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Hilda and the Bird Parade (Hildafolk) Hardcover – April 2, 2013
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*Starred Review* Pearson’s British-import series starring a plucky, blue-haired heroine continues from the equally charming Hildafolk (2010) and Hilda and the Midnight Giant (2012). Hilda and her mom have moved from the countryside, where the little girl loved to explore all day long, to a small European city filled with winding streets, ancient statuary, and strange creatures inspired by Scandinavian legend. Despite her mother’s worries, Hilda loses track of her dubious companions and befriends a wounded bird, who proves a much grander figure than he initially appears. Hilda has a huge heart, a huge sense of curiosity, and an admirable sense of courage. Her encounters with a Salt Lion and an obscurely glimpsed Rat King lack overly frightening menace and are done with artful panache, making this a fantastic choice both for kids and for adults looking for a bit less punching and a bit more quiet wonder in their comic books. Environment being so crucial to the tale, Pearson’s expressive architecture and city design are nothing short of remarkable, giving a personality to neighborhoods and even individuals doorways. His large-headed, stick-legged cartooning employs both humor and empathy and gracefully reflects the book’s tone, a perfect pitch between childlike adventure, subtle mystery, and gentle lyricism. Grades 2-5. --Jesse Karp
Nominated for the 2014 Eisner for Best Publication for Kids!
Plain smart and moving. John Stanley's Little Lulu meets Miyazaki.
Guillermo Del Toro
Pearson’s utter lack of pretension keeps Hilda feeling fresh, while his reading of folktales and Tove Jansson’s Moomin series embeds Hilda in the long history of children’s stories. [ ] Hilda’s dilemmas, while fantastic, also feel real [ ] Pearson has found a lovely new way to dramatize childhood demons, while also making you long for your own cruise down the fjords.
The New Yorker
A perfect pitch between childlike adventure, subtle mystery, and gentle lyricism.
Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
"[Hilda’s world] is a glorious, exciting if also rather menacing place one children will be eager to enter. It’s also visually arresting: exuberant and lively and faintly Miyazakian"
New York Times Book Review
For adults ... Pearson’s measured storytelling ... and detailed, imaginative artwork make Hilda and the Bird Parade an absolute treat to dive into. It’s hard to imagine a better all-ages comic will be published this year.
One of the Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2013!
School Library Journal
If you know a young comics reader, or a a child that you’d like to turn into a comics reader especially if they love fairy-tale-like stories this would be a great place to start them. Hilda isn’t a superhero, but she sure saves the day.
A joyous riot of animist magic.
A beautifully drawn (literally and figuratively) comic.
The attractions of the Hilda series are quite easily surmised. There is the clever knitting together of various northern European traditions, the artist’s increasing competency with page composition, his good ear for simple but humorous dialogue, his pleasing character designs, and his consistent and attractive line which has achieved a fine flowering in The Bird Parade and The Black Hound.”
The Hooded Utilitarian
Pearson has hit his stride with this world. The book has the same wonderful color scheme as the previous and maintains similar tonal shifts as well, with warm colors for cozy home scenes and cool colors for outdoor night scenes. The lettering is crisp and strong.
My admiration for Luke Pearson just grows. Hilda's new urban world is wonderfully drawn for his enchanting female character and is sure to rouse admiration for her independent, sympathetic spirit. [ ] The panels are engaging, often humorous and full of adventure. Perfect graphic storytelling!
Sal's Fiction Addiction
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Top Customer Reviews
In this book however, Hilda and her mother have moved to the city of Trolberg, where both must adapt to a completely different environment.
Hilda yearns for the freedom to roam that she had in the forest,but her mother is reluctant to allow her that freedom in an unfamiliar place..
At last Hilda's mother relents and allows her to go play outside with her schoolmates.
As the story develops, Hilda becomes separated from her classmates and learns a few basic lessons about life as she rescues a wounded bird, then finds herself thoroughly lost in the unfamiliar city of Trolberg.
This is a wonderful book for older children to read alone, or for parents to read along with their children.
The potentially scary situations are softened by the artist's portrayal of the characters. He keeps them simple, yet expressive.
The protagonists are cute and thoughtfully drawn, while the "bad guys": kids, trolls and rats, are obviously up to no good, yet they are not ominous.
Pearson's drawings of Hilda's mother as she goes through stages of worry about her daughter's whereabouts are done with subtlety and finesse. You can feel the growing anxiety as portrayed by a simple cartoon character.
Though I've read just this one book in the series thus far, I look forward to reading them all with my six-year-old granddaughter.
I find this an enchanting comic-type book, reminiscent of the dime store series comics I enjoyed as a child, but with more nuance.
Based on this one book, I believe I can recommend the Hilda series as suitable for children, filled with easily understood life lessons and adventures in which kids can become safely engrossed.
The issues with it were as follows:
-you don't really know you're in a magical world until the last fourth, which feels awkward. Whether or not one is familiar with the series, when introducing a story, readers prefer to have a sense of place that is coherent to some degree near the beginning, otherwise, it feels like the whole deus ex machina thing (meaning, a somewhat contrived ending where a supernatural thing or random event neatly wraps things up, where they otherwise would have fallen apart. Feels a little lazy in terms of writing.). Maybe this is something known in the cultural context of the book, and if that's the case, someone is welcome to let me know, but as an American reading this without any context, it was off-putting.
-Hilda, who comes from a beautiful pastoral town, comes to the city and is disappointed (makes sense). What's not great is a sense of racial and class discrimination, where she meets "bad" inner city kids, several of which are of color, and most of which may be of a lower socio-economic class. Their behavior sucks, and they seem like vandalizing jerks. This basically adds up to a super cool white kid meeting crappy poor kids, most of whom are people of color, and her almost being corrupted by those kids until she is saved from a magical (surprise!) thunderbird and her mom.
-being saved by this bird was unexpected, but not in a good way. It felt like a non-sequitur.
This book was probably less than 3 stars, but I'm a sucker for comic book/graphic novels, even when I don't like them. Realistically, it's closer to 2 stars, maybe less.
This is the second Hilda book I've read and I loved it as much as the first one! The art is cartoony, but it has a lot of elegance and majesty to it. Luke Pearson doesn't use a lot of bright colors in the art but his limited palette gives a very earthy feel to the pictures. What I love is that Pearson can make the characters somewhat realistic in such a whimsical world and hit on themes that makes it easy for an adult to enjoy reading it just as much as a kid. I also love Hilda's character because she's precocious without being annoying, adventurous without being rebellious. I think the book would entertain any kid ages 5-100. Loved it.