The Sea Fairies

Our rating: ****

Trot and Cap’n Bill meet some mermaids who invite them to visit their palace underwater. Trot and Cap’n Bill accept the invitation and, after the mermaids give Trot the form of a mermaid and Cap’n Bill the form of a merman, they all go to the palace, where Trot and Cap’n Bill meet Queen Aquareine of the mermaids. But Zog the Magician captures the queen, Trot, Cap’n Bill, and Princess Clia, and it’s a battle of magic to see who will come out victorious.

As a warning, in my copy of this book a few little sections have the lines of text switched around, so you have to read it out of order so it makes sense. Zog is pretty sinister. The battles of magic in his castle are neat. Most of the book is more of Trot and Cap’n Bill visiting the ocean, but it picks up somewhat at the end with Zog.

The Land of Oz

Our rating: ****

Tip has lived with Mombi the witch for as long as he can remember, and she works him like a slave. One day, to scare her, Tip makes a man with a pumpkin head and sets it up on the road where Mombi will pass on her way home. But Mombi has just bought some powder of life, and decides to try it out. And so Jack Pumpkin Head comes to life! When Mombi decides to turn Tip into a statue and enslave Jack instead, Tip takes Jack and runs away.

Being the second book in the Oz series, The Land of Oz introduces several new characters. There’s The Sawhorse, Mr. H. M. Wogglebug T. E., and many others. This takes place during The Scarecrow’s reign in Oz, which is very interesting. Delightfully silly, The Land of Oz is full of puns, wordplays, and just plain silliness. Plus, the ending takes an exciting twist, which nobody will expect.

The Tin Woodman of Oz

Our rating: ****

Woot the Wanderer arrives at the Tin Woodman’s tin castle in Oz. After dinner, the Tin Man, or Nick Chopper, tells Woot about how he became a tin man, and how he was once in love with a Munchkin girl named Nimmie Amee. Woot asks why Nick hasn’t gone to find her after all his adventures with Dorothy were over. So begins another Oz book, in which the Tin Man, Woot and the Scarecrow go to find Nimmie Amee and make her the Empress of the Winkies. You will encounter the Loons and the evil Yookoohoo, Mrs. Yoop.

This is a very funny one. Starting with the deliberate disobedience of the sign to beware the Loons, the whole book is filled with silly adventures that would only happen in Oz.

The Wizard of Oz

Our rating: *****

Dorothy lives on a gray prairie in Kansas. When a cyclone hits, she and her little dog, Toto, are whirled into the air and eventually come down in the Land of Oz, where the good Witch of the North advises Dorothy to go the City of Emeralds and ask the great Wizard, Oz, to send her home again. On the dangerous journey there, Dorothy is joined by the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion.

I like this book a lot. The Wizard of Oz was made into a movie starring Judy Garland. It’s not very close to the book, but it’s still pretty good. It was nice going back and reading this book again.

The Lost Princess of Oz

Our rating: ****

There is trouble in the land of Oz. Cayke the Cookie Cook’s magic gold dishpan, the Wizard’s black bag, Ozma’s magic picture and Glinda’s Great Book of Records have been stolen, and more than that, even Ozma herself has vanished. Cayke and the frogman set out to find the dishpan, and a large party from the Emerald City, including Dorothy, the Wizard, Trot, Button-Bright, the sawhorse, the cowardly lion, the patchwork girl and many others, begin their search to locate the person responsible for these thefts.

I would rank this as a pretty good Oz book. I don’t like it as much as Rinkitink in Oz, but I think that’s no reason for not reading it. As the Oz books have a style of their own, I would not recommend reading one of the Redwall books or Lord of Rings the day before you read an Oz book. The transition in style is rather abrupt!