Thursday, October 06, 2011

Dorothy and the Seven-Leaf Clover

Remember those four Random House books? Well, I got another one. That's 3/4.

Dorothy and the Seven-Leaf Clover by Dorothy Haas was actually one of two Oz books she wrote for Random House. Her other book was a picture book titled Dorothy and Old King Crow. I guess she liked Oz! (She also shares a last name with Oz writer Mark Haas, but it doesn't seem they were immediately related.)

Dorothy accidentally makes the sign to be brought to Oz one Saturday morning (only up to Ozma of Oz when it comes to canon references, remember?), and Ozma assumed she wanted to be with her old friends, the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion. As such, Dorothy gets to Oz on page 2, which is just fine, considering the length of the book.

The five (Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Lion) arrive just outside a cornfield, glad to be reunited. However, Toto chases a field mouse into the cornfield, where he gets trapped in a golden summerhouse. The inhabitant of the summerhouse is a boy made of gold who explains he was made gold by a witch. He refuses to let Toto go, and having a heart of cold metal, he is unmoved by Dorothy's pleading.

The way to restore the boy is to have him say the incantation while holding a seven-leaf clover. But can Dorothy and her friends find one? What dangers lie in their way? And can they convince the boy to actually do it?

Dorothy Haas writes a rather good, if short, Oz story here. The characters don't have to wait on a magical deus ex machina to solve their problems, they can handle it. The characters stay mainly in character with Baum's original, and the conclusion turns up a few surprises. David Rose's artwork was still at his usual standard. And yes, it can slip in right after Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz with no real continuity issues.

All together, Dorothy and the Seven-Leaf Clover is an all right little book. Maybe not one I'd recommend right away, but all right.

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