The Gnome King of Oz
|Author||Ruth Plumly Thompson|
|Illustrator||John R. Neill|
|Series||The Oz books|
|Publisher||Reilly & Lee|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|Preceded by||The Hungry Tiger of Oz|
|Followed by||The Giant Horse of Oz|
The Gnome King of Oz (1927) is the twenty-first in the series of Oz books created by L. Frank Baum and his successors, and the seventh by Ruth Plumly Thompson. Like nineteen of the twenty previous books, it was illustrated by John R. Neill.
Patch is the country of the Quilties, a land of seamtresses and quiltmakers; it lies in the Quadling quadrant of Oz. Its people have a serious problem. Their queen, Cross Patch the Sixth, has gone to pieces—literally; small pieces too. To find her successor, the land's Chief Scrapper and Prime Piercer unwind the Spool of Succession, and follow where the golden thread leads. It leads, in this instance, to a place known as the Emerald City, and to a being known as Scraps, the Patchwork Girl of Oz (first introduced in her eponymously titled novel, the seventh Oz book by L. Frank Baum). The two Quilties, used to resistance from Queens-to-be (it's not that good a job), unceremoniously kidnap Scraps in a ragbag and hustle her away.
Simultaneously, other people are having their own troubles. Peter Brown, a boy from Philadelphia, is transported by a balloon bird to the Runaway Island, where the wicked Gnome King has been stranded for five years (see Kabumpo in Oz). Banishment has not agreed with Ruggedo, who is nastier than ever (later on in the book he tries to sell Peter into slavery). A seaquake reveals the sunken Blunderoo, the abandoned pirate ship of Polacky the Plunderer—which includes among its treasure the magic chest of Soob the Sorcerer. The chest holds a magic cloak that allows invisibility and will transport the wearer anywhere he chooses. But the cloak is torn, and will not work. The ship, however, derelict as it is, allows boy and Gnome to drift to the Land of Ev.
Ruggedo's plan is to have the cloak mended, then use it to fly to the Emerald City and recover his magic belt, with all its power — but he learns that he can only have the tricky repair job done in Patch, home of the most adept seamstresses in Oz. So Peter meets Scraps and makes other new friends, including Grumpy the Bear and Ozwold the Ostrich. Ruggedo does get the magic cloak repaired, makes his way to the Emerald City, and causes some mischief before Peter overcomes Ruggedo with his baseball-pitching talent and the Wizard of Oz makes him visible again. Good triumphs. Ozma promotes Peter to a Prince of Oz, but the boy chooses to return to Philadelphia; he can't let down his team.
- Jack Snow, Who's Who in Oz, Chicago, Reilly & Lee, 1954; New York, Peter Bedrick Books, 1988; pp. 36, 47, 156-7, 165.
- Who's Who in Oz, pp. 145, 159.
- Who's Who in Oz, pp. 84-5,152.
|The Oz books|
The Hungry Tiger of Oz
|The Gnome King of Oz
The Giant Horse of Oz