The darkly amusing saga continues in this slightly less consistent sequel to the classic children’s tale of Oz.
We are back in the magical land, but without Dorothy and the frame story. Noticing quite a few differences between this and Return to Oz, the film, I can tell that they brought in material from the third book and left out less compelling parts from this one. I think the choice was good. This book is entertaining, diverting, and charming, but not quite classic. Tip, Mombi, Pumpkin head, the sawhorse, and Woggle-Bug amuse, confound, and contribute in surprising ways to the wayward adventure. The most compelling aspect of Baum’s imagination is making us imagine things and creatures that defy the brain’s logic, yet operate well within the world he’s created. There’s never a scientific explanation to bog down the narrative. Instead, magic reigns supreme, but the rules and riddles it brings make a twisted sort of sense.