Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Royal Book of Oz

I've finally finished with The Royal Book of Oz, so everyone can now read it online and look at all the 90+ pretty pictures.

For those of you who don't know, L. Frank Baum wrote 14 Oz books. The Royal Book of Oz is the first Oz book that Ruth Plumly Thompson wrote in 1921, the year after he died. Ruth Plumly went on to write 17 more Oz books before retiring. I rather enjoy her Oz books, even though Baum's are much more popular. He was much better with plot and characters, but she was much better with language.

The rather odd plotline of this book is that the Scarecrow learns that he is the reincarnation of a Chinese Emperor (don't ask), and he has various adventures ruling Silver Island, including a foreign invasion, plotting princes, and his new buddy Happy Toko, whom he mistakenly calls Tappy Oko (Tappy Oko, tapioca, get it?). Meanwhile, Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion go searching for the lost Scarecrow, and they have various adventures, including a visit to Fix City, meeting a knight errant named Sir Hokes of Pokes, and fighting a giant made of candy. Eventually, the two groups meet, and they manage to go back home and live happily ever after.

It's not my favorite Oz book (Chinese Emperor? Seriously? The Scarecrow is a Chinese Emperor?), and I don't enjoy any of the poetry, but I suppose it's not half-bad. The pictures are really good, as Oz fans would expect from John R. Neill at this point. So all you Oz fans out there might want to check it out!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Haha ... that's funny. I've only read The Wizard of Oz, and that was a while ago.