Hilda and the hidden people by Stephen Davies and Seaerra Miller
Flying Eye Books, 2018. ISBN 9781912497973
(Age: 6-9) Themes: Fantasy. Trolls. Elves. Giants. Moving house. Hilda is a popular graphic novel character; she's a blue-haired adventurer who loves to sketch the world around her, a valley and mountains filled with trolls, elves and woodland creatures. This novel is a retelling of the first Hilda comics, Hildafolk and Hilda and the Midnight Giant. With the release of the Netflix shows based on this series, British author Stephen Davies was chosen to write tie-in chapter books. Seaerra Miller, the illustrator, closely follows Hilda's original creator Luke Pearson's style.
Hilda's character and fun-loving nature are faithfully presented. She is independent, resourceful, attuned to the world around her and curious about everything. Accompanied by Twig a deer fox, Hilda spends her days hiking in the green valley and nearby mountains. She sketches the landscape, labelling all the features based on what they look like, Lamp Mountain, Beetle Mountain and Bobblehat Mountain. On her way home one day, she stops to draw a troll rock formation, that surprisingly turns to life and chases her. Twig and Hilda roll down a hill and land next to a crater shaped by a giant's footprint. After she helps remove a troublesome bell from the troll and he returns her lost sketchbook, the little girl hurries home.
Hilda lives with her mother in a little cottage at the base of Bobblehat Mountain. Unfortunately, their home is situated in the middle of the elves' territory and they issue an eviction notice. Mum is determined to move to the nearby busy, noisy town of Trolberg but young Hilda doesn't want to leave her beloved countryside. Hilda's unique ways of working through their problems, negotiating peace with the very fussy elves and reuniting two ancient giants who had lost each other for hundreds of years is wonderful.
Hilda and the hidden people stays true to creator Luke Pearson's story; adding a more detailed narrative to create a chapter book is another way to keep readers engaged with these whimsical fantasy stories. Miller's gold-toned illustrations capture Hilda's unique style and the magical reality of Hilda's world.