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An oriental adventure, bursting with excitement and humour, reissued in a new paperback edition with new illustrations.
Philip Pullman is one of the most highly acclaimed children's authors of the decade. He has been on the shortlist of just about every major children's book award in the last few years, and has won the Smarties Prize (Gold Award, 9-11 age category) for THE FIREWORK-MAKER'S DAUGHTER and the prestigious Carnegie Medal for NORTHERN LIGHTS. He was the first children's author ever to win the Whitbread Prize for his novel THE AMBER SPYGLASS.
"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. (June) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Gr 3-6-A story set "A thousand miles ago" and very far away. Having grown up amid the clutter and creations in her firework-maker father's studio, Lila wants only to follow in his footsteps, but Lalchand thinks more of finding a husband for his daughter. Since he won't see things her way, Lila enlists the aid of her friend Chulak, keeper of the king's (talking) white elephant Hamlet, to help her find out what she needs to complete her apprenticeship and become a master firework-maker. Chulak learns that the final test is to obtain the royal sulfur from the Grotto of Razvani the Fire-Fiend, and Lila runs away to do this, before Chulak finds out that it takes more than determination to accomplish this quest. Now Lila's life is in danger, from more than the bumbling pirates who kidnap her along the way, and it is up to Chulak and Hamlet to find her before it is too late. Stately but expressive graphite drawings open each chapter and, along with decorated title and half-title pages, add to the expanded folktale feel of this story. This title is similar in length and probable audience to Pullman's Clockwork (Scholastic, 1998); however, where that book used horror and suspense to rivet readers to the page, this one will be remembered for its broad humor and gentle moral featuring a determined girl who reaches her goals through hard work, courage, and perseverance. Young readers will see, hear, smell, and be dazzled by the fireworks that burst forth, as Lila earns her heart's desire.-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
"One of those rare books with a confident magic all their own - sheer genius" * Independent * "Full of hilarious, lovable characters this is a book you will want to read over and over again" * The Sunday Times * "Pullman knows it is not enough to bargain on the richness of children's minds: successful writing of this kind depends on the creation of imaginative worlds that have enough internal coherence to be not only comprehensible but inhabitable" * Independent on Sunday * "A wonderfully written adventure story" * Guardian * "A brilliant book" * Derby Evening Telegraph *