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click here.This was a very lovely book. I know some Oz fans have a lot of problems with Ruth Plumly Thompson, though why exactly I don't know. I heard she was chosen by Frank L. Baum himself to take over writing the books and she did a good job of it for years. This is the first book of hers I've ever read and it isn't the first one she's written about Oz, as a matter of fact by the time this one came out there had been 28 previous books, Baum's and her's included. Clearly she was very comfortable by now wThis was a very lovely book. I know some Oz fans have a lot of problems with Ruth Plumly Thompson, though why exactly I don't know. I heard she was chosen by Frank L. Baum himself to take over writing the books and she did a good job of it for years. This is the first book of hers I've ever read and it isn't the first one she's written about Oz, as a matter of fact by the time this one came out there had been 28 previous books, Baum's and her's included. Clearly she was very comfortable by now writing Oz stories. Many things were different than the books L. Frank Baum wrote, Dorothy for one seemed older and Ozma far wiser, and Glinda didn't play as huge a role as she normally played in the earlier books as the matriarch of Oz. There were many new characters from many other books, and clearly some of the more delightful characters we've come to know before have grown up along with Dorothy and moved on to better things, which isn't directly touched upon in this novel but mentioned in a passing fashion but still shocking to see. It was a lovely story which neither begins nor ends in Oz, and while Chalk the horse is Ozian he really never lives there for very long. The book is written as a kind of mystery but in reality there is no mystery as to who the true culprit is, and while I wasn't too fond of the treatment Mathias got considering he did nothing but let his monarch swindle him, the story was entertaining and introduced some new interesting characters in Oz. The plot however does suffer a bit of meandering as Dorothy goes off on a quest only to find herself going right back in the middle of the story not having accomplished anything but staying out of trouble and getting the help of a witch who practices black magic. Also Pigasus, the winged pig is arguably one of the most annoying characters to have ever graced Oz. I really did miss Scraps and that glass cat. At times Chalk could be a bit of a scoundrel and he and Skamperoo got off way too lightly considering their atrocious behavior. Their sudden about change in attitude was a little sudden and really without reason. So clearly the book has its flaws. But I love reading Oz stories and I have to admit that it was an interesting book to read, and I will continue to read more of Miss Thompson's books about Oz in future. THe whimsy was still present and perhaps that and the old loveable characters and the nostalgia painted the book a lot more pretty than it was but I for one loved reading a new Oz adventure with Dorothy and her friends. As to the artwork John R. Neill's beautiful art seemed at times a bit rushed, perhaps having illustrated so many Oz books he had become tired of it, but even so, while not his best work it is by far better than most illustrators today. A delightful book if perhaps only to the true fans of Oz. I would recommend it to be read but I wouldn't buy an expensive copy online, you'd do much better getting one of the Books of Wonder reprints of L. Frank Baum's books. Still it was a lovely story and a delightful journey back to Oz....more
By far the best Thompson book so far. The plot wasn't just the standard walking around Oz and meeting new people line we've now read so many times. You couldn't predict how Dorthy was going to solve this conflict right off the bat, so it made you interested in reading to figure out how everything was going to work out. There was good character development for new characters as well as older characters getting developed more.
Nowhere close to the charm, magic, and inventiveness of the originals. These books should not be considered Oz canon. With this book, Thompson has written more Oz books than Baum, but I wish she'd stopped after two or three.
An avid reader of Baum's books and a lifelong children's writer, Thompson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and began her writing career in 1914 when she took a job with the Philadelphia Public Ledger; she wrote a weekly children's column for the newspaper. She had already published her first children's book, The Perhappsy Chaps, and her second, The Princess of Cozytown, was pending publicatiAn avid reader of Baum's books and a lifelong children's writer, Thompson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and began her writing career in 1914 when she took a job with the Philadelphia Public Ledger; she wrote a weekly children's column for the newspaper. She had already published her first children's book, The Perhappsy Chaps, and her second, The Princess of Cozytown, was pending publication when William Lee, vice president of Baum's publisher Reilly & Lee, solicited Thompson to continue the Oz series. (Rumors among fans that Thompson was Baum's niece were untrue.) Between 1921 and 1939, she wrote one Oz book a year. (Thompson was the primary supporter of her widowed mother and invalid sister, so that the annual income from the Oz books was important for her financial circumstances.)
Thompson's contributions to the Oz series are lively and imaginative, featuring a wide range of colorful and unusual characters. However, one particular theme repeats over and over throughout her novels, with little variation. Typically in each of Thompson's Oz novels, a child (usually from America) and a supernatural companion (usually a talking animal), while traveling through Oz or one of the neighboring regions, find themselves in an obscure community where the inhabitants engage in a single activity. The inhabitants of this community then capture the travelers, and force them to participate in this same activity.
Another major theme has elderly characters, most controversially, the Good Witch of the North, being restored to "marriageable" age, possibly because Thompson herself never married. She had a greater tendency toward the use of romantic love stories (which Baum usually avoided in his fairy tales, with about 4 exceptions). While Baum's child protagonists tended to be little girls, Thompson's were boys. She emphasized humor to a greater extent than Baum did, and always considered her work for children, whereas Baum, while first and foremost considering his child audience, knew that his readership comprised all ages.
Thompson's last Oz story, The Enchanted Island of Oz(1976), was not originally written as an Oz book....more