cover image Hilda and the Bird Parade

Hilda and the Bird Parade

Luke Pearson. Nobrow/Flying Eye (Consortium, dist.), $24 (44p) ISBN 978-1-909263-06-2

Following the events of Hilda and the Midnight Giant, a PW Best Book of 2012, tiny blue-haired Hilda and her mother are settling into the fictional town of Trolberg. It’s a far cry from their idyllic mountain home: Hilda’s mother is nervous about letting her daughter roam free, and the local kids’ idea of a good time is to pull pranks on neighbors and throw rocks at birds. When a large, black bird is left injured and amnesiac after being hit by one such rock, Hilda tries to help it remember how to fly as well as find her own way home. Although Trolberg initially seems grim (down by the docks, the bird scares Hilda with a story about a rat king, to which she responds, “You can’t remember who you are but you can remember that?”), Pearson shows how Hilda’s optimism, curiosity, and self-assuredness help her make the most of this unfamiliar new setting. The reds, golds, and blues in the palette (Hilda’s signature colors) hint at the way her outlook transforms the town from intimidating and rundown to a place where magical, wonderful things can happen. Ages 6–up. (Apr.)