The Firework Maker's Daughter by Philip Pullman
What Lila wants to be more than anything else in the world is . . . a Firework-Maker! But firework-making is not just about being able to make Crackle-Dragons and Golden Sneezes. There is also one special secret: every Firework-Maker must make a perilous journey to face the terrifying Fire-Fiend! Not knowing that she needs special protection to survive the Fire-Fiend's flames, Lila sets off alone. Her friends, Chulak and Hamlet - the King's white elephant - race after her. But can they possibly reach her in time? This edition is beautifully illustrated by Peter Bailey.