Publisher: Tundra Books
Far away, and on the other side of time, there lived Clever-Lazy, an explorer who loved to invent marvellous and useful things. She longed for a chance to do nothing but invent.

When that chance came, it was not quite what she expected. Not everyone understood her inventions. Sometimes they puzzled people, or frightened them. And the inventions that frightened even her, proved that invention for invention’s sake was not enough.

Clever-Lazy and her friend-husband Tinker move across a landscape that may or may not be ancient China. Certainly her inventions, including gunpowder, are all from that time and place. But whatever the setting, the truths of her story, and the magic and mystery of her fate exist everywhere and in all times.


“[Clever-Lazy’s] invention of gunpowder, and the need to keep it out of the hands of the malign forces, provides much of the drama of this excellent book for young readers. A lovely book to read aloud.”
The Globe and Mail

“Unlike so many synthetic fairy tales with their boring air of whole-wheat didacticism, this feminist parable is believable and fun…Clever-Lazy envisages ideals of loving and living well worth striving for.”

“This is a thoughtful and gripping adventure story.”
The Village Voice