Ozathon 3: Ozma of Oz

 Well, I've spent most of this month doing things besides reading.  I guess you could call it a reading slump.  But I did read Ozma of Oz, which was a familiar book of my childhood!

In this installment, we go back to Dorothy, who is accompanying her Uncle Henry on a voyage to Australia for his health -- an amusingly transparent method of getting Dorothy on a ship, since there is no way a Kansas farm family would send anybody to Australia when they could just go to Florida or someplace.  Nevertheless, to Australia they go, and Dorothy is swept overboard in a storm.  Luckily she manages to cling to a chicken coop, and pretty soon she and the chicken come to shore.  The hen starts talking, so we know that we're somewhere near Oz!

Dorothy and Billina discover that they're in Ev, a land next to the desert that surrounds Oz, and they find the mechanical man Tik-Tok and wind him up, so he joins the team. The queen and all her children have been captured by the Nome King, and a niece is in charge -- but all she is interested in is her own beauty.  She's got over a hundred heads, each more beautiful than the last, and changing them is her chief employment.  Luckily, Ozma and a retinue arrive on a magic carpet to pay a visit to Ev, and they all decide to visit the Nome King and solve the problem.

So the team heads off to the underground land of the Nome King, each contributing to solve problems they meet along the way.  Everyone has something they can do -- even Billina, for the Nomes are terrified of eggs and she overhears the solution to the central problem of rescuing the royal family of Ev. 


Although fairy-tale lands must have royalty, Baum enjoys poking fun at the concept too.  Ozma's royal dignity prevents her from 'pleading' with anyone, but Dorothy comments, "I'm not afraid to plead with him.  I'm only a little girl from Kansas, and we've got more dignity at home than we know what to do with."  

Ozma and Dorothy leave Princess Langwidere (with the heads)

 This was a very fun revisit to the Land of Oz, featuring all your favorite old friends and new ones, such as Billina and the Hungry Tiger.  As usual, we have the power of cooperation within a team of people who are all different and can thus all contribute.


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