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Monday, 31 January 2011

Book notes No. 43: The Firework Maker's Daughter, Philip Pullman

The last of i giorni della merla - the blackbird days - thought to be the coldest of the winter. And while I can say quite categorically that they are not empirically the coldest, there's something about the stillness, the silence of these days, with the steady sunshine and the slow creak of bare branch on bare branch that makes you think you have come to the very heart of the season.

Winner of the Gold Smarties Prize Award, Philip Pullman's story about a young girl following her dream is charming. I bought it because I remembered the pleasure with which I read the His Dark Materials trilogy, but found that this is not a child-adult crossover. It's actually more suitable for shared reading from 8 years and lone reading from 10, I would say. 

The Guardian noted this as "A wonderfully written adventure story," and the Daily Mail called it "An outstanding achievement". I enjoyed it, certainly. And I understand the final message as inspirational, for adults as well as for older children. But perhaps I read it in the wrong frame of mind. Perhaps I had something else weighing on me, and missed the comedy, the "genius", the "confident magic". I also found a couple of the illustrations - by Peter Bailey - rather scary (at least for the under-6s).

Still, The Firework Maker's Daughter is gentle, beautifully written and a lovely story. This little book will be returned, not to the adult shelves but to the waiting-for-the-children-to-grow-up shelves, and I will heartily recommend it to my two little readers when the time comes.



   
    

2 comments:

ladyfi said...

Oh, I adore Philip Pullman. Thanks for the tip!

Louise | Italy said...

LadyFi: This might be great for your kids. I'm sure they'll love it.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Book notes No. 43: The Firework Maker's Daughter, Philip Pullman

The last of i giorni della merla - the blackbird days - thought to be the coldest of the winter. And while I can say quite categorically that they are not empirically the coldest, there's something about the stillness, the silence of these days, with the steady sunshine and the slow creak of bare branch on bare branch that makes you think you have come to the very heart of the season.

Winner of the Gold Smarties Prize Award, Philip Pullman's story about a young girl following her dream is charming. I bought it because I remembered the pleasure with which I read the His Dark Materials trilogy, but found that this is not a child-adult crossover. It's actually more suitable for shared reading from 8 years and lone reading from 10, I would say. 

The Guardian noted this as "A wonderfully written adventure story," and the Daily Mail called it "An outstanding achievement". I enjoyed it, certainly. And I understand the final message as inspirational, for adults as well as for older children. But perhaps I read it in the wrong frame of mind. Perhaps I had something else weighing on me, and missed the comedy, the "genius", the "confident magic". I also found a couple of the illustrations - by Peter Bailey - rather scary (at least for the under-6s).

Still, The Firework Maker's Daughter is gentle, beautifully written and a lovely story. This little book will be returned, not to the adult shelves but to the waiting-for-the-children-to-grow-up shelves, and I will heartily recommend it to my two little readers when the time comes.



   
    

2 comments:

ladyfi said...

Oh, I adore Philip Pullman. Thanks for the tip!

Louise | Italy said...

LadyFi: This might be great for your kids. I'm sure they'll love it.