I love Hilda, I really do, and it was sad to see the Nobrow shop closed down, having to spell Luke Pearson’s name to half a dozen book-shop assistants to no avail, and then having to order Hilda and the Black Hound online. But when I got it I was rewarded by a magnificent cover, with a glossy hound on it. I waited for the weekend, to be able to read in full daylight.
The illustrations are fabulous, there’s no doubt the series is continuing to improve, in terms of design. You could look at those pages all day.
But as Hilda grows up, and her world looks better and better, something is getting lost I think. The wilderness is getting lost. It could be deliberate. The wilderness could stand for the innocence of childhood and becoming an adult implies abandoning it while embracing society instead, fenced spaces, house elves and pets. Or it could be the way Pearson feels right now, engaged in society, fenced spaces, house elves and pets, the wilderness so far away.
I still can’t believe I did not enjoy a Hilda book. It’s not the city, believe me, I loved Hilda and the Bird Parade, where she was able find the wilderness in the city, effortlessy. No the last page was not enough, I even thought it was a bit conventional.