Additional Tales from Oz Part 3

Finally done with the e-book (Ultimate collection of the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum)!

The last three stories were all great stories, which makes the end of the book bittersweet.  I will definitely miss the land of Oz, especially the stories loaded with innocence and heart.  It reminded me why I am consistently drawn towards children’s stories.

Title:  The Tin Woodman of Oz

The Tin Woodman of Oz is probably one of the quirkier characters (well there are loads of them) out of Oz.  He is one of the first characters Dorothy met in the land of Oz and has been a consistent presence throughout the stories.  So it was only fitting that he gets a story dedicated to him. In this one, the readers finally get to answer: why was the Witch angry at Nick Chopper? who was the tinsmith that helped him? is he the only one of his kind in the land of Oz? All these questions were answered with the usual sense of love, fun and adventure.  Not to mention I got to explore other areas in the land of Oz and meet a new set of characters – Woot the Wanderer, Mrs. Yoop, Ku-Klip and Nimmie Amee.

My favorite quote from this book:

“We are not to blame for what cannot be helped; so let us push bravely ahead and see what may be seen” – Scarecrow

Title:  The Magic of Oz

Ozma’s birthday party causes a bit of pressure to our usual characters – Dorothy, Wizard of Oz, Captain Bill and Trot – to come up with a special gift.  Given how much they all love Ozma, they go the extra mile to come up with an idea and then execute it.  The problem is that Ruggedo (the Old Nome King) finds a way to cause mischief and almost derails their plans.  With a bit of luck, wit and magic, our characters were able to hurdle all the challenges and complete their special gifts to Ozma.

Personally, I thought the Magic Flower was so beautiful (thank you imagination!) and would indeed be a beautiful addition to the Palace of Oz.

My favorite quote from this book:

“A home of any sort should be beautiful to those who live in it, and should not be intended to please strangers” – Lonesome Duck

Title:  Glinda of Oz

Ozma and Dorothy find themselves in trouble as they got trapped underwater with a bit of unknown magic.  Glinda saves the day with her powerful skills and help from other wonderful characters in Oz – the usual suspects and the three Magic Adepts, Ervic the Skeezer and Red Reera.  Biggest surprise was in the end where it was Dorothy that plays a major role in solving their trouble and restoring peace and order once again in the wonderful land of Oz.

My favorite quote from this book:

“I’m glad I don’t know everything, Dorothy, and that there still are things both in nature and in wit for me to marvel at.” – Princess Ozma

Again, I will definitely miss the land of Oz.  But, I feel that am ready and curious enough to move on to my next book adventure.

To end, thank you L. Frank Baum for the wonderful Oz stories!

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Additional Tales from Oz Part 2

In my continuing attempt to finish the Ultimate Collection of the Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum, I brought my Kindle in my recent Tubbataha/Palawan trip.  Living on a boat for 5 days, I used Oz as an escape from the heat and physical exhaustion.  Fortunately enough, the three succeeding books I finished featured my favorite elements from the Oz stories.  It was just simple storytelling with lots of fun, heart and soul.

Title:  The Scarecrow of Oz

This story explores a country under the rule of Oz but separated from it by treacherous mountains.  It covers three phases interwoven beautifully by the author.  I got to know Captain Bill and Trot, who eventually gets to live in the magical land of Oz.  Then, it shifted to Jinxland ruled by The Wicked King.  Pon is a very nice kid and got the dream ending he deserves.  And then of course, I got to meet the wonderful people of Oz once more to deliver justice and ensure that love and peace continue to reign within its boundaries.

My favorite quote in this book is:

“But nobody can stay alive without getting into danger sometimes, and danger doesn’t mean getting hurt Captain; it only means we might get hurt.  So I guess we’ll have to take the risk.” – Trot

Title:  Rinkitink in Oz

This story had a strong plot with lots of interesting sub plots, which makes it a great read.  I got to meet a simple family trying to live an honourable and honest life in the Kingdom of Regos and Coregos.  I also revisited King Kaliko, who has taken over the rule from the Nome king.  King Rinkitink and Bilbil the Goat’s back stories are also included in the mix.

But the core plot remains on the destruction and eventual restoration of the peaceful island of Pingaree.  The Island of Pingaree is a new Kingdom slightly outside Oz since it is separated by the Nonestic Ocean.  It is very lucky to have the three magical pearls and great set of rulers – King Kitticut, Queen Garee and the hero of the story, Prince Pinga.

I have two favorite quotes from this book:

“This is the way to get ideas:  never to let adverse circumstances discourage you, but to believe there is a way out of every difficulty, which may be found by earnest thought.” – On Prince Pinga facing the challenges set by King Kaliko

“The beauty of life is its sudden changes.  No one knows what is going to happen next, and so we are constantly being surprised and entertained.  The many ups and downs should not discourage us, for if we are down, we know that a change is coming and we will go up again.” – King Rinkitink

Title:  The Lost Princess of Oz

Yes, the title was very catchy and puzzling especially since it is consistent throughout the book how powerful Ozma is.  But the story did use it as an anchor and it was so heartwarming (albeit expected) to see the support from her kingdom and the various friends she met along the way.  There is a lot of nostalgia in this one as almost every hero from the series and additional stories lent their support in the quest to find Ozma.  The quest was even made harder since the regular elements used – The Magic Picture and Great Book of Records – were also gone from Oz.  I also found Ugu the Shoemaker a surprising and unlikely villain of the story.  My favorite new character from this book was definitely the Big Lavender Bear and the Pink Little Bear.  I was glad they offered their assistance in the quest.

“To be individual, my friends, to be different from others, is the only way to become distinguished from the common herd.  Let us be glad, therefore, that we differ from one another in form and in disposition.  Variety is the spice of life, and we are various enough to enjoy one another’s society; so let us be content.” – Cowardly Lion

Sometimes I wonder if I am already too old for these stories.  But as Frank L. Baum puts it in his letter to readers in the succeeding book:  “my books are intended for all those whose hearts are young, no matter what their ages may be.” I guess that explains a lot.

 

Currently reading:  Ultimate collection of the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (E-book) (79% completed)

Additional Tales from Oz part 1

NOTE: I finished the Oz series way back but my collection was not yet completely finished.  In the succeeding book, I learned in the prologue that somehow L. Frank Baum, the Royal Historian of Oz figured out a way to contact Princess Dorothy and, with the blessings of Glinda the Good and Ozma, granted him access to more stories.

Title: Patchwork Girl of Oz

I did not like the story. Though some elements of it are present in the previous Oz books, such as the journey, familiar and new characters, I felt like there was something missing. Fun maybe? Or is it that the journey almost became pointless? (With the previous books, I predicted the end as soon as the journey began.. something about how to handle Magic.) But I guess it is mostly on the new characters… I did not get attached to them like the previous ones.

Nevertheless, it is still a good read after being shut out of Oz for quite some time as we get to learn:

  • how the Powder of Life is created, including who created it;
  • what happened to some of our Oz friends: Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and Dorothy; and,
  • that the Old Magician is no longer a humbug — he is learning tricks from Glinda the Good

My favorite quotes in this book were:

“But I never criticize my friends.  If they are really true friends, they may be anything they like, for all of me.” – Shaggy Man

But I have noticed that those who continually dread ill luck and fear will overtake them, have no time to take advantage of any good fortune that comes their way.” – Tin Man

Title: Tik-tok of Oz

After finishing the story, I am quite unsure why it was named after Tik-tok… But I loved the story nonetheless. With the Shaggy Man’s brother imprisoned by Ruggedo, Shaggy Man embarks on a mission to save him. Along the way he meets familiar faces to aid him in his journey, such as Tik-tok and Polychrome, with new characters, such as Rose Princess and officers from the Kingdom of Oogaboo, which makes the journey very interesting.  I loved the use of a Tube as a means to transport to another side of the world.  I also met Quox, the Dragon, that definitely aided them in their journey.  There was also a story of redemption for Queen Ann of Oogaboo.

All in all, I felt like this story had the right mix of the new and the familiar.  It was fun reminiscing the previous stories and then getting to know new ones.

My favorite quote in this book was:

“All the magic isn’t in fairyland,” he (Shaggy) said gravely. “There are lots of magic in all Nature, and you may see it as well in the United States, where you and I once lived, as you can here.”

“I never did,” she (Betsy) replied.

“Because you were so used to it all that you didn’t realize it was magic.  Is anything more wonderful than to see a flower grow and blossom, or to get light out of the electricity in the air? xxx”

Currently reading:  Ultimate collection of the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (E-book)

Oz Notebook

Oz is one of those fairy places that I always heard of but did not know much about, except for the image of Dorothy with a Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and Lion in tow.  So curiosity got the best of me and bought the Oz collection from the Amazon store.  No regrets here.  Thank you L. Frank Baum for the wonderful stories!

Favorite book: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Book 1)

Favorite character:  Dorothy (runner-up:  Scarecrow) // Memorable villain:  Nome King // Character I wish to know more of:  Zeb (runner-up:  Glinda the Good)

Favorite chapter:  The Discovery of Oz, the Terrible – Book 1 (runner-up: Bunnybury – Book 6)

Similar to what I did for the Harry Potter series, I selected one quote for each book in the Oz series.  I posted them in twitter and now collecting the quotes here in my cyber pensieve for easier reference.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz –

“Can’t you give me brains?” asked the Scarecrow. “You don’t need them. You are learning something every day. A baby has brains, but it doesn’t know much. Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge, and the longer you are on earth the more experience you are sure to get. (Wizard)

The Marvelous Land of Oz-

“You are both rich, my friends,” said Ozma, gently; “and your riches are the only riches worth having—the riches of content!”

Ozma of Oz –

“No,” said Dorothy, “I wasn’t drowned at all. And I’ve come to nurse you and take care of you, Uncle Henry, and you must promise to get well as soon as poss’ble.” Uncle Henry smiled and cuddled his little niece close in his lap. “I’m better already, my darling,” said he.

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz –

“That is right, Eureka,” remarked the Wizard, earnestly. “Let us all be a happy family and love one another.” Eureka yawned and stretched herself. “I’ve always loved the piglets,” she said; “but they don’t love me.” “No one can love a person he’s afraid of,” asserted Dorothy. “If you behave, and don’t scare the little pigs, I’m sure they’ll grow very fond of you.”

The Road to Oz –

“Money! Money in Oz!” cried the Tin Woodman. “What a queer idea! Did you suppose we are so vulgar as to use money here?” “Why not?” asked the shaggy man. “If we used money to buy things with, instead of love and kindness and the desire to please one another, then we should be no better than the rest of the world,” declared the Tin Woodman. “Fortunately money is not known in the Land of Oz at all. We have no rich, and no poor; for what one wishes the others all try to give him, in order to make him happy, and no one in all Oz cares to have more than he can use.”

The Emerald City of Oz –

Yet, strange as it may seem, she had accomplished all these wonders not because she was a fairy or had any magical powers whatever, but because she was a simple, sweet and true little girl who was honest to herself and to all whom she met. In this world in which we live simplicity and kindness are the only magic wands that work wonders, and in the Land of Oz Dorothy found these same qualities had won for her the love and admiration of the people.

Journey through Oz part 6

41% into the Oz collection e-book I am reading and it is already goodbye. The Emerald City of Oz is the sixth book in the collection and it ends with a chapter entitled “How the Story of Oz Came to an End.”

Ozma is once again challenged by The Nome King or more formally known as King Roquat the Red. This time, his plot slowly builds up across the story and is more sinister than ever. Thankfully, with the help of the Scarecrow’s wits and Ozma’s magic picture, Roquat’s plan is once again thwarted.

No new major characters in this book but quirky places (Utensia, Bunbury and Bunnybury) and characters (Cuttenclips) still abound in its pages. I liked Bunnybury’s chapter the most in this book because it was a lesson on gratitude.

But this book was not limited to watching Roquat’s plan to conquer Oz. This time around, Aunt Em and Uncle Henry gets to finally meet the wonderful land of Oz! Aunt Em was having a real hard time accepting everything which presents a great contrast with how Dorothy is open to new things. But really, who would not be confused and amazed with the wonderful land of Oz?

Not sure what the rest of the collection holds but I felt like this was a fitting end to what has been a wonderful set of adventures. Dorothy gets to be a Princess in Oz with her Oz and Kansas (Toto, Aunt Em and Uncle Henry) family together in the Emerald Palace.

As Princess Dorothy of Oz’s little note to all the readers in the end:

You will never hear anything more about Oz because we are now cut off forever from all the rest of the world. But Toto and I will always love you and all the children who love us. – Dorothy Gale

It was an awesome six trips in Oz. And, as the author puts it “may they live long in their invisible country and be very happy.”

Currently reading:  Ultimate collection of the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (E-book)

Journey through Oz part 5

The Road to Oz is the fifth book in the Oz collection I am currently reading.

By now, I can really say that the power of Baum’s stories rests with the quirky characters and landscape sprinkled in each trip to Oz.

This time around, I got to meet the Shaggy man, Button Bright and Polychrome. Together with Dorothy and Toto, they made their way to Oz in another adventure filled journey. Along the way they meet King Dox of Foxville, King Kik-a-Bray, Musicker and Johnny Dooit. I got scared a bit by the Scoodlers but thankfully they were able to get out of the mess.

I loved how this book ended with a grand celebration of Princess Ozma’s birthday. More than reuniting Dorothy with friends, it expanded the possibilities for the Oz collection. Apparently, there are other fairy countries outside Oz and they know each other. Even Santa was invited in Ozma’s party!

Personally, my favorite scenes are those when Dorothy encounters her friends from previous trips to Oz… So much love and respect for each other.

Seeing this dynamic, I remember a line in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which says that “there are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other.” There may be no mountain trolls in these stories (yet?) but Dorothy and friends are definitely not short of adventures.

Currently reading:  Ultimate collection of the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (E-book)

Journey through Oz part 4

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz is the 4th book in the Oz collection.

This book does not steer away from the sense of adventure and camaraderie present in the earlier Oz stories.  In the end, we even get to spend some more time with well-loved characters from the previous three books.  It is as if a whole Oz family is slowly being built throughout the collection.

As the title suggests, Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz are at the core of this adventure.  They are accompanied by Zeb (human), Jim (horse) and Eureka (cat).  I liked Zeb’s character and felt like he was a wonderful addition to the Oz family.  Maybe he can appear again in another Oz story?

For the 4th book, I got reminded of the magic that the 1st book brought through description of terrains.  In this one, I got introduced to the vegetable kingdom, valley of voe, country of the gargoyles and den of dragonettes.  The journey also felt similar with the 1st one when a band of friends are traveling together in a foreign fairy country.

I honestly felt that this could be my favorite from the series but something about the ending chapters made me stick with the 1st book (so far).  Still a big fan of Dorothy and looking forward to more adventures with her (and the quirky characters that she will meet along the way)..

Currently reading:  Ultimate collection of the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (E-book)