Thursday, May 31, 2012

Havenly Dreams Beneath Oz

Okay, when I got The Green Goblins of Oz and The Land Before Oz, they came in a 3-pack with Havenly Dreams Beneath Oz. (Still available, by the way!) And that's not my copy scanned. My copy's cover got a little damaged when I was carrying it while walking and sweat made some of the cover get raw as my hand rubbed against it.

The connecting theme of the three books is the Goblin characters from Goblin Grotto, which was explored extensively in Green Goblins. Land Before Oz followed the two leads from that story on a new adventure.

Havenly Dreams (by Chris Dulabone and Marin Xiques) takes us back to Goblin Grotto to look at another side of life in that land of Goblins: specifically, the lives of Goblin children.

We meet two Goblin girls: Raspberry and Soulae. Raspberry lives with her rude mother and is teased and picked on by the other kids in school. She has read many of the Oz books and dreams of Oz all the time. She also misses her father who left when she was very young.

I was wondering if it would turn out that Raspberry's father was Yawner or Dumper, but no, it seems that Goblin women are so nasty, fathers eventually have to leave and never look back.

On the other hand, Soulae is the adopted daughter of a Goblin baroness, except her arrival at her home was delayed by several years and by the time she did arrive, the baroness had adopted from elsewhere and didn't want anymore children, so Soulae becomes a Cinderella-esque character, made to work while her lazy sisters enjoy life.

Soulae's life gets a surprise from Oz when Eddie Bear grants her wish to visit the Land of Oz (which she heard of from Billy Hill), and she has an exciting and perilous adventure with Dorothy, the Hungry Tiger, the Cowardly Lion, and the Tin Woodman before she finally returns home.

And one day, two little Goblin girls eventually meet...

Havenly Dreams Under Oz was a very enjoyable book, though I couldn't help but think the stories of Raspberry and Soulae were unevenly balanced. We follow Raspberry for several chapters, then Soulae, then Soulae's trip to Oz, which is almost a completely different story altogether. Finally, we get back to Goblin Grotto, where the story returns to its former form and concludes. Still, this is more of how the authors chose to write the story than an actual flaw. Being a writer myself, I would likely have approached the different storylines differently, but in the end, I enjoyed the story as it flowed.

Dennis Anfuso illustrated the book with his whimsical style.

So, I'd recommend Havenly Dreams, whether or not you also want Green Goblins and Land Before. It stands on its own as a very sweet story about how friendship and love can make a difference, even in a land of goblins.

You can get Havenly Dreams Beneath Oz here.

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