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The Firework-Maker's Daughter is a short children's novel by Philip Pullman. It was first published in the United Kingdommarker by Doubleday in 1995. The UK edition was illustrated by Nick Harris, while the United Statesmarker edition was illustrated by S. Saelig Gallagher. Pullman originally wrote the story as a school play, and the novel was in turn adapted into a play. Called a "fairy tale" by Pullman, the novel is both a children's adventure story where the main character undertakes a quest to prove herself, and a metaphor for making art.

Plot summary

The novel's main character is a young girl called Lila. She wants to become a firework-maker, like her father Lalchand but Lalchand believes this is an unsuitable job for girls. Lila disagrees, and journeys to get Royal Sulphur from Razvani the Fire-Fiend at Mount Merapi, as all aspirant firework-makers must do. The quest is nearly unsuccessful, as she does not have protection from the Fire-Fiend's flames or the Three Gifts to present to Razvani. Her father tells her that the Three Gifts are not tangible objects but rather talent, courage, and luck, which she has. She has talent, having worked with her father at firework-making for many years. She is courageous, for having undertaken the journey. Good fortune lies in having loyal friends, Chulak and Hamlet, the talking elephant.


  1. The Firework-Maker's Daughter,
  2. Gardner, Lyn, 2003-03-19, The Firework Maker's Daughter, The Guardian.
  3. Johanson, K.V., The nineties: Rushdie, Pullman, Pratchett, Louise Cooper, and Tanith Lee, Resource Links.
  4. Patterson, Christina, 2004-11-12, Philip Pullman: Material worlds, The Independent.

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