The Land of Oz, by L. Frank Baum

After finishing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which was super-interesting in a “So that’s how the story is meant to go!” way, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try out a completely unknown-to-me Oz story. It didn’t hurt, certainly, but it was… weird.

Which, I mean, it’s weird in the same ways that the first book is weird, because that’s how Baum rolls, except that this time I wasn’t prepared for the specific weird-ities and so was like, what?

So there’s a kid called Tip, and he tries to pull a prank on his guardian, Mombi, except that the prank totally backfires and now Tip is running away to the Emerald City with a formerly-inanimate pumpkin-head scarecrow-thing called Jack. Along they way, Tip meets a girl called Jinjur who is set to overthrow the Scarecrow as bigwig of the Emerald City because, of course, all of those shiny emeralds and whatnot would be much better served as necklaces and other shiny things for Jinjur’s girl army. Of course. So, Tip finds the Scarecrow and they all go running off but even though the Scarecrow is all about abdicating, Jinjur still apparently wants them dead, so she recruits Mombi to pull some hocus-pocus and trap the group. And then some appropriately Baum-weird stuff happens and it turns out that there’s someone else who’s meant to be leading Oz…

It’s all very strange, but also very delightful, and Anna Fields is absolutely perfect in narrating this series. There’s not much else to say, really! I am sad that I don’t have quick access to the next few books, but considering all I’ve got on my plate for the near future, I think that’s all right!

Recommendation: For those days when you just need something that makes you smile at its ridiculousness.

Rating: 8/10

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