Sky Island

Our rating: *****

When Trot, Cap’n Bill and Button Bright go for a ride on their magic umbrella, they accidentally end up on Sky Island where they are taken as slaves for Boolooroo, king of the Blueskins. They must escape, find the umbrella and the book of records to prove that the cruel Boolooroo has tricked his subjects by ruling for a longer time than he is allowed. They have reason to believe that the Pinkies inhabiting the other side of the island would aid them in overthrowing the king, but the island is separated by an impassable fog barrier.

Although this book has nothing to do with Oz, it’s written in the same manner that the well-beloved Oz books are. It has many hilarious word plays and makes a great read-aloud. I think this story proves that L. Frank Baum’s imagination truly has no limits. He’s created a Sky Island “somewhere over the rainbow” that readers of all ages can enjoy.

Rinkitink in Oz

Our rating: *****

Rinkitink, the fat and jolly king, along with Bilbil, his grouchy goat, arrive at the peaceful island of Pingaree where vast quantities of pearls are harvested every year. During their visit, Pingaree is attacked by warriors from the islands of Regos and Coregos who carry off the entire inhabitants of the island. Only Rinkitink, Bilbil and Prince Inga escape. They set off together to rescue the prince’s people, aided by three magic pearls: a pink pearl that will protect its owner from all dangers, a blue pearl that will give to the person who carries it a strength so great that no power can resist him, and a pure white pearl, which can speak, and its words are always wise and helpful. Their quest leads them across the Nonestic Ocean to the islands of Regos and Coregos and, eventually, to the dark underground domains of the Nome King himself, where Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz arrive just in time.

I hadn’t read the Oz books in quite some time, so going back through and re-reading them was a delight. They’re written in a style that people of all ages can enjoy and love. Rinkitink is always laughing and the three magic pearls add an exciting twist to a wonderful story. Rinkitink in Oz was and is one of my favorites.

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz

Our rating: ****

Dorothy, her cat Eureka, a horse named Jim and Dorothy’s cousin Zeb are caught in an earthquake and fall into the depths of the earth. They find themselves in a strange country, where the people are vegetables. While the vegetable people are deciding what to do with them, Dorothy’s old friend, the Wizard of Oz, falls from the sky in his balloon. He joins them in an attempt to escape the vegetable people and get back to the surface of the earth. But they may have to journey to Oz.

I didn’t like this one quite as much. It’s only the fourth in the series, and as you read through the whole series, it gets a little better. About two thirds of this book is about the journey to Oz, and the rest is about what they do when they get there. It’s a fun story, but I enjoyed the fifth book The Road to Oz a lot better.

The Road to Oz

Our rating: ****

When a shaggy man asks Dorothy the way to Butterfield, she walks with him and shows him the way. But then she finds she’s lost, as there suddenly are about seventeen roads leading from the place she and the shaggy man are. Dorothy, Toto, and the shaggy man take a road and eventually meet Pollychrome, the Rainbow’s daughter and Button-Bright. The five set out to get to Oz and celebrate Ozma’s birthday.

The first Oz book with the shaggy man. At Ozma’s birthday, there are many different characters, including Queen Zixi of Ix, King Bud and Princess Fluff, the Queen of Ev and her children. This is probably not one of my favorites, but it’s still a good book.

The Magic of Oz

Our rating: *****

On Mount Munch, Kiki Aru has discovered his father’s magical secret word: Pyrzqxgl, which will transform him or anyone else he wishes to change to a different form. He turns himself into a hawk and flies over the Deadly Desert, away from Oz, and after spending a day in Ix, turns himself back again in the Land of Ev. There he joins with the Nome King and the two stir up trouble in the Forest of Gugu against Ozma and the land of Oz.

This is probably one of my favorite Oz books! Please read this one!