So, thanks for an intriguing take on Oz, Mr. Maguire. We'll see you again when Oz pulls you back.
— Me, ending my review of Out of Oz
Well, I guess he's not back in Oz to be precise. Tales Told in Oz was described best as being like Tales of Beedle the Bard. Rather than a new story about the characters from The Wicked Years series, this contains a few examples of folklore from Maguire's Oz, some of which was referred to in the series.
There are four stories, representing folklore originating from different parts of Oz. The final part is three pages of rhymes and jokes from Quadling Country. (None of those are very good, reflecting the poor intellect of the Quadlings.)
The first story reveals the legend of Saint Aelphaba of the Waterfall, the namesake of Elphaba (Maguire's name for the Wicked Witch of the West).
The second story is more humorous and tells a tale of Jack Pumpkinhead, who didn't appear in The Wicked Years, but was established as a part of Oz folklore in Out of Oz. After being tricked by a witch, a novice magician creates a Jack Pumpkinhead to deliver a cursed lemon.
Story three seems a bit out of the ordinary, telling the story of a family of foxes and how a wicked witch tried to eat the children. But the ending reveals the origin of the ending of Wicked: The Life & Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.
The fourth and final story tells a legend about Lurline's creation of Oz when she meets a couple of fighting time-traveling trolls who she tasks to make something that will last forever.
The stories are not traditional Oz stories in any sense, nor do they feel like Oz stories. They're best enjoyed by people who have read The Wicked Years series and want something to help that version of Oz feel a bit more real, as well as people who enjoy folklore. (I do!) It's basically a parody of folklore tropes with twists from Maguire's revisionist take on Oz.
The book is printed to benefit the West Hartford Library after they sustained damage from Hurricane Irene. The back of the book (which is small, square, and very thin), tells how you can donate further. Of course, buying a copy here will help them out, too.