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The Firework-Maker's Daughter Paperback – June 1, 2001
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"A thousand miles ago, in a country east of the jungle and south of the mountains, there lived a firework-maker called Lalchand and his daughter, Lila."
Lila, the heroine of Philip Pullman's charming fable, was, as a baby, "a cross little thing, always crying and refusing her food, but Lalchand built a cradle for her in the corner of the workshop, where she could see the sparks play and listen to the fizz and crackle of the gunpowder." Once out of her cradle, she showed a marked talent for pyrotechnics, even inventing her own fireworks with names like Tumbling Demons and Shimmering Coins. Nevertheless, when Lila tells her father she'd like to become a master firework-maker, he's shocked. Firework-making is no job for a girl, he tells her; besides, with her burned fingers and singed eyebrows, he's afraid he'll never be able to find a husband for her.
If Lalchand is horrified by Lila's ambitions, his daughter is equally appalled by the prospect of a husband. Instead, she decides to run away to Mount Merapi, where every firework-maker must go to claim some of the royal sulphur from Razvani the Fire-Fiend. Lila's adventures on the road to Merapi alternate with those of her best friend, Chulak, and his talking white elephant, Hamlet, who set out after her when they learn something that could mean life or death for Lila. Along the way, they meet pirates, wild animals, and supernatural beings of every stripe until, at last, Lila must face the scariest obstacle of all: her own fear. Pullman invests The Firework-Maker's Daughter with wit, wonder, and more than a few goose bumps. The charm of the prose is reflected in the black and white illustrations by S. Saelig Gallagher that punctuate this slim novel. Though not as sophisticated as Pullman's remarkable fantasy novels The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife, this engaging story does share a courageous heroine, an exciting adventure, and a singular philosophy that ties everything together in a deeply satisfying denouement. (Ages 9 to 12) --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
"This comical adventure about a girl who longs to follow in her father's footsteps crackles with Pullman's usual flair," said PW. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
Any book that can hold the attention of such a varied group of children so strongly must be good! And it is! The characters are distinct and vibrant, the language crackles and swirls delectably, the plot moves briskly and the ending is momentous, wondrous, satisfying and sweet.
My eight year old loved it, and i was never bored reading it to her.
Ugly cover for a gorgeous story.
This book is exceptionally amazing for children aged *7 + .
I really enjoyed looking at Peter Bailey's wonderful illustrations .
also the imaginative language and description really captured me whilst I was reading this special book.
It dragged me in so much and I loved it from start to middle to end
* may need adults help / supervision , some words are tricky to understand
Amber aged 8