After an earthquake unexpectedly rumbles through Old Bridgeport one day, pals Joey, Michael, and Sarah are amazed to see a rusted old door in the local toy shop swing open. Stepping through, they find themselves not only in another room (a mirror image of the shop they just left), but in another dimension. Here they encounter a cow practicing her moon jumps, a grumpy man in the moon, a cloud keeper (and peddler), and a giant who is afraid of the dark. If the night sky is ever to have light again, the children must stop the giant from hoarding--or even destroying--the moon!
The many fans of Dean Morrissey's Ship of Dreams, The Great Kettles: A Tale of Time, and other picture-book fantasies will be delighted to see this new title from the author/artist. It's the first book in the new Magic Door series, for which Morrissey teams up with well-known children's author Stephen Krensky. Although the story does not glow with originality or flow seamlessly to its conclusion, readers will enjoy the idea of the moon being a spaceship that needs constant maintenance, and chuckle over such amusing details as a flying quilted tugboat. The illustrations are the obvious draw here. Morrissey's vivid oil paintings (each shamelessly signed) seem to be the hook on which the entire book hangs. (Ages 7 to 11) --Emilie Coulter