the next book!

Charlotte's favourite bit: Hilda's awesome bird friend and the soaring skyward rides. Oh and of course that cliffhanger!

Daddy's favourite bit: I had to wait a while until I got my hands on this, it was so good that Charlotte insisted on three reads through before I was "allowed". It's a stunning, stunning book once again establishing Hilda as one of the greatest characters in children's comics - but there's plenty in here for adults to enjoy too. Sublime, just sublime. Next book soon, PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE!

(Kindly sent to us by awesome Emma at Flying Eye Books)

"Hilda and the Stone Forest"

Written and Illustrated by Luke Pearson

Published by NoBrow / Flying Eye Books

Publication Date: 1st September 2016