Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Latest Oz Short Story

Yup, I'm still slowly working my way through The Purple Dragon and Other Fantasies by L. Frank Baum. This week, it was another classic from American Fairy Tales, "The Queen of Quok". This is a fun little story about the dangers of riotous living, as the King of Quok squanders the entire national treasury doing just that. I gather that the scheme the councillors come up with—auctioning the king off to a rich woman who will replenish the treasury—was a satirical bent on a popular practice in the early twentieth century. And since the new King of Quok is only ten, he's really unhappy with this. Fortunately, magic comes in and saves the day. I think Baum was much more clearly aiming these stories at an older, wiser audience than his earlier children's stories, but there's a lot for kids to enjoy as well. Then there's the length of time it would take to count out over a million dollars in quarters. (Hmm, as a math teacher, maybe I should pose that to a class some time.)

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