Book Reviews

Hilda and the Hidden People (Hilda Tie-In #1) by Luke Pearson (Creator), Stephen Davies (Writer)

Hilda and the Hidden People (Hilda Tie-In #1) by Luke Pearson (Creator), Stephen Davies (Writer)

Rating: 🍁🍁🍁

I’m obsessed with everything Hilda, and after watching the Netflix show and reading the comics, I just had to read this too and I honestly can’t recommend that you do the same. 

The events in this book read almost exactly like the events in: Hilda and the Troll, Hilda and the Midnight Giant, and in Episode 1 of the show. The only alterations are tiny, insignificant details that feel forced, as if the author was instructed to change something just for the sake of it. 

In a book adaptation, I would hope there’s tons more content to make it enticing and worthwhile. Extra background information, little in-depth histories! Where the show and the comic are visual, a book has the luxury of space to go above and beyond, but there’s nothing of the sort here. 

Also, I’m sorry to say that this writer was not able to capture Hilda’s voice. The Hilda of this book reads like a spoiled brat lacking in compassion. She always gets her way despite other characters clearly expressing their discomfort, she is outright mean (even if she apologizes afterwards), and I would NOT want to be friends with this iteration of the character.

I would not recommend this to anyone, not even to fans of the show or the comics, or to parents who would prefer their children read a novel instead of a comic, it’s really not worth it when there’s already higher quality content elsewhere. 

The only plus are the cute illustrations in a limited color palette, but be aware that they are not done by the same artist as in the comics.

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Book Reviews

Hilda and the Troll (Hilda #1) by Luke Pearson

Hilda and the Troll (Hilda #1) by Luke Pearson

Rating: 🍁🍁🍁

I picked this up because I’ve watched Hilda on Netflix back to back to back and I needed more. 

Hilda and the Troll is a short little volume telling the story of the first 7 or so minutes of the first episode of the Netflix show. At this point, the author’s art style was pointier at the edges, and his colors were darker, so be ready to see something that’s not exactly what you’re used to. 

This might be a flaw in the printing but the colors were so, so dark that I honestly had a hard time telling what was happening sometimes. This problem might not happen if you read a digital version. 

There’s a tiny comic about the Woodman at the end, and a small map of the area surrounding Hilda’s house at the beginning.  

If you’ve watched the series on Netflix, you DEFINITELY want to read these books. 

And if you haven’t, you also want to read them. They are super fun, chill, magical, adventurous, and wholesome. I would really love to be friends with Hilda. 🙂

Would recommend to: everybody. 

Book Reviews

Scooby Apocalypse, Volume 3 by Keith Giffen

Scooby Apocalypse, Volume 3 (Scooby Apocalypse (Collected Editions) #3) by Keith Giffen.jpgRating: 🍁🍁🍁

I was really reluctant to start Volume 3 because Volume 2 ends with a villain inspired on a real-life madman I hear enough about already. If you’re worried about the same problem, don’t be. It’s worth it in the end.

The story didn’t hook me a lot. Scooby Apocalypse is falling into the post-apocalyptic trope of: “let’s constantly question what’s going on without actually discovering any answers, oh and there’s consistent violent encounters with zombie creatures.” I don’t really care about random bouts of fighting, tell me what’s going on!!!

The art style is unfortunately just as eye-rollingly male-gazey as in Volume 2, but besides that, I do appreciate how dynamic and detailed it is. (p.s. If trypophobia bothers you, there’s a bit of it in these monsters, but nothing you can’t ignore or cover up with your hand if need be.)

Besides that, this volume introduces the side story of Secret Squirrel (remember that squirrel from Hanna-Barbera days, wearing a white lab coat and a purple hat that went all the way down to his eyes?). We’ve yet to see how it ties into Scooby Apocalypse (if at all?) but it was mildly entertaining to see that character revived as well.

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Looking forward to something that is hopefully more engaging in Volume 4.

Book Reviews

La mujer que se sabía todos los cuentos by Carlos Rubio

La mujer que se sabía todos los cuentosENGLISH BELOW

Rating: 🍁🍁🍁

La mujer que se sabía todos los cuentos trata sobre una cuenta cuentos que desconoce su propio nombre.

Esta cae dentro de un libro donde aprende historias que desconoce, todas sobre mujeres célebres Latinoamericanas cuyas historias merecen ser contadas y conocidas más ampliamente, así explicando la ironía de porqué la cuenta cuentos nunca ha escuchado sobre ellas. Algunas de ellas son: Alfonsina Storni, Gabriela Mistral, y Carmen Lyra.

Al finalizar sus historias, cada mujer le entrega a la contadora una de las letras de su nombre, y al conseguirlas todas, ella debe juntarlas para descubrir la respuesta.

La revelación del nombre es conmovedora y siento que vale la pena, especialmente para los chiquitos. Sería buenísimo que lo leyeran con alguien mayor que los pueda guiar con preguntas, porque el librito da muchas ironías sobre las cuales pensar.

Al final del libro hay una mini biografía para cada una de las mujeres en el libro y así no hay que estar Googleando.

Este libro está bonito para leerlo antes de dormir, porque es muy muy lento y tranquilo y cada capítulo es cortito y no hay que ponerle demasiada atención para seguir el hilo de la historia.

Las ilustraciones son lindísimas, todas en escala de grises, con gradientes suaves y líneas ondulantes que se prestan para la abstracción y un poco de surrealismo.

El texto sí me disgustó bastante en dos ocasiones donde el autor usa un lenguaje anticuado y dañino.

Primero habla de una ‘niña inválida’ en vez de ‘una niña con discapacidad’. En ese sí podría más o menos darle el beneficio de la duda porque no recuerdo que en el 2006 ya el lenguaje hubiera evolucionado (por favor alguien dígame si estoy equivocada). Pero igualmente, ahora sabemos que está mal.

Y segundo, habla de una canción y un baile que provocan la paz mundial, de tal manera que toda la gente del mundo se da de las manos y en eso dice: ‘manos negras, amarillas, rojas, blancas…’

Por dios, literalmente con un imbécil que se inventó esos colores ES QUE EMPEZÓ EL RACISMO como lo conocemos hoy en día. Y eso no hay excusa para no haberlo sabido en el 2006. Y en una historia sobre LA PAZ MUNDIAL. Fatal, fatal, fatal.

Yo este libro no se lo daría a una niña o a un niño sin antes tachar esas dos líneas con corrector porque es inadmisible perpetuar ese tipo de lenguaje a estas alturas. No suelo rayar mis libros pero en este lo hice.

Le recomendaría este libro a: niñas y niños pequeños, o a adultos que quieren leer algo tranquilo antes de irse a dormir.

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ENGLISH:

The Woman Who Knew Every Tale is about a storyteller who doesn’t know her own name.

She falls into a book where she learns stories that she’s never heard before, each one starring a celebrated Latin American woman whose story deserves to be told and more widely known, therefore explaining the irony about why the storyteller has never heard of them before. Some of the women are: Alfonsina Storni, Gabriela Mistral, and Carmen Lyra.

At the end of their stories, each woman hands her a letter from her name, which she must put together to discover the answer.

The final reveal is quite moving and I found it worthwhile, especially for children. It would be great for them to read it with an adult who can guide them through, because there’s a lot of food for thought with the many ironies it contains.

At the end of the book there’s a mini biography for every woman in the book, so there’s no need to Google them as you read.

This is a nice book for reading at bedtime because it’s very very slow and calming and each chapter is super short and you don’t have to pay much attention to keep track of the story.

The illustrations are quite pretty; all rendered in gray tones, with soft gradients and wavy lines that lend themselves to abstraction with a dash of surrealism.

However, the text itself pissed me off quite a lot in two occasions where the author uses harmful, antiquated language.

First he mentions an “invalid girl” instead of “a girl with disabilities”. With this one I can maybe kind of sort of give him the benefit of the doubt because I can’t recall if this language had evolved by 2006 (please let me know if I’m mistaken). But regardless, now we know that it is wrong.

And secondly, he talks about a song and dance that produces world peace because everyone in the world is holding hands, and then he has the gall to say: “black hands, yellow ones, red ones, white ones…”

My god, racism as we know it today LITERALLY began when some asshole just casually decided to assign those colors to people. And there is NO excuse to have been ignorant about that in 2006. And in a story about WORLD PEACE of all things. Awful, awful, awful.

I would not give this book to a child without first covering those two lines with whiteout. It’s inadmissible to perpetuate that type of language in this day and age. I generally don’t write in my books, but in this one I did.

I would recommend this book to: young children, or adults who want to read something chill before bedtime.

Book Reviews

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

Rating: 🍁🍁🍁

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Once Upon a River has the familiar feel of a wordy Britishy novel set in a vague past. 

Even though the blurb tells you this book is about a mysterious little girl, she’s just the main motivator behind the other characters’ actions and doesn’t necessarily take part in the plot herself. We usually only hear about her through other people’s invented stories and imaginings, but that says more about the storytellers than it does about the girl.  

So instead, this is the story of the series of families who coincidentally all lost a child of this age and appearance, and are wondering if this is her.

Therefore, there’s TONS of characters and side-plots; so the first half of the book is spent building up all of their background information and it’s only after the 50% mark that Once Upon a River really picks up and starts to hold your interest. There’s so, so many stories in here that I feel it would work even better as a binging TV mystery/drama, than as a nearly 500-page book. 

After the halfway point, the two most interesting characters to keep your eye on are Rita, the unofficial doctor in town, and Henry Daunt, the photographer. It’s through them that this story finds its fuel and transitions from “creative gossipers blathering aimlessly at a small-town inn” to “wow it’s a shocking mystery novel now”. 

Another very interesting character to keep an eye on is Mr. Armstrong; but he hides a lot about himself, and the connections that tie all of his stories together just take too long to coalesce. However, his whole story is very dramatic in the end and it’s worth waiting for. 

Not really sure who I’d recommend this to since the book felt quite long and uneventful for the majority of it. If you’re willing to sit through 240 pages of exposition, the ending has quite a number of shocking, eyebrow-raising twists that are well worth it. And if you’re looking for the same gothic feel from The Thirteenth Tale by Dianne Setterfield, you won’t really find it here, but it does have some of the same dark mystery feels. 

p.s. This book uses the word “gypsies” multiple times, and the word “negro” at least once. It IS set in the past but I know some readers prefer to be informed anyway.

This book comes out on December 4th 2018!

Book Reviews

The Cottingley Fairies by Ana Sender

THE COTTINGLEY FAIRIES ANA SENDERRating: 🍁🍁🍁

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book is short and sweet, probably a good bedtime story for a young child. (I even read it with a Celtic cradle song in the background and it matched perfectly!)

The story is exactly everything you’ve heard about the Cottingley Fairies and nothing more; it doesn’t verge away from that or elaborate further. It even mentions Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fascination with the subject. 

The illustrations are gentle and sweet, with a rough-around-the-edges childlike quality to them. I felt they help to portray the story as the children saw it, since it describes them drawing, coloring, and cutting the fairies out of paper. It almost feels like Elsie herself drew the pictures. 

I would recommend this to very small children who would like to find fairies in the trees. 

This book comes out on March 5th, 2019!

Book Reviews

Misfit City Vol. 1 (Misfit City #1) by Kirsten Smith, Kurt Lustgarten, Naomi Franquiz (Illustrator), Brittany Peer (Illustrator)

Misfit City Vol. 1 (Misfit City #1) by Kirsten Smith (Goodreads Author), Kurt Lustgarten, Naomi Franquiz (Illustrator), Brittany Peer (Illustrator)

Rating: 🍁🍁🍁

Misfit City’s pretty fun if you’re into that Gravity Falls/Lumberjanes/Scooby Doo mystery mood.

This diverse group of girls lives in a gloomy town somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, which is full of tourists who are obsessed with this cult movie known as “The Gloomies.” (I’ve never seen The Goonies but I guess that’s the reference??)

In short, girls (plus cute dog) find a treasure map and shenanigans happen. It’s fun and entertaining and I’d recommend it if you want a light mystery.

The colors are very dull in keeping with that moist, mysterious, gloomy feeling.

There were a couple of times where the action in the art was a tad hard to follow and I had to go back and double check to understand what had happened. I also couldn’t tell a couple of the characters apart at the start, but this improves as the story movies on.

I’ll definitely keep reading though, and not just because this volume ends in a cliffhanger!