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Hilda and the Black Hound (Hildafolk) Hardcover – May 27, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—While Pearson's wide-eyed, turquoise-haired protagonist goes about joining the Sparrow Scouts and learns some handy skills from building campfires to erecting shelters, a large, "wolf-like" creature prowls about Trolberg. People have gone missing, and a sighting of the hound ends Hilda's first camping trip. Back home, more mysterious happenings occur; all over town, Nisse (those furry-faced house spirits that live behind bookcases and the "gaps in the floorboards") are being tossed out in the street, forced to fend for themselves. After a face-to-face with the hound, Hilda sees an opportunity to earn her first scout badge, which thus far has eluded her. She visits the library, digs up newspaper articles, draws sketches of the creature, interviews townsfolk who may or may not have seen the creature, maps the locations of suspected sightings, and puts together a Common Core—worthy, book-length report earning her "Friend to Animals" badge. Unfortunately, the award ceremony is interrupted by the hound falling through the ceiling, but in the chase that ensues several mysteries are solved, including that of the Nisse's displacement. Sound like a lot of plot? It is, but Pearson pulls it off with aplomb. The full-size volume offers a minimum of 10 panels of varying sizes per page. Darker shades dominate when the beast lurks, and earth tones and reds and oranges when the characters go about their daily business. Touches of humor abound in both images and dialogue. A book sure to garner new fans for this feisty adventurer.—Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal
Hilda is coming to Netflix in 2018!
A School Library Journal Top Graphic Novel of 2014
A Booklist Top 10 Graphic Novel for Youth of 2014
A Texas Library Association Little Mavericks Nominee for 2015
"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
Though definitely an underachiever when it comes to merit badges, Hilda s broad curiosity and willingness to stand up for the undergnome will make her a winner in most readers eyes.
In gorgeous, oversize pages filled with warm jewel tones, Pearson s varied panel layouts and detailed, purplish backgrounds artfully carry emotional weight and subtle humor in equal measure Every volume of this fairy-tale-adventure series is a must-have.
Pearson has mastered both the gentler aspects of creating a compelling children s character along with the art of conjuring an exciting, kinetic comic book adventure. The fourth book in the Hilda series is the best, as the character is now established enough on the page to allow for a greater exploration of her environment. The design, the use of color and especially Pearson s line are all impeccably beautiful without being slick.
The Comics Journal
One thing is for certain: if you re like me and have the previous books already, then the good news is that Black Hound is an excellent addition to the series. And if you ve never checked out a Hildafolk book before, then the better news is that Black Hound is a great place to start. A shift from the previous books in style but not losing an iota of the established, accessible and (most importantly) friendly tone, Hilda and the Black Hound is exactly the type of comics we need to see more of.
[Hilda's world] is. . . a glorious, exciting if also rather menacing placeone children will be eager to enter. It's also visually arresting: exuberant and lively and faintly Miyazakian.
New York Times
Hilda is the little girl. And this is her folk tale. And pretty much everything you need to know about how good this is is there on that absolutely gorgeously delightful cover. By the end of it, you ll have exactly the same smile as Hilda has.
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.
Very enjoyable, it's imaginative and fun for kids and adults too!
Renata Liewska, author of bestselling The Quiet Book
With the Hildafolk series, Luke Pearson has carved himself a unique niche in the UK comics scene: a successful all-ages graphic novel series and it is much deserved. It is clearly the vision of one man and Hilda and the Black Hound is another thrilling and alluring instalment to Pearson s signature series.
A riot of colour and animist magic
A beautifully drawn (literally and figuratively) comic
The Hilda books follow the exploits of a smart, blue-haired girl who lives in a village called Trolberg with her mom and her antlered pup named Twig. Pearson expertly mixes fantasy elements with familiar everyday stufffor instance, in this volume, Hilda joins the scouts and has trouble completing the tasks she needs to do in order to earn her badges.
Hilda and the Black Hound is filled with magic, in all senses of that word.
These are gorgeous books and Flying Eye, like Nobrow before it, continues to be a publisher to watch. The Hildafolk books all feel like they re children s books for the ages as soon as you read them and Hilda and the Black Hound is a beautiful addition to the series.
There s a subtlety and sophistication to the Hildafolk books; pauses and quiet panels speak volumes to what a character is thinking or feeling. While Pearson s art style could be described as simple cartooning, he does what masterful illustrators do, express a lot of emotion and mood with few, clean lines and rich color. You get incredibly detailed and powerful panels and pages which never feel cluttered, unless they re intended to be. These are truly beautiful books and Hilda s charming sense of wonder is appealing to everyone, no matter how old or young.
The Mary Sue
This is perfection in sixty-four pages. Hilda is brave, resourceful, compassionate, capable of epically screwing up, and always does things with the very best of intentions; in other words, totally human. Charmingly and enticingly illustrated, the icing on the cake is the fact that Pearson never dumbs things down for his audience. The resulting dry wit found in both text and illustrations is as appealing to adults as it is to kids.
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
Hilda is a curious, intelligent, and adventure-seeking protagonist. Fans will delight in her adventures, and Pearson s lush art is gorgeous without being crowded.
School Library Journal
This modern twist on Mary Norton s Borrowers stories is full of fanciful details, and Pearson s imaginative depiction of space turns ordinary surroundings inside out.
Good Comics For Kids
The Black Hound takes the strongest elements of the art styles from all of the previous Hilda books and combines them into one really wonderful volume of art.  the adventure here is entertaining and moving.
The stories are never what you expect and I'm always surprised, amazed, and in love all over again.
Jean Little Library"
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Top Customer Reviews
In those first books Hilda lived with her Mom in a tucked away countryside cabin near the woods and her beloved fjords. The feel of the books was along the lines of Tove Jansson's Moomins meet Heidi, and we were immersed in a charming and fantastical version of Scandinavia. The combination of creative, independent, resourceful, stubborn and big-hearted Hilda and the fabulous landscape she inhabited was truly magical. These two books took the graphic novel community by storm.
In Book Three, ("The Bird Parade"), for reasons made clear in Book Two, ("Stone Giant"), Hilda and her Mom had to leave their cabin and move to the city of Trollberg. Hilda became a fish out of water, and she and the reader both missed that water. Where Hilda greeted each day in the country with delight she met each day in Trollberg with trepidation. I suppose you have to keep growing your character, and Pearson did a lot with the change of scene, but it did mean that those coming to Book Three as their first book didn't get to start with a full appreciation of Hilda.
But here, in Book Four, we get a nice mix of the fjord Hilda and new city Hilda. She has joined the Sparrow Scouts, which gets her out of the city. She is concerned about a mysterious Black Hound, and huge mysterious creatures were her specialty in the first books. And she gets mixed up with Nisse, mischievous house spirits, and it isn't really ever a Hilda book unless it involves odd little folklorish creatures. So, we seem to be very much back on track in terms of old-school primo Hilda.
And, all that said, whether you are a newcomer or a series regular, there is much to enjoy here. On a graphic level, Pearson has become a bit looser and more open with layout and panel design, and his drawings are denser and more detailed. The story zips along at a speedy pace, with clever, slyly amusing and satisfying events leading to a satisfying ending.
And remember, through it all we still get authentic Hilda, the most endearing little blue haired girl adventurer you're likely to meet.
(Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)