Wednesday, August 15, 2018

NoBrow: Hilda and the Hidden People

Hilda And The Hidden People is not a new book by series creator Luke Pearson. It is instead an illustrated novelization of the upcoming Netflix series based on his original series. It basically mashes together Hilda and the Troll and Hilda and the Midnight Giant into one bigger story. The adaptation was written by Stephen Davies and illustrated by Seaerra Miller. I know that NoBrow owns the media rights to Hilda, which undoubtedly covered things like novelizations. Pearson was an important part of the cartoon show from what I understand, so I imagine this was just another way for NoBrow to publicize and profit from the original material.

The best way to describe the book is "competent". So much of the Hilda series was dependent on Pearson's vivid visual imagination and long series of silent panels that it was going to be an uphill battle to adapt it as a novel, but Davies did a solid job. It all managed to hang together, and Davies brought some extra humor to characters like the Wood Man with his descriptions. The illustrations are perfunctory and not much else, and they don't have the vivid quality of Pearson's originals.

Happily, I have an on-hand test audience for books like this: my nine-year-old daughter Pen. She was already crazy for the individual Hilda books. In fact, these books are what truly hooked her on reading. She keeps them in her room now and often wakes up in order to read them. She is beyond excited for the upcoming cartoon. So I read a chapter a night to her from the book, and while she certainly enjoyed it, it hasn't quite stuck the way that actual comics have. She hasn't asked me to re-read it in the way she has with certain comics, nor has she looked at it again herself. In other words: this book does its job but no more than that.

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