Houghton Mifflin 1994
Written and Illustrated by Barbara McClintock

It is a quiet night, and Luke has just closed his eyes, and is drifting off to sleep, until...
With a bang and a blast, Luke flies from his ordinary night's sleep into the fantastic world of his toy theater. Donning a cape and sword over his striped pajamas, he leaps into an epic swashbuckling battle with the scourge of the toy theatre world: the evil Longnose. Battling across set after set, amidst smoke and tumbling scenery, can this one boy defeat his imposing foe?
(Ages 4-8)

*Parents' Choice Award
*Starred, Kirkus


“Theater is the temple of imagination made flesh, a place of vivid color, bold action and breathtaking wonder. These are such stuff as dreams are made of, Barbara McClintock shows in her delightful bedtime fantasy, THE BATTLE OF LUKE AND LONGNOSE.

“Luke, a pajama-clad Douglas Fairbanks-in-waiting, has abandoned his toy theater for dream-land when the smoke and roar of cannon fire awaken him and his cat, Rags. To Luke's amazement and delight, his miniature stage has become larger than life; the splendid swallow-tailed soldiers, with whom he had been playing only moments before, are now a grown-up regiment under the command of the bushily mustachioed Captain Fearsome. The siege is the work of that “infamous scalawag“ Longnose, who has escaped from jail and is wreaking his revenge by attacking the theater. Can Luke save the day?

“'I'd love to!' he joyously replies, and dons the cape and saber he keeps under his bed for just such occasions. Longnose, a truly villainous-looking miscreant in a green cloak and Napoleon hat, duels with our swashbuckling hero all over the stage, over and around the scenery, swinging on ropes, caught in the lights. Finally, with the timely assistance of Rags, Luke holds Longnose at sword's point and basks in the applause of the brightly robed thespians. He has earned the rest of his night's sleep.

'Barbara McClintock is a gifted artist. In a previous book, the brilliant HEARTACHES OF A FRENCH CAT, she demonstrated how well she could tell a story with pictures alone. In THE BATTLE OF LUKE AND LONGNOSE, her illustrations again are impressive in their subtle use of color, witty detail and strong characterizations; her use of lighting and perspective is appropriately theatrical. Equally accomplished is the narration, which economically complements the vigorously depicted action.” — Michael Anderson, The New York Times Book Review

“A superb and inventive book by a truly talented illustrator.” — Starred, Kirkus

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