Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hilda and the Midnight Giant by Luke Pearson

The back blurbs on this lovely new graphic novel say Pearson channels Tove Jansson and Hayao Miyazaki and I can think of no more serendipitous blending.

Hilda, a charming blue-haired girl lives with her mother in an isolated house which they both love. But it's quickly apparent that not all is well; mysterious tiny notes are threatening to evict them and are soon followed by an attack on their house. Hilda determines to save the home she loves and make friends with the tiny, invisible elves who are threatening them. Along the way, she meets many other strange and wonderful creatures as well as introducing the reader to some of her odd friends.

The pure imagination of this story charms the reader from the first page. There are hints of folklore and legend, romance and tragedy, humor and pathos, all delicately mixed into Luke Pearson's lovely art.

Warm earth colors and carefully laid out panels take the reader through a Moominesque world, where strange creatures appear and disappear and characters break into philosophy at just the right moments. Most of the adventures happen in the soft, dark world of night and it's easy to see the odd, friendly and unfriendly creatures, populating a Miyazaki film.

Verdict: This has a broader appeal than the Moomin comics and while it won't interest children who like fast-paced action, adventure and slapstick humor, it's the perfect title to hand to an imaginative child who wants to lose themselves in a fantasy world.

ISBN: 9781907704253; Published May 2012 (US publication) by Nobrow Press; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library; Added to my personal wishlist

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