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Old 01-04-2003, 12:28 AM
Join Date: Mar 2001
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Best/Favorite Oz book

What is your favorite Oz book? Or the best? Do you think Ruth Thompson can hold a candle to Baum? Isn't the Woozy a cool character? What is your favorite character?

As for me, i like Ozma of Oz the best, i think it is the best written, and i like that they brought Dorothy back and the Cowardly Lion as well. And the Hungary Tiger is one of my favorite characters and i am glad that he was introduced in this one as well (i love his "i want to eat a fat baby, but i know it is wrong, so i won't do it, so i much sit here as a torchered soul" personality.

Ruth Plumly Thompson is okay, but is no Baum. I think her last books (the ones written after the decades of absense were not up to par). Jno Neill is a good artist but not a good writer (he wrote the ozlection on, right?). And i refuse to acknowledge the other ones (though i did read on by Bunnucula auther James Howe, and a sexond by some random author that looked part of the same series.

And Woozy rules.
Old 01-04-2003, 12:36 AM
lee lee is offline
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I like the Marvelous Land of Oz and Glinda of Oz best. I love when Ozma is transformed from Tip.
Old 01-04-2003, 12:47 AM
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A tie between Ozma of Oz and a Road to Oz.

I'm a huge reader now, but was actually very frustrated by the whole "flashcard/learning to read bit" as a small child. I was in school one day, and the class had to divide into different "stations." All the cool stations were taken and I was stuck with the "reading" station. I sat down and picked up Ozma of Oz...I have been an addict ever since.

Ozma of Oz was great because of that chick that could change heads! I lived the Road to Oz because of Polychrome, the Rainbow's daughter and the prepations for Ozma's party.

I bought all the hard cover Oz books from Books of Wonder, although they did annoy me greatly by changing their dust jacket design halfway through the series so on the shelves the first half doesn't match the last half. Very annoying!!

I also love the Sea Fairies and recently bought it in hard cover as well.
Old 01-04-2003, 12:52 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 2,691
Oh, I also ordered several Oz coffee cups from Books of Wonder as well. I have Ozma of Oz, the Lost Princess of Oz and the Road to Oz (with that great pic of Polychrome being introduced to Ozma).

You can find the mugs on the Books of Wonder website under "Oz around the House."
Old 01-04-2003, 01:51 AM
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: SE VA
Posts: 1,617
Which books aren't Baum's? I read 14* of them when I was a kid, and was under the impression that they were all written by him. My favorite was the one with the Flat Heads in it - it's been too long for me to remember the title. I loved them all though, and all got read multiple times.

* My parents took me and my sisters to the bookstore every fortnight and let us buy one book. It took forever to get all of them. I would wait and wait and wait for them to come in, not knowing you could actually ask them to order it for you!
Old 01-04-2003, 02:00 AM
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Francisco, Mars :)
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from here:

L. Frank Baum

1900 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
1904 The Marvelous Land of Oz
1907 Ozma of Oz
1908 Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
1909 The Road to Oz
1910 The Emerald City of Oz
1913 The Patchwork Girl of Oz
1914 Little Wizard Stories of Oz
1914 Tik-Tok of Oz
1915 The Scarecrow of Oz
1916 Rinkitink in Oz
1917 The Lost Princess of Oz
1918 The Tin Woodman of Oz
1919 The Magic of Oz
1920 Glinda of Oz

Ruth Plumly Thompson

1921 The Royal Book of Oz
1922 Kabumpo in Oz
1923 The Cowardly Lion of Oz
1924 Grampa in Oz
1925 The Lost King of Oz
1926 The Hungry Tiger of Oz
1927 The Gnome King of Oz
1928 The Giant Horse of Oz
1929 Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz
1930 The Yellow Knight of Oz
1931 Pirates in Oz
1932 The Purple Prince of Oz
1933 Ojo in Oz
1934 Speedy in Oz
1935 The Wishing Horse of Oz
1936 Captain Salt in Oz
1937 Handy Mandy in Oz
1938 The Silver Princess in Oz
1939 Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz
(thoug i could have sworn the last two were written years later...guess i am wrong.)

Other authors:
Old 01-04-2003, 02:56 AM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
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The one where Beecher gets a Swastika burned onto his ass.

Oh, wait a sec... you said book.
Old 01-04-2003, 09:30 AM
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Location: Orlando(ish)
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I liked Rinkitink of Oz. The Emerald City of Oz, where they're under attack by the Nomes, was good too.

I wanted to be Polychrome when I grew up.

I don't know who wrote it, but Merry-Go-Round is my favorite non-Baum book.

How in the hell did the get away with that, other authors writing Oz-type books?
Old 01-04-2003, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 86
'Rinkitink in Oz'.

I loved the pearls, each with a different magic power, and the fact that it took place outside Oz gave it a certain air of tension. Everything inside Oz was so completely under the control of the good guys at that stage that stories within couldn't really have all that much sense of danger.

Also, I can't remember which one it was ('Patchwork Girl'?) but the one where the patchwork girl is created.

Actually, I really liked the ones with boys as the main characters. I was always somewhat upset that the protagonists were usually girls and thus harder for seven year old me to identify with I don't really remember them all that well at this stage, but there's all sorts of cool stuff from the books jogging around in the back of my mind.
Old 01-04-2003, 12:09 PM
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I've always liked The Magic of Oz. Very tense. And another vote for Merry-Go-Round.
Old 01-04-2003, 01:27 PM
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Probably The Wonderful Wizard of Oz just for old times sake. Although I read all of the Baum books, we only actually owned the first. So that was the one I read and re-read and re-read in childhood. However, I admit I always loved Ozma of Oz because of the lunch-pail and dinner-box trees. I'd still really like a dinner-box tree in my back yard. I've never read any of the children's Oz books other than the Baums -- at least not that I remember. I owned the whole set of Baums at one time, in the Del Rey mass-market paperback editions. One non-Baum Oz book I do love is Barnstormer in Oz -- I sure wish Farmer would write a sequel.

Old 01-04-2003, 02:31 PM
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Thanks, Tars
Old 01-04-2003, 03:14 PM
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Originally posted by lee
I love when Ozma is transformed from Tip.
That was disturbing.
Old 01-04-2003, 09:03 PM
Kat Kat is offline
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I actually haven't read a lot of the Oz books, but Ozma of Oz was my favorite. I liked the talking hen and the search for which knick knacks in that one guy's house were the transformed people. If I'm remembering what happened in which book correctly, that is.
Old 01-04-2003, 09:15 PM
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For story, The Emerald City of Oz.

For illustrations, that's harder, since my favorites are spread out. Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz and The Road to Oz have a nice sense of "place", but there are plenty of other memorable moments.

The only Oz book I found frightening was The Magical Mimics in Oz, which traumatized me. The Phanfasms were pretty convincingly alien and evil, too.
Old 01-04-2003, 09:22 PM
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Oh, and I was thinking "I should have added my favorite Oz movie", then I realized that there actually is a choice.

Judy Garland isn't liable to be surpassed anytime soon, but those who haven't seen Return to Oz with Fairuza Balk need to get your hands on it at once. True to the books, and overall quite well done.
Old 01-05-2003, 01:30 AM
lee lee is offline
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Return to Oz is not completely faithful, but it is well worthwhile. They confuse the woman who changes heads with Mombi and they have her in a fancy dress rather than the plane white one, and there are many other deviations, but the visual style and most of the story feels true to the original.
Old 01-05-2003, 01:34 AM
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Yeah, I realized I should have been more careful to stipulate that it's very much like the Oz books, but not a word-for-word match. The opening 20 minutes is not adapted from any of the books I've read, but the rest is.
Old 01-05-2003, 08:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2000
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A) Ruth Plumly Thompson's Oz books stink: they're treacly travelogues with no real plot and certainly no real conflict. Bleach. Baum occasionally had his twee moments, but most of his Oz books he kept the icky-ness under control. And what Thompson did to the Scarecrow's origin is A) cringeworthy by today's standards (vaguely offensive portrayal of Asians which was probably fine back then) and B) just dumb.

B) Favorite Oz books (in no particular order):
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Ozma of Oz
Patchwork Girl of Oz
Tik-Tok of Oz
The Lost Princess of Oz (which features a smart bad-guy)
The Magic of Oz
Glinda of Oz

I love Rinkitink in Oz, but it's not an Oz book (or wasn't intended to be: IIRC the publisher made him tack on the "Dorothy and Glinda save everyone ending) and the Oz sections are the weakest part of the book.

My favorite Baums, however are Wonderful Wizard, Queen Zixi of Ix and The Master Key (a scientifiction adventure!)

Tars, of the canon 40, Baum rules and Jack Snow's ones aren't bad. He occasionally got cutesy and could have used an editor, but at least his stories were more than "Let's wander around Oz. Look! Another stupid mono-concept* village!"


*Everyone in it is a jigsaw puzzle, or a china doll or an eating utensil or a baked good or a bunny

Old 10-12-2017, 10:51 PM
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 1
best non-baum oz books

I agree that Ruth Plumly Thompson's Oz books are not very good.

My favorite Baum Oz books (in no particular order)

Tik-Tok of Oz
Ozma of Oz
The Road to Oz

In my opinion, the very best Oz book not written by Baum is The Magical Mimics of Oz by Jack Snow (his other one, The Shaggy Man of Oz) is not that great.

Two books by Edward Einhorn, Paradox in Oz and The Living House of Oz are also excellent.
Old 10-13-2017, 07:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
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My favorite character is Jack Pumpkinhead. Silly goes a long way with me.

My favorite book is the Marvelous Land of Oz. My Dad read the Baum Oz books to me and my sisters as young children, and Mombi scared us all. It may have been his delivery.
Old 10-13-2017, 09:08 AM
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Favourite character must be Professor H. M. Wogglebug, T. E.

I love a good skewering of the over-educated fool.
The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not represent any other persons, organizations, spirits, thinking machines, hive minds or other sentient beings on this world or any adjacent dimensions in the multiverse.
Old 10-13-2017, 01:52 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Santa Clara, CA
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I read all the Baums and some of the Thompsons (the ones my mother happened to own) exhaustively as a kid. So I guess the ones that are best are the ones where bits of them still stick in my mind, many years later:

-I loved the clever resolution of, I think, The Emerald City of Oz, where all the baddies are digging a tunnel that's going to pop up in the garden of Ozma's palace
-I loved Billina the hen wandering around the Nome King's palace un-transforming all the Ozians

I certainly don't remember, as a child, noticing a dropoff in quality between Baums and Thompsons. Who doesn't love Terrybubble, the animated dinosaur skeleton?
This post is merely corroborative detail, intended to add artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative

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