While Luke is asleep, his toy soldiers and elegant cardboard theater blow up and become life-sized. He and his cat, Rags, find themselves in the middle of a battle between the soldiers (led by Captain Fearsome) and ""that infamous scalawag Longnose."" Bombs come sailing over the backdrop as Longnose tries to take over the stage. The soldiers ask Luke to be their general, and he accepts. So begins a swashbuckling swordfight worthy of an Errol Flynn film. Luke and Rags triumph over the evil Longnose and, after saying goodnight to everyone in the theater (which is slowly starting to shrink back to it's normal size), they head for bed. Once again, McClintock (Animal Fables from Aesop, 1991) delivers an exquisitely illustrated book. The story is a classic adventure tale, but her drawings are so detailed and charming that she makes it seem new. The theater sets, which resemble 19th-century shadow boxes, are particularly well executed, but the small unframed images are also delightful. A superb and inventive book by a truly talented illustrator.