Hilda and the Black Hound
By Luke Pearson
Published by Flying Eye Books
Hilda and the Black Hound is the fourth instalment of the Hilda series. Hilda is now living in Trolberg and seems to be settling in - though she still shows signs that she misses the countryside and the freedom it offered. So she joins the Scouts just like her mum did when she was her age.
Hilda then goes on her first camping trip and finds a house elf called Tontu who's camping out in the forest. She tries her best to help him, although he is an ungrateful little chap. This is where she encounters the Black Hound, a beast that is causing quite an upset in Trolberg. With numerous sightings the camping trip is cut short after one night and Hilda returns home.
Obsessed with helping out Tontu, Hilda goes in search of the house elf. She comes across other house elves who have also been kicked out of their homes by the humans that live there. As none of them communicate with each other due to them not liking eachother, Hilda is no closer to finding him. With all her time being taken up with trying to find Tontu, Hilda hasn't been doing any homework for her Scout's badges, but determined to get one to not let her mother down, she starts to research the mysterious Black Hound. Is he a menace or just misunderstood?
This is the first title that made me think of Pearson's love for Studio Ghibli. It's so apparent in this story as there were hints of films like Spirited Away seeping through the odd panel. The more obvious is Pearson's storytelling, he creates quite a menacing mystery character like the Troll, Midnight Giant and Black Hound and when the big reveal comes they're not threatening at all. If anything they're lovable and even cute! - a trait that often runs through Studio Ghibli's films.
Hilda and the Black Hound is available in hardback from the Flying Eye Books website.
So that's it, we've reached the end of the series until Hilda and the Stone Forest hits the shelves later this year. I for one can't wait! Tune in tomorrow for the last day of Hilda week, there will be an interview with creator Luke Pearson and an exclusive sneak peek at the Stone Forest. There's also still time to enter our competition to win a Hilda doll and two runners up prizes of the new paperback of The Midnight Giant. Pop over to my twitter page to find out more!