On her way back from Australia, Dorothy Gale visits her cousin Zebediah in California. An earthquake hits and the ground opens and swallows the girl and boy, Dorothy's white cat Eureka, and Jim the horse, along with the buggy Zeb was driving. Soon after, the animals are talking, and who should show up but the Wizard of Oz himself, back in his balloon and recently employed by the Bailum and Barney's circus. They all find themselves in the Land of the Mangaboos -- vegetable people who grow on plants, live for five years, and then must be replanted. They escape to the Valley of Voe, where everyone eats dama-fruit which makes them invisible, including large and fierce bears who will kill and eat them. So they race up a Spiral Staircase inside the Pyramid Mountain to the Land of the Gargoyles, where everyone and everything is made of wood (although on the way they also meet the Braided Man, who used to manufacture Imported Holes for American Swiss Cheese, then Adjustable Post-Holes, and now makes rustles and flutters). And so on. This, the fourth of Baum's Oz books (published 1908), is weaker than its predecessors. Much of it is little more than travelogue and takes place, like _Ozma of Oz_, mostly outside of Oz proper. There's no ongoing serious threat, like Jinjur's army or the Nome King's minions, and a concluding murder trial of Eureka the cat is somewhat contrived and anticlimactic.
This report prepared by David Loftus