L. Frank Baum (1856-1919), author of "The Wizard of Oz" and thirteen more Oz books, created many other appealing fantasies for children. Writing under the pseudonym of Laura Bancroft, Baum related the adventures of Twinkle in these stories for small children that, like the Oz books, have something to say to adults as well. Growing up in the village of Edgeley on the North Dakota prairie, Twinkle is an inquisitive little farm girl who is constantly swept away into the worlds of enchantment surrounding her. She and her friend Chubbins are miniaturized by a prairie dog magician and discover the secret life of a prairie dog town. Twinkle falls asleep by a woodchuck hole and suddenly finds herself the prisoner of a well-dressed, very bourgeois Mr. Woodchuck. In another tale, Twinkle's murderous crow pays a dear price for his actions. Climbing Sugar Loaf Mountain in the Ozarks, Twinkle and Chubbins enter a world of sugar people, whose society mirrors that of humans in some unsettling ways. In "Policeman Bluejay," the children are transformed into larks by the hideous tuxix, are befriended by Policeman Bluejay, and enter a world of birds that casts disturbing light on the world of humans. Originally, all of these stories were published separately. Baum wanted them to be reissued in a single volume, as they are here for the first time.
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