Hilda and the Troll
By Luke Pearson
Published by Flying Eye Books
Hilda and the Troll (originally Hildafolk) is the first of the Hilda series and was published back in 2010. There have been multiple editions and a paperback print with a brand new cover (as seen above). In this first adventure we are thrown straight into the Hilda world. There are no introductions, no backstories, and yet we feel like we know the world and the characters already. Hilda is a young girl who lives with her mum and her pet fox, Twig. They all live out in the countryside, just on the edge of the wilderness. Due to this freedom, Hilda has a curiosity for the world around her and is always eager to explore.
Hilda sets out to look for Trolls - with her eager to record one in her sketchbook. She soon comes across a pile of rocks which resembles a troll and after sketching it she attaches a bell to its nose - to warn anyone that the Troll may be approaching as Trolls are dangerous creatures.
When Hilda wakes after a nap, she finds the Troll has wandered off. She decides to get back to the safety of her home but quickly gets lost in a scary forest. Luckily she finds a house nearby, only to bump into the Wood Man, a creature who has been inviting himself into her house on a daily basis to lie in front of the fire. The Wood Man gets Hilda safely back home and just as she's about to go to bed she hears a bell outside. Has the Troll come to eat her?
The more I read these books the more I feel that they have that classic feel to them. I'm familiar with the works of Tove Jansson (The Moomins), Jeff Smith (Bone) and Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes). Hilda feels like a huge melting pot of these greats, and still manages to be its own thing. The comforting thing about Hilda is that you feel like you know her. She reminds me of the no fear child I was and how I was always eager to go off and explore. Maybe there's a little Hilda in all of us, still hungry to find and discover new things (and not get eaten by trolls!).
Hilda and the Troll is available in hardback and paperback on the Flying Eye Books website. Pop back again tomorrow when I will be looking at Hilda's second adventure, Hilda and the Midnight Giant.