Saturday, May 23, 2009

10 Books A Day: #34

All titles are by Ruth Plumly Thompson, illustrated by John R. Neill, and published by Del Rey.

The Royal Book of Oz

Kabumpo in Oz

The Cowardly Lion of Oz

Grampa in Oz

The Lost King of Oz

The Hungry Tiger of Oz

The Gnome King of Oz

The Giant Horse of Oz

Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz

The Yellow Knight of Oz

Pirates in Oz

The Purple Prince of Oz

Ojo in Oz

Speedy in Oz

The Wishing Horse of Oz

After L. Frank Baum passed away, his publisher's saw no reason to let the cash-cow of Oz perish as well (now there's a character and title for you; The Cashcow of Oz!), so they tapped young author Ruth Plumly Thompson to carry on the books that were "Founded on and Continuing the Famous Oz Books of L. Frank Baum." Thompson took the Oz books in a different direction. She created fewer of Baum's eccentrics like the Scarecrow or Scraps the Patchwork Girl; she relied far more on traditional figures like knights, pirates, djinn, and talking animals. While Baum's heroes were mainly girls, Thompson's were mainly boys. There was also a large dollop of Ruritanian romance in Thompson's writing, as well as more of the ordinary boy-and-girl type romance that Baum tended to avoid in his original Oz books. Thompson stopped writing Oz books in the late '30's, but published a couple more in the early '70's before she passed away in 1976.

These books are in a peculiar format; although only slightly wider than an ordinary paperback, they are eight inches tall! For purposes of the catalog, I'm listing them as softcover. All cover paintings are by Michael Herring.

Book Count: 414.

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