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Best known as the author of the Wizard of Oz stories, L. Frank Baum (1856-1919) wrote many other fantasy novels, in addition to poems, short stories, and scripts for stage and screen.
In the first sequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a boy named Tip builds a pumpkin-headed stickman that he animates with magic and calls Jack Pumpkinhead. Their adventure begins when the two run away from Tip's evil-sorceress guardian, eventually finding themselves in the company of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and Glinda the Good Witch, along with several other unusual folk, on a quest to determine the legitimate ruler of the Emerald City now that the Wizard has departed. Narrator Tara Sands lends the many characters distinct and appropriate voices. However, at times, her delivery is somewhat stiff and affected, almost like a teacher reading a picture book to small children, rather than an actress embodying a role. Ages 10-up. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Gr 3 Up-The second book in Baum's Oz series and the sequel to The Wizard of Oz features many of the elements of the original story and introduces several new characters, including Tip, a young rascal, his guardian Mombi, a witch, and several sidekicks, including Jack Pumpkinhead, They journey to the Emerald City to escape Mombi's wrath and learn that the Scarecrow, the city ruler, has been displaced by General JinJin and her all-girl army, armed with knitting needles. In an effort to restore the Scarecrow to his throne, they travel to the Winkie kingdom ruled by the Tin Woodmen and search out the good witch Glinda. Other helpers include a flying beast named Gump, a highly educated Wogglebug, and some field mice. Narrator Tara Sands deftly moves from one quirky character to another, creating a unique accent and vocal range for each one and giving them emotional depth. For example, Tip's mischievous nature is apparent as he plots to scare Mombie and General JinJin has an authoritative voice as she leads her troops forward. A successful continuation of a much loved story with spot-on narration that will attract new fans.-Edie Ching, University of Maryland, College Park (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.