One night there was a thunderstorm. A tattered scarecrow stood in the wind and rain, taking no notice . . . until a bolt of lightning struck his turnip head. The scarecrow blinked with surprise and came to life.
So begins the story of the Scarecrow, a courteous but pea-brained fellow with grand ideas. He meets a boy, Jack, who becomes his faithful servant, and they set out to journey to Spring Valley together. Along the way there's no end of excitement - battle and shipwreck, brigands and tricksters - and it's up to Jack time after time to save the day.
It is remarkable skill to make simplicity and even silliness embrace such complexity yet offer children so much wisdom. Somehow, it's not surprising that Pullman can do it
The story ends as confidently as it begins, written for children with utmost respect for and delight in their intelligence, humour and imagination . . . Genius demands a continual purification and renewal of talent. Pullman has realised that and it's why he is great
The book is a perfectly made gem, full of fun, fireworks and wit. We continue to be lucky to have Pullman writing for us
Pullman has conjured up something entirely his own: a tale of great charm and wit, told in an easy style which reads as though it all came right in the first draft
Written to be enjoyed at many different levels, this book will appeal to a wide age range
Lyra is all grown up in the latest instalment of the Book of Dust series, which has plenty to say about life and politics in 2019.
Michael Sheen returns to narrate The Secret Commonwealth, the second instalment in Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust trilogy. Watch how the Welsh actor immerses himself in the Pullman world to develop unique character voices.