Randy DuBurke, Author . Chronicle $15.95 (36p) ISBN 978-0-8118-3487-2

There's a blue moon ("second full moon in a month") in the sky on a hot summer night, and "magic loves blue-moon light," Maxine's grandmother tells her. Sure enough, a ring of silver (the ring and the moon appear in metallic paint on the page) falls from the sky and carries Maxine off to exotic locales: a polar penguin hangout, a sun-drenched savanna (where a giraffe becomes her trusty, if somewhat unsteady, steed) and even New York City. Then, with a final "Whoosh!" Maxine finds herself safely back in the reality of her home—only, what are that giraffe, seal and penguin doing in Maxine's backyard? The episodes at times seem like snapshots cobbled together, while the text offers little more than obvious descriptions of the pictures' action. But veteran editorial illustrator DuBurke's artwork makes up for the narrative's awkward pacing. His illustrations, rendered in pen, ink and acrylic, feel as magical as Maxine's lunar ring. With an offbeat aesthetic that combines an almost photographic realism with cartoon exaggeration, DuBurke's full-bleed spreads and framed panels exude a giddy energy. Maxine, with her infectious, authentic enthusiasm, communicated via lanky limbs and an expressive face, takes her wild adventures in stride. Ages 4-8 (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 10/07/2002
Release date: 07/01/2002
Open Ebook - 36 pages - 978-1-4521-2677-7
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