from the dust jacket of the 1968 Knopf edition
Tony and the Wonderful Door
Here is the story of Tony and his wonderful door, a delightful and meaningful children's story for our time.
Tony is a little boy who grows up on New York's east side in the early 1920's. Out of his vivid imagination he creates a very wonderful door, and when he steps through that door -- well, it would spoil the book to tell any more of what happens.
The story of Tony and his wonderful door presents, in a subtle way, a very important lesson for children of almost all ages -- and for many grownups too.
Here is rich and entertaining stuff on the early American Indians, the Dutch village that was once New York, as well as the New York of only yesterday. The struggle to enter the world of adulthood, so important in the life of any child, is also depicted here. At the same time, valuable lessons are taught on the meaning of equality.
from the dust jacket of the 1952 Blue Heron Press first edition
Tony lived an ordinary life in New York City in the early Twenties. His family was poor but he went to school and played games and did all the things that ten-year-old boys do. Except, that is, when he went through the wonderful door.
The door was in his backyard. It looked like an ordinary door in a tenement fence but when Tony went through it (and he only opened it when he felt a special way) everything was suddenly different. Gone were the dirty streets and hot pavements and in their place were lush fields and meadows and real Indians and, best of all, Tony's friend Peter Van Doben.
But no one believed Tony about the fantastic things behind the door. His parents tried to understand but it just seemed as if he were lying. Old Doc Forbes was the only one who, at least, was willing to listen.
Howard Fast's story of Tony's adventures on both sides of the wonderful door is a tale that can be read on several levels. A charming fantasy, it is also a warmly human story of people and hope. Illustrations by Imero Gobbato add new dimensions all their own.