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Hilda and the Black Hound

Hilda and the Black Hound

4.0 1
by Luke Pearson (Illustrator)

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The fourth in Luke Pearson’s acclaimed series of magical adventures starring Hilda, our favorite blue-haired heroine—now in paperback!

Hilda stumbles upon Tontu, a lost house spirit. Plunged into the secret world of the Nisse, Hilda discovers hidden passages that only the house spirits can navigate—and something has been ransacking them all!


The fourth in Luke Pearson’s acclaimed series of magical adventures starring Hilda, our favorite blue-haired heroine—now in paperback!

Hilda stumbles upon Tontu, a lost house spirit. Plunged into the secret world of the Nisse, Hilda discovers hidden passages that only the house spirits can navigate—and something has been ransacking them all!

Luke Pearson won the Young People’s Comic category at the British Comic Awards in 2012 and was nominated for the Eisner Award’s Best Publication for Kids and Best Writer/Artist in 2013. He recently worked as a storyboard artist on the cult show Adventure Time . He lives in Bristol.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
City life continues to provide a blend of frustration and friendship for the intrepid Hilda and her mother. Stories abound of a large black creature menacing the streets, and no one feels safe in the dark. Hilda’s mother is worried about her daughter’s safety and encourages the girl to stay inside, but the wild Hilda wants to go out. When a “Sparrow Scout” flyer draws their eye, it seems the perfect solution: an opportunity to learn camp skills and have outings in a safe environment. At the same time, Hilda is drawn to a nisse (house spirit) that appears to be homeless and in need of help. Her mother tells her that such creatures end up homeless only when they are bad; but when Hilda again sees “Tontu” in the woods, she gives in to her urge to help. He tells her how nisse live in the wasted spaces of homes and how they can travel between them. She takes him home, and a confrontation ensues between Tontu and the nisse currently in residence. Hilda’s mom kicks them both out, leaving Hilda with more questions than answers. When the hound again appears in town, it is up to Hilda to figure out what this means, and how everyone can be safe. Themes of truth, identity, consequences, community, and caring permeate this story. Readers will appreciate this addition to the “Hildafolk” series, which is it at once fantastic and fearsome. Hilda is a hero for the ages who leaves us wanting for more. Recommended for public and elementary library collections. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green; Ages 7 to 12.
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
Kirkus Reviews
In a never-a-dull moment third outing, blue-haired Hilda joins Sparrow Scouts, finds out where lost household items go and meets some of Trolberg's supernatural residents.As if sightings and news reports of a huge black beast in Trolberg aren't troubling enough, an increasing number of nisses, helpful but sometimes-mischievous domestic sprites, are being ejected by human homeowners for supposed bad behavior. Meanwhile, Hilda's patchy efforts to earn her camping and other scouting badges are derailed by her concern for the newly homeless nisses and other distractions. Finally, one befriended nisse shows her how to enter a special space that, being the sum total of all out-of-the-way and unreachable nooks, is cluttered with misplaced bric-a-brac—and that turns out to be where the "Beast," who is just a lonely oversized dog, is lurking when it's not barreling destructively through houses. Pearson puts a dozen or more cartoon panels on each page, but his art is so simply drawn that the action is always easy to follow. Also, he adds not just gnomic nisses, but other small creatures, natural or otherwise, to his scenes and places Hilda so that she's always easy to spot. In the end, she both exonerates the nisses and saves the dog from hunters.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. (Graphic fantasy. 7-9)
From the Publisher
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.
Kirkus Reviews

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 place—one 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.
Forbidden Planet

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.
Broken Frontier

A riot of colour and animist magic
The Times

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 stuff—for instance, in this volume, Hilda joins the scouts and has trouble completing the tasks she needs to do in order to earn her badges.
Mental Floss

Hilda and the Black Hound is filled with magic, in all senses of that word.
Comics Bulletin

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.
Foreword Reviews

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.
Comics Alliance

The stories are never what you expect and I'm always surprised, amazed, and in love all over again.
Jean Little Library

Product Details

Nobrow Ltd
Publication date:
Hildafolk Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.90(h) x 0.50(d)
GN380L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Luke Pearson, author of Hildafolk , Hilda and the Midnight Giant, and Everything We Miss has fast become one of the leading talents of the UK comics scene, garnering rave reviews from the prestigious Times Literary Supplement and The Forbidden Planet International Blog amongst others. He was the winner of Young People's Comic category at the British Comic Award in 2012 and been nominated for the Eisner Award's Best Publication for Kids and Best Writer/Artist in 2013. He has recently worked as a storyboard artist on the cult classic show Adventure Time. Luke is a frequent contributor to a number of comic anthologies in the UK as well as self-publishing a number of small-run homemade comics.

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Hilda and the Black Hound 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
isniffbooks More than 1 year ago
Hilda and the Black Hound is the fourth book in the Hilda series. Admittedly, I have not read the previous three (and I plan to remedy that soon!), but I had no problem at all jumping right into Hilda’s world and adventure.   And while this book is marketed for children, this adult loved it.  This book truly is for kids of all ages because there are a few story lines going on (nothing that causes confusion) and that does lend a level of maturity to this comic. What immediately impressed me about Hilda and the Black Hound is how seamlessly Luke blends magic and fantasy into Hilda’s world. The elements of fantasy are presented as so matter-of-fact that they come across as very real and believable. Suspending your disbelief isn’t even necessary. On the outside, Hilda is a very cool looking girl — long blue hair topped with a beret and she has her own sense of style.  But Hilda is a cool girl on the inside too:  she is adventurous and brave and kindhearted. She is  the kind of story character that is quite appropriate for younger children to spend time with. The book and its pages just feel so good in your hands — if you are a physical book enthusiast you may feel strong urges to clap your hands, do a fist pump in the air, or gleefully shout “yes!” after reading Flying Eye Book’s mission statement on their website on why they care so much about the quality of their printed books!  Hilda and the Black Hound is a pleasure to read and behold and would be right at home on your bookshelf. isniffbooks[dot]wordpress[dot]com Disclosure:  I received a complimentary review copy from Flying Eye Books.  The opinions are my own.