When this whimsically fantastic tale by the author of the great Oz series first appeared, it was surrounded by a mystery. Was Chick the Cherub, one of the story's main characters, a boy or a girl? The book never tells, so young readers were asked to decide, with the best answers being awarded cash prizes.
Though the answer was never satisfactorily resolved (and readers today will doubtless have their own ideas on the matter), it is still an ingenious story, full of delightful Baum characters. There is John Dough, the human-size gingerbread man who was brought to life by an Arab Elixir, and has a tendency to crumble when it rains. (He lost a heel just by walking across wet grass!) And there is Chick, the world's first incubator baby; Para Bruin, a rubber bear, who loves to roll himself up in a ball and bounce down from great heights; the wicked Mifkets, the Island Princess and many more.
The entertaining adventures of these curious creatures as they travel from the Island of Phreex to the Palace of Romance, finally winding up in the kingdom of Hilo (or is it Lohi?), are certain to amuse all readers, both young and old alike. Like The Wizard of OZ and other Baum adventures, it is full of delightful humor.
Original title: John Dough and the Cherub
Genre: Fiction→ Children & Young Adult→ Fantasy
- I'm not sure if this novel counts as an Oz series book. It makes no direct references to it, however, the characters show up in a later Oz book (The Road To Oz, 1909), so it is set in the same universe as Oz. While it was not initially intended to be an Oz book (Baum inscribed his son's first edition with: "Too bad this wasn't an Oz book..."), it was made one retroactively, as it were.