Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz

by L. Frank Baum
Series: Oz 4
Reviewed date: 2010 Mar 12
262 pages
cover art

The fourth Oz book is a lot of fun. Baum re-introduces us to the Wizard, who gets thrown in with Dorothy in a new adventure. An earthquake splits the land open and Dorothy, her cat Eureka, her friend Zeb, and the horse Jim, fall down into a fairy-land inside the earth. The Wizard, flying around in his balloon, descends through the crust of the earth and lands in the same place.

The top-worlders find a strange country inhabited by vegetable people. The Wizard chops their sorcerer in half, and Dorothy picks an overripe princess from a bush, and eventually the vegetable people drive our heroes out of their land.

Our heroes make it through a country of invisible people, escape the invisible flesh-eating bears, fight their way through the gargoyle land (where everything is made of wood), and wind their way through a long underground tunnel. They barely escape being eaten by dragons, and finally end up permanently trapped underground. All is lost.

Except Dorothy suddenly remembers that Princess Ozma could have saved them all along, if she'd only asked. Dorothy makes the prearranged sign, and Ozma, looking through her magic picture, sees the call for help. She uses the magic belt to rescue Dorothy and her friends.

Everyone has a fun time in Oz except Eureka, who is put on trial for eating one of the Wizard's nine tiny piglets. Eureka is convicted and sentenced to death. She escapes her punishment when she reveals what actually happened: she tried to eat the piglet, but it fell into a vase and got stuck. So, technically innocent, Eureka escapes punishment. But everyone notes that she tried to commit the crime, and was prevented only by merest chance.

It's not a great Oz book, but I enjoyed it.

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