Nathan (vovat) wrote,

More Oz Book Reviews

I'm not sure how many people actually read these, but I'm going to keep writing them nonetheless.

Hurray for Oz, by Chris Dulabone - I get the impression that the publication of this book was delayed somewhat, as there are older Buckethead publications (most notably Lunarr and Maureen in Oz) that refer back to its events. It's a good but not all that eventful story of a girl named Kelly trying to take the place of an injured tooth fairy, and ending up transporting herself to Oz upon being stuck in a difficult situation. She meets up with the nasty, spider-like Skitterdos and a friendly Cuddlefuzz, and eventually meets the Tin Woodman and some other familiar celebrities. While I liked the characters, there wasn't much of a plot besides the journey to the Tin Castle. I could have done with a little more in the way of story.

Brewster Bunny of Oz, by Chris Dulabone - Chris's rabbit detective from Bunnybury has already had several starring roles and a few guest appearances. And I think he's a good character, combining the attitude of classic literary private detectives with a bit of Ozian whimsy. In this book, he has to prove a panda innocent of sabotaging a cat-woman's garden. It was a pretty good mystery story, albeit not the kind of mystery that the reader can figure out while reading.

A Small Adventure in Oz, by Peter B. Clarke - This book, written by the compiler of an index to characters, places, and objects in the Oz series, involves Dorothy and the Scarecrow discovering a miniature version of Oz hidden in the palace gardens. It's a pretty good story, although I honestly liked it more when Clarke wrote about the familiar characters in the Emerald City than when he described Dorothy and the Scarecrow's journey through the alternate Oz.

How the Wizard Came to Oz, by Donald Abbott - This book has been around for a while, but I just got around to buying reading it for myself last weekend. Abbott, the resident Denslow imitator for Books of Wonder, tells how of the Wizard's arrival and early exploits in Oz. Hugh Pendexter's Oz and the Three Witches also dealt with this topic, but while there's some overlap between the two, they mostly focus on different parts of the Wizard's adventures. Pendexter's story centers around the Wizard's secret visits to Mombi, and the circumstances that led to his giving Ozma to the witch. Abbott's tale is primarily about the establishment of the Emerald City. For the most part, he did a good job with it, although there are a few mistakes. He has two Munchkin farmers ask the Wizard for advice on their scarecrow early on in Oscar's time in Oz, while the Scarecrow himself tells Dorothy in Wizard that he'd only been made two days previously. Also, the book presents the poppy field as an obstacle that Glinda placed on the Yellow Brick Road to prevent an invasion of the Emerald City by the Wicked Witch of the East, but the poppy field doesn't actually intersect the road. It does in the movie, but the characters only encounter it in the original book when the river takes them away from the road. These are somewhat minor nitpicks, I guess, but that's what you get when a hardcore Oz fan reviews a fan-written book.

The Patchwork Bride of Oz, by Gilbert M. Sprague - A short story about the Scarecrow and the Patchwork Girl getting married. While I don't consider this to have actually happened, it's a pretty cute tale. One odd thing is that, at the end of the book, the Scarecrow and Scraps agree to live apart. I suppose this was meant to explain why they live apart throughout the Famous Forty, but it does make me wonder why they would have bothered getting married at all. When the two of them try living together, the Scarecrow tells her that he misses the Tin Castle, which suggests to me that he really feels closer to the Tin Woodman than to Scraps.
Tags: books, oz

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