Pickings from the Poetree


The Cheerful Citizens of Oz, by Ruth Plumly Thompson – Since this is just a book of poems about Oz characters, there isn’t too much to say about it. They’re in Thompson’s typical light style of verse, pleasant enough but nothing poetically amazing. Most of her character choices are obvious, aside from the Umbrellaphant, a suggestion from Fred Meyer.

The oddest selection in the bunch is Breakfast the Bananny Goat, an original Thompson character but not a significant one, as she only shows up in a few chapters of one book. A few other interesting points:

  • Sir Hokus’ true identity, as revealed in The Yellow Knight of Oz, is ignored in his poem.
  • The Umbrellaphant’s poem indicates that he’s Tandy’s companion, while in Captain Salt his master is the magician Boglodore. Are we supposed to assume that Boglodore gave him to the young king, or is there more than one Umbrellaphant?
  • Rob Roy MacVeigh’s illustration for “The Wonderful Land of Oz” shows mostly existing Oz books, but also something called Ding Dong of Oz, showing a bell with eyes on the spine and crediting Reilly & Lee as publishers. There’s also a Disney edition of Pinocchio, for some reason. I have to wonder what kind of character Ding Dong would be, and what sort of adventures he would have. Since he’s a bell, he might be somehow related to John R. Neill’s Nota-Bells, although they wear the bells for hats rather than having their faces on them.
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