THE FIREWORK-MAKER'S DAUGHTER by Philip Pullman

THE FIREWORK-MAKER'S DAUGHTER

Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Pullman (Clockwork, 1998, etc.) has created a strong-willed heroine who will risk her life in order to experience and become transformed by the world. Bent on becoming a firework-maker like her father, young and determined Lila travels to Mount Merapi to obtain Royal Sulphur from Razvani the Fire-fiend. She arrives at Mount Merapi without the three gifts required as exchange for the sulphur and without the magic water that will protect her from the flames; Lila’s hopes of appeasing Razvani seem impossible until Hamlet, the King’s elephant, and Chaluk, his keeper, arrive with the magic water. Entering the flames, Lila learns that the three gifts—talent, courage and luck—were within her all the time. Falsely imprisoned for stealing Hamlet, Lila’s father relies upon her to help prepare a firework display that will earn his release. Called the Foaming Moss, its spectacular presentation leaves the King, his subjects, and the other firework-makers in awe. Characteristically, Pullman builds anticipation to a breathtaking conclusion, while Gallagher’s distinctive black-and-white illustrations lead readers on a fantastical journey fraught with danger and a dream realized. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-590-18719-8
Page count: 97pp
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1999