Wednesday, October 03, 2018

The 31 Days of Halloween, Oz Style: Day 3

Yesterday's Halloween star was, of course, Jack Pumpkinhead. So today, we feature the eponymous book that just about every Oz character gets, Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz, written by the second Royal Historian of Oz, Ruth Plumly Thompson, and published in 1929. Besides Jack, the main character is Peter Brown, a boy from Philadelphia that Thompson first introduced two years earlier, and who would get one more trip to Oz two years later. Peter transports himself to Oz (hey, it happens) near Jack's house, and the two of them set off for the Emerald City so that Peter can get home again, but they get turned around and lose themselves in the wilds of the Quadling Country. (Good thing, too; otherwise, it would have been a very short book). A lot of the action happens because of Jack's nature as a pumpkin-headed character (and the resolution of the main plot is particularly clever, in my opinion), especially when they reach one of the Halloweeniest places ever seen in the Oz books, Scare City. The Scares are just as you might imagine, a race of scary people who set out to frighten travelers. The town itself is dark and creepy, and the pets are all black cats. Let's just say it's not the nicest place to visit. Fortunately, Peter's resourcefulness and Jack's head help take care of the Scare's attempts to frighten them, and they make it out intact.

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