'Hilda and the Midnight Giant' by Luke Pearson is a comic book and not really designed specially for children but something that will definitely appeal to all fans of Tove Jansson's Moomins. Bill certainly pounced on it and its smaller but also perfectly formed prequel 'Hildafolk' and lapped both up.
Published by Nobrow Press; a treasure trove of graphic delights for grown ups (don't miss their multiple takes on creation in 'Graphic Cosmogeny'), the 'Hilda' books introduce us to the world of Hilda, her architect mother and unspecified dog/reindeer/fox friend living in (apparently) splendid isolation in a lodge in the mountains. In the first book (which is a slim, fairly short little comic- A5 size) Hilda starts to discover more about the different varieties of trolls, elves and spirits inhabiting the valleys around them. The true magic of the landscape is revealed to her and to us, as well as some important information on how to manage Trolls without offence.
In 'Hilda and the Midnight Giant' (much longer,a lovely A4 hardback) this idea is extended further, when Hilda discovers that far from living in isolation, their lodge is actually positioned bang in the middle of an elven town and she and her mother have been treading all over their houses every time they step outside.
A state of war has been declared and an active campaign to forcibly evict them results in nightly raids on their lodge. Hilda must mount a charm offensive with the tiny Mayor if she is to prevent her and her mother's relocation to the city.
There is also a subplot about the loneliness of the last remaining mountain guardian giant who Hilda must help find his lost love.
Throw in some rideable, migrating cloud 'Woffs', a chair made of ear wax, a mysterious neighbour who is made of wood and the problems that occur when snow blocks your ears over a millennium and you have whole lotta charm and magic without anything corruptingly sickly or too much whimsy.
Oh, and Luke Pearson draws just lovely too (much better pictures if you go to the Nobrow site).
'Hilda and the Midnight Giant' by Luke Pearson, pub. Nobrow Press, isbn 978-1-907704-25-3