Today's blog post is brought to you by the letter L!
The Lost Princess of Oz was written in 1917 by the Royal Historian of Oz; L. Frank Baum and is his 11th book in the Land of Oz series.
Owing to the fact that my scanner is all loco and such, I have drawn upon Project Gutenburg for some great scans of the color plates which John R. Neill illustrated for Mr. Baum.
As you can see, this particular book features a unique character known as the Frogman, but this book also served as inspiration for a number of characters, places and such for our newest story of Oz; The Emerald Slippers of Oz, which will make its premier on the Summer Solstice.
The story starts out with a rash of thefts, including all magical items used by Ozma, Glinda and even the Wizard of Oz... and as it turns out, Princess Ozma is missing as well.
Search parties are organized and everyone sets out to find Her Majesty and figure out who had kidnapped her.
Meanwhile, off in a south-western corner of Quadling Country, in the South of Oz, lies the small dominion of the Yips, where Cayke the Cookie Cook is also missing her Magic Dishpan. She consults the Frogman for some advice on how to find her beloved kitchenware.
Now that is one well-dressed frog! Naturally though, he's no help and we move on to others in search of Ozma and magic stuff. These include a pair of young boys named Ojo the Lucky from Munchkin Country (you can tell because he's all dressed in blue) and Button-Bright, another Philadelphia boy transported to Oz some time ago.
Them be some stylin' clothes! Not sure I could pull off wearing a hat like that big blue thing Ojo has on though!
Of course, the search parties encounter all manner of exotic locales and adventures, including the Merry-Go-Round Mountains, which give Dorothy and Toto a turn for their money, so to speak.
Others meet the Thists, an odd race of people who live in the city of Thi, naturally.
Now, during his journey across Oz, Button-Bright manages to find Ozma, though he doesn't know it yet as she has been transformed into a Golden Peach Pit. Huh? Of all things to be transformed into... a Golden Peach Pit??? Interestingly though, he meets a white rabbit in the orchard where the peach pit was found.
Hmmm? I wonder when the rabbits gets his waistcoat for yet another adventure somewhere else?
Finally, Frogman meets up with Corporal Waddle, a most unusual teddy bear, armed with a pop-gun! Interesting gun control legislation they have in Oz.
Frogman also runs into Scraps, the Patchwork Girl, who is a favorite character of my good friend, Dennis Anfuso, a fellow Oz author.
Finally, The Wizard of Oz shows up to fight fire with fire and save the day!!!
And in the end, Cayke the Cookie Cook gets her Magic Dishpan back, courtesy of the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman and Princess Ozma is restored to Her wonderful self!
Once again, a happy ending ensues and Oz goes on!
I just love John R. Neill's artwork and this particular story inspired a number of my own Oz stories, including Family of Oz and The Emerald Slippers of Oz. Next on the agenda, after a day off tomorrow, will be Magic of Oz, one of my favorite books about Oz.
James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison of Oz