Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz

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Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz
Jack pumpkinhead cover.jpg Cover of Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz.
Author Ruth Plumly Thompson
Illustrator John R. Neill
Country United States
Language English
Series The Oz Books
Genre Children's novel
Publisher Reilly & Lee
Publication date
1929
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Preceded by The Giant Horse of Oz
Followed by The Yellow Knight of Oz

Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz (1929) is the twenty-third of the series of Oz books created by L. Frank Baum and continued by other writers; it is the ninth Oz book written by Ruth Plumly Thompson. It was Illustrated by John R. Neill.

Synopsis[edit]

A rainy day in Philadelphia means no baseball; Peter Brown,[1] the child protagonist introduced by Thompson in The Gnome King of Oz, mopes in his attic. He finds the sacks that were full of gold when he brought them back from his previous Oz adventure; and one of those sacks contains an odd gold coin. Toying with the coin and thinking of Oz, he wishes himself back in the magic land — and suddenly finds himself in the front yard of Jack Pumpkinhead.[2]

The sensible thing for Peter to do is to head for the Emerald City; and Jack is ready to act as his guide. This is perhaps not the best arrangement — and the two quickly get lost in the Quadling Country, where they blunder into Chimneyville and Scare City. By chance, Peter finds that his empty sack will consume objects and creatures that are scooped into its open mouth. The two also happen to obtain the magic dinner bell of Jinnicky the Red Jinn, which supplies Peter with needed provisions.

The travelers adopt a third member for their party when they meet the doggerel-spouting Snif the Iffin (he's a griffin who has lost his "gr-"). The three then encounter the unfortunate Belfaygor, the Baron of Bourne. He has been accidentally cursed with a rapidly growing beard that he must constantly snip away. Even worse, his fiancée, the princess Shirley Sunshine, has been kidnapped by the local villain, Mogodore the Mighty, the Baron of Baffleburg.[3]

Boy, baron, iffin and pumpkinhead set out to remedy this situation, and quickly become enwrapped in complexities involving a Forbidden Flagon and a talkative and abusive Sauce Box. When Mogodore sets out to conquer Oz and actually succeeds in seizing the Emerald City, the travelers have to mount a desperate rescue effort. Eventually Jack, with help from the Red Jinn (here introduced for the first time; his name, Jinnicky, is not revealed until later books), manages to save the day: with the Forbidden Flagon, he reduces Mogodore and his thousand warriors to little beings "no bigger than brownies."

The miniaturized aggressors are confined to their homeland, also miniaturized. Snif the Iffin recovers his lost "gr-." Order in Oz is restored, with a great celebratory banquet before Peter is sent home, with thanks, once again.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jack Snow, Who's Who in Oz, Chicago, Reilly & Lee, 1954; New York, Peter Bedrick Books, 1988; p. 159.
  2. ^ Who's Who in Oz, pp. 105-6.
  3. ^ Who's Who in Oz, pp. 15, 139, 190, 196-7.

External links[edit]

The Oz books
Previous book:
The Giant Horse of Oz
Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz
1929
Next book:
The Yellow Knight of Oz