Given that this is the 2nd Monday of April, then that must mean that today's blog post is brought to you by the letter G.
The Gnome King of Oz, written by Ruth Plumly Thompson in 1927 was her 7th Oz book and the 21st book about the Land of Oz overall.
Now, this does bring up two odd quirks of the English language. First, why is the G silent? Who knows? Certainly not me! Second, I've seen Gnome spelled with a G and without as in Nome. Why is this? Again, who knows?
Anyways, this story brings back one of Baum's old nemesis, the Gnome King.
He's the one in the red, though Kaliko could easily be his brother. With hair like that though, how can you not love'em?
Anyways, the story goes that the land of Patch, just south of Oogaboo in the Winkie Country of the western part of Oz, faces a crisis when its queen, Cross Patch VI, goes to pieces with the pressure of her office. Eventually, it is decided that Scraps, the Patchwork Girl should rule in the Queens place. Naturally!
Them's some stylin' shoes she be wearing! Of course, things don't go as planned for Scraps and she winds up kinapped and sent into servitude instead.
Next to make his way into the story is Peter Brown, a young boy from Philadelphia, who, after a perilous journey by balloon bird, winds up meeting Ruggedo, the Gnome King. Of course, the Gnome King plots to return to Oz and take over... again! Unlike the '80's Disney film, Return to Oz, the Gnome King is not destroyed, just exiled away from Oz. Now, Ruggedo and Peter find an old pirate ship with a treasure box full of magical items, including a cloak of invisibility. Hmmm... Sound familiar?
After the usual shenanigans, including a trip down Soap Mountain;
And after meeting some very unusual characters, including Bookman; (By the way, this guy was, in part, the inspiration for a character I created in The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu called: The Dictionarian), there is a great battle, as always!
Finally, the day is saved and all ends well, including the Gnome King being silenced by the Silence Stone and Ozma sending Peter back to Philadelphia with a sack of gold.
Of course, no story is complete without an appearance by Princess Ozma.
Once again, John R. Neill has outdone himself with some wonderful color illustrations, along with numerous black & white drawings throughout the book.
I remember a movie back in the 70's called: A Gnome Named Gnorm. He would have fit well in the Land of Oz.
James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison of Oz