Tales of a Considerate Kalidah

Pretty much every new Oz book written these days introduces new characters, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Most of these characters, however, appear in only one book, and even the ones that do reappear generally just do so in other books by the same author. I’m not sure how many writers are likely to let others use their own characters, so that’s probably a contributing factor. There are a few apocryphal characters who have made more of a breakthrough, though. I’m currently reading Bucketheads in Oz, and it features a creation of Phyllis Ann Karr named Kericot. She’s a Kalidah who’s more kind-hearted than most, and hence is known as the Considerate Kalidah. She’s first introduced in a story in the 1990 Oziana called “The Guardian Dove,” written by Karr and illustrated by Melody Grandy. Her mother’s name is Cotrikar and her brother’s Randicot, and when she and Randicot go on their first hunting trip outside Kalidah Woods, she goes against the general impulses of her kind by refusing to eat animals who object to it. As an outcast from the forest, Kericot finds a companion in the wise old tortoise Terrence Oldshell, and the two wander around Oz. The pair shows up again in Karr’s Maybe the Miffin, in which Snif the Iffin saves them from a waterfall. And in Thorns and Private Files in Oz, which Melody co-wrote with Chris Dulabone, Jo Files encounters the Kalidah and the tortoise. I haven’t quite finished Bucketheads yet, but it includes “The Guardian Dove” in its entirety as a chapter, and continues Keri and Terrence’s adventures, teaming them up with some new characters. Also, Keri returns to Kalidah Woods and is put on trial. As far as I know, Kericot and Terrence don’t appear in any other stories, but it seems like they easily could.

Kericot and Randicot, drawn by Shawn Maldonado

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8 Responses to Tales of a Considerate Kalidah

  1. I always thought the Kalidah’s were fascinating creatures, and I’m sorry they (and many of Baum’s earlier creations) weren’t used more often.

  2. SPMaldonado says:

    This was my favorite book I’ve worked on. Hope you enjoyed the illustrations.

  3. vilajunkie says:

    Other than the main villain in the story, I try to stick to as many Baum characters as possible without making it an entirely new cast set in Oz. I especially try to reuse the magical communities from earlier books that are only used once in the Famous Forty.

    • Nathan says:

      I guess you could kind of say Kericot IS reusing a community from the Baum books. She’s a new character, but her descriptions also provide more details on Kalidah society.

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