Hilda and the Midnight Giant: A return to Hilda’s world

Hilda and the Midnight Giant by Luke PearsonHilda and the Midnight Giant by Luke PearsonHilda and the Midnight Giant by Luke Pearson

The second in Luke Pearson’s HILDA series of graphic novels once again returns to the Scandinavian countryside and the adventures of Hilda, a blue-haired little girl who lives with her mother in a remote cabin. She spends her days wandering about with her sketchbook, exploring the natural world and the mysterious creatures that live within it.

Mother and daughter are relaxing at home one evening when stones suddenly fly through their windows, and a little voice announces that they’re to leave the premises or be forcibly evicted. There’s no sign of anyone, though Hilda grabs a broom and starts sweeping the invisible intruders to the door — where she’s stunned to see a giant looming over the house.

That’s two mysteries for the price of one, and being as inquisitive as she is adventurous, Hilda doesn’t waste any time in trying to get to the bottom of things.

Not to give too much away in Hilda and the Midnight Giant (2012), but the ensuing story involves a surprisingly bureaucratic society of elves and a poignant search on behalf of a giant for his missing friend. As ever, Hilda uses her wits, courage and kindness to find answers.

The world Luke Pearson has created for his characters is delightful: so simple, and yet so full of warmth and liveliness. It’s especially amusing to watch Hilda attempt to negotiate the hierarchy of elf society — going from mayor to prime minister to king — in order to understand why exactly they want her and her mother to leave.

Along the way there are all sorts of other quirky things to discover, such as the Woffs (creatures that look like flying dogs/tadpoles) or a tiny elfin cat that jumps into Hilda’s hair and leaves her with “nittens”. What the story may lack in suspense or high stakes, it effortlessly compensates for with imaginative world-building.

Hilda and the Midnight Giant is strange and whimsical and unforgettable; the distinctive artwork and loveable protagonist make any of the HILDA books a fantastic present to young readers. I can’t wait to read the next one, Hilda and the Bird Parade.

Published in 2012. When creatures bombard Hilda’s house with eviction notices, she has to think twice before making their acquaintance. Come to think of it, who is this giant who only appears at midnight, and why is Hilda the only person who can see him? Now available in paperback for the first time, Luke Pearson’s stories of the rambunctious and adorable Hilda are currently in television development with Silvergate Media, the production company responsible for the Octonauts and Peter Rabbit cartoons!

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REBECCA FISHER, with us since January 2008, earned a Masters degree in literature at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Her thesis included a comparison of how C.S. Lewis and Philip Pullman each use the idea of mankind’s Fall from Grace to structure the worldviews presented in their fantasy series. Rebecca is a firm believer that fantasy books written for children can be just as meaningful, well-written and enjoyable as those for adults, and in some cases, even more so. Rebecca lives in New Zealand. She is the winner of the 2015 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best SFF Fan Writer.

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One comment

  1. These sound charming!

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