I spend a lot of time here on Okazu discussing role models. Not always in those terms, but realistically, I am speaking of women and girls who I consider to be (or not to be) suitable to rely on for lessons on how to handle life situations. From my fantasy faves of psychotic murderers who violently remove obstacles in their way to characters who triumph over conflict through wits and with the help of friends, Okazu is filled to the brim with praise for role models for women and girls. (In fact, most of the books I’ve liked least provide very poor lessons on women in relationships and show characters making bad decisions for bad reasons.)
But. For many reasons there is one especially important role model that is mostly-absent from my pages. In many cases, the first role model and the most important person in our early lives is our mothers. LGBTQ people often have difficult relationships with parents, but some of us are lucky enough to find acceptance. It’s even a cliche’ of LGBTQ literature and comics that mothers are more accepting than fathers.
So, while today’s book is not LGBTQ, I thought it was a good time of year to read a story of a mother who accepts that her daughter is unlike other children. And, lo and behold! the kind folks at Nobrow Press sent me a copy of Hilda and The Stone Forest. I’ve written about Hilda before. In Hilda and the Midnight Giant, Hilda uses negotiation to manage her way through bureaucracy and prejudice and allow two races to co-exist peacefully. But Hilda doesn’t live alone. She has a mother and who taught Hilda to be the person she is, anyway? Mom, of course.
Hilda’s Mom is mostly cool, although she doesn’t like Hilda sneaking off. I mean, who would? But, in Hilda and The Stone Forest when Hilda and her mother are embroiled in an impossible adventure, this time it’s Mom who figures out how to get home. Mom comes through where Hilda just could not. Mom’s the hero! And in doing so, Mom shows Hilda how, even in desperate times, there’s always something that you can do…even if it’s not going to magically fix things.
The book ends with a surprise twist that will lead into the next book.
Once again, I heartily recommend the Hildafolk stories for young readers – especially those who love fairytales and myths – and for whom you would like to provide strong role models who don’t just slay the dragon and leave.
Art – 6
Story – 9
Character – 9
This would make a great gift choice for a child in your life!
Many thanks to Tucker at Nobrow Press for the review copy. You always know what will pick my spirits right up. ^_^ And you guys do the best kid’s books.