Books by Dean Morrissey

THE WIZARD MOUSE by Dean Morrissey
Released: Oct. 1, 2011

"A gentle tale—no serious dark-magic threats here—that grips through its visual lushness. (Picture book. 5-9) "
Rollie is a curious, young field mouse discontent with his life in the field. Read full book review >
THE CRIMSON COMET by Dean Morrissey
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

In another nighttime fantasy overflowing with visual extravagance, Morrissey sends two children to the Moon aboard a spaceship constructed from battered, photo-realistically depicted antique toys and bric-a-brac. When sleepless Nora sees the Moon suddenly go out, she rushes to tell her brother Jack, then joins him aboard his Crimson Comet—constructed around a wheeled old toy box that is transformed, as the two astronauts blast through the bedroom window, into a sinuously tailed assemblage of gleaming dials and gauges, drums, balloons, valves and brass fittings—to investigate. Discovering that the Moon, a massive mechanical airship piloted by a friendly old gent, has stalled out, Jack and Nora supply a jumpstart, then make a topsy-turvy return home, fueled by a bag full of harvested stars. The text, a sketchy mix of prose and rhyme, provides the perfect blend of wonder and matter-of-fact for this adventure-filled nocturnal flight. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
THE MONSTER TRAP by Dean Morrissey
Released: Aug. 1, 2004

Mercer Mayer meets Rembrandt in the tenebrous, accomplished oils that illustrate this lad-meets-night-monsters tale. Mysterious noises in his grandpa's seaside junk shop keep young Paddy awake, so Pop offers to make a monster trap. Two false starts later, Pop has whipped together a glorious assemblage of antique gears, belts, pulleys, gauges, tanks, wheels, horns, and handles—all rendered with photorealistic precision in a glorious climactic spread. It works like a charm, too: later that night, Paddy and Pop are amazed to find it festooned with odd-looking furry critters that resemble oversized hamster/rabbits decorated with miscellaneous junk-shop detritus. A midnight snack later, these anything-but-scary "monsters" are cuddling doggishly about a dazzled Paddy's bed. Morrissey uses light and shadow expertly to add a feeling of mystery to each scene, but by the end, there are definitely no nightmares left in the closet. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
THE GREAT KETTLES by Dean Morrissey
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

Having met the Sandman himself in Ship of Dreams (1994), Joey falls in with a larger cast of elementals, including Father Time and Mother Nature. Now living in an inventor's long-vacant house, Joey constructs a time machine from notes and gadgets left in the attic, and hurtles off across the Sea of Time to the islands where the keepers of the sun, moon, stars, and weather live—jamming the great clock that measures out Perpetual Absolute Standard Time (P.A.S.T.) in the process. Getting it started again, and getting home, requires a short, easy quest. Morrissey's large accompanying paintings are models of magic photo-realism; he assembles into fantastical machines a variety of antique keys, charms, brasswork, and dented, peeling old toys, and places them into settings in which every leaf and nail is precisely limned. Readers are likely to ignore the unexceptional plot and characters to pore over the pictures, which are executed with dazzling virtuosity. (Picture book. 7-9) Read full book review >
SHIP OF DREAMS by Dean Morrissey
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

Joey wants a glimpse of the Sandman. In bed, waiting for his chance, Joey feels his lids grow heavy; then, suddenly, he is soaring through the heavens in his Redd Rocket wagon. The wagon topples, Joey falls (very much shades of In the Night Kitchen), coming to rest in the nets suspended below a sky schooner, piloted by the Sandman. The old dream weaver—he looks like he could be Jerry Garcia's brother—hauls Joey aboard and gives him a guided tour. When Joey awakens later, he finds his Redd Rocket wagon all decked out in its heavenly regalia. A diverting enough story, told in a wide-eyed style that keeps things moving and interesting. The illustrations are reproduced from limited- edition art prints. But for all the pictures' obvious quality, there's just too much hoopla about this book and its art: lush, sure-handed oils the likes of which are now sported by many a picture book—many of which have a good deal more personality. Each print is boldly signed by Morrissey, which robs them of at least some of their magic, not to mention that it gets a tad grating. A handsome book that, despite its efforts to be wondrous, is just pleasantly decorative. (Fiction/Picture book. All ages) (First printing of 100,000; Book-of-the-Month Club alternate dividend selection; author tour) Read full book review >