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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whee! But There's A Gaudy Dame!
'The Patchwork Girl Of Oz' is Baum's most fluid, well rounded, and detailed children's novel.

Recognizing the increasing danger from lands beyond, at the end of 1910's 'The Emerald City Of Oz,' child ruler Ozma and sorceress Glinda decided to magically close Oz off from the outside world forever.

In reality, Baum was tired of Oz and wanted to develop...
Published on January 31, 2003 by The Wingchair Critic

versus
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Edited to be politically correct.
Unfortunately what had been a wonderful series of reprints was greatly derailed with this edition and the taint seems to have spread to other editions from other publishers.

There is a scene where the characters encounter a talking Victrola who plays a piece of what it considers popular music entitled My Coal Black Lulu, with lyrics included. The other...
Published on June 10, 2011 by M. F. Burns


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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whee! But There's A Gaudy Dame!, January 31, 2003
This review is from: The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Books of Wonder) (Hardcover)
'The Patchwork Girl Of Oz' is Baum's most fluid, well rounded, and detailed children's novel.

Recognizing the increasing danger from lands beyond, at the end of 1910's 'The Emerald City Of Oz,' child ruler Ozma and sorceress Glinda decided to magically close Oz off from the outside world forever.

In reality, Baum was tired of Oz and wanted to develop other ideas and projects. But hounded by young fans to provide more stories of the utopist fairyland, in 1913 Baum again took up his pen as Royal Historian.

Explaining to readers that he had begun receiving new tales from the Shaggy Man via a wireless telegraph in Oz, the fruit of this partnership was 'The Patchwork Girl Of Oz,' probably the general favorite of Baum's novels among dedicated Oz enthusiasts. In fact, 'The Patchwork Girl Of Oz' is the book appreciated even by those who dislike the Oz series as a whole.

In poetry-spouting Scraps the Patchwork Girl, Baum introduced a vibrant, riveting figure to his fairyland, one equal to earlier classic creations the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, Jack Pumpkinhead, the Wooglebug, and the Gnome King.

Rowdy, grotesque Scraps was perhaps Baum's last great character; indefatigable and indomitable, Scraps was also Baum's most original and fully realized female character, whether human, fairy, sorceress, or otherwise.

A winning combination of common sense and nonsense, Scraps, a kind of nightmare version of Raggedy Ann, is pleasantly naive, utterly free, tactless, curious, and enthusiastic about all facets of life, including romance.

Though stuffed with cotton, Scraps finds the straw-packed Scarecrow a perfect dreamboat, and finds twig-bodied Jack Pumpkinhead attractive as well. John R. Neill's illustrations of the Scraps and the Scarecrow's 'hearts aflutter' first meeting is hilarious.

A reconfiguration of the happy peasant figure who blissfully notices that the emperor is naked and doesn't hesitate to say so, Scraps, though not an outright trickster figure, approaches trickster status.

Unlike some of the other titles in the series that have a predominantly sketchy narrative, 'The Patchwork Girl Of Oz' is composed of enthusiastic, rollicking prose that allows the reader to happily suspend disbelief. All Oz titles have filler chapters that pad the books and add little to their forward motion, and the Patchwork Girl Of Oz has its share. However, the filler chapters here--'The Troublesome Phonograph' and 'The Foolish Owl and the Wise Donkey'--don't irritate or distract from the story's forward motion as much as they might.

Far from being finished with Oz, in 1913 Baum was still working out the magical laws that would govern his fairyland kingdom; readers will note that those laws applied here differ somewhat from those provided in 1918's 'The Tin Woodman Of Oz.'

Most noticeably, young Ojo the Unlucky is described as a growing boy; in the later books, all characters would be permanently fixed in their ages and physical growth or decline would become impossible (which of course raises the question of who each citizen of Oz came into being in the first place).

'The Patchwork Girl Of Oz' is almost free of the occasionally unsettling, cruel, or bizarre elements that Baum unconsciously allowed to mar his books; there is a brief explanation of how "meat" beings, if chopped into pieces, would continue to live, if not thrive, in their newly minced state.

Unlike some of the other books in the series, the natural world in 'The Patchwork Girl Of Oz' is lushly underscored and doesn't seem to be a brittle facsimile of the natural world known to readers. There is a loving description of Jack Pumpkinhead's pumpkin patch home, of the Munchkin gardens of "blue flowers, blue cabbages, blue carrots, and blue lettuce," and a defense of country living by the itinerant Shaggy Man.

A classic of children's literature, 'The Patchwork Girl Of Oz' is Baum's best, and a far better book than its more famous antecedent, 'The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz.'
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for fans of fantasy, December 24, 2003
This review is from: The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Books of Wonder) (Hardcover)
The title of the book actually misleads the reader somewhat. Yes this book does describe the origins of Scraps, the patchwork girl, who goes on to become a regular fixture in future Oz stories. However she is, in fact, a secondary character in the story. The main character is Ojo "the unlucky," a Munchkin boy who embarks on a quest to save his beloved uncle who has been accidentally turned into a marble statue.
This book offers the usual assortment of pleasantly odd characters, strange magical happenings and dramtic tension that go into all of the good Oz novels. What makes "Patchwork Girl..." stand out is its reltively mature subplot of the importance of rules. Ozma has made it illegal for most people to use magic. The crooked magician ignores this rule, and as an indirect result two innocent people are turned into marble. One of the items Ojo must get for his quest is illegal to gather. He doesn't want to break the law, but restoring his uncle is the most important thing to him, so he justifies it to himself. Then, the reader is introduced to the humane way Oz deals with people who break the rules. This theme will speak volumes to any child who has chaffed under the rules of an adult, but secretly acknowledged that the adult had his or her best interests at heart.
Several reviewers have commented that the end of the book is a cop out, and yes it might be disappointing if you were expecting a big, dramatic magical event. In truth, however, it is a masterful conclusion to the rules subplot. The conclusion underscores that rules are made to be kept, and that breaking them and then trying to sneakily get around them only causes problems. If one admits to breaking the rules, as the crooked magician should have done, and then tries to correct the mistake, it often avoids a great deal of trouble and ultimately works out better.
Overall, this book is a great read for young and old alike.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A return to form for Baum, November 5, 2003
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While the last three books in L. Frank Baum's "Oz" series ("Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz", "The Road to Oz" and "The Emerald City of Oz") were all rather lackluster, this book was a return to form. The problem with the other installments was a lack of a new story -- they were all about people who went to Oz, met lots of strange and interesting people, and had a happy ending.
"The Patchwork Girl of Oz," however, had a very good story to bolster the old Oz formula. Ojo the Unlucky, a young Munchkin lad, along with the Glass Cat and Scraps, the Patchwork Girl, set out to find magical ingredients needed to restore his uncle and a magician's wife to life after they are accidentally petrified. So the story is, again, about someone wandering Oz and meeting strange and interesting people, but giving Ojo a quest gave the book a different angle, a sense of urgency -- this was a boy on a mission to save two lives.
The ending is somewhat abrupt, although quite in-character for Baum's creations, but overall it is one of the better Oz books, a real return to form after a few that just didn't click.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like being a kid again, December 23, 2010
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It amazing how in the adult world we often forget what its like to be a child. How simple imagination can make the most mundane and dull task seem fun and fruitful.

This book, along with many others in the Oz series, captures that magical feeling rather well. Things that would otherwise seem silly and pointless become beautifully crafted parts of the story and remind you that no part is too small to be important.

It was about 3/4th through that I realized how deeply this book touched me. It brought a smile to my face nearly every time I picked it up. It set my imagination into work again, after years of feeling dusty and unused.

I suggest, for anyone young or old, to give at least one of the Oz books at try - this one, in particular, is a great place to start. It does a wonderful job of introducing you to the rich history and world of Oz.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Patchwork Girl leaves you in stitches, June 18, 2006
This review is from: The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Books of Wonder) (Hardcover)
This book marks Baum's return to the world of Oz after trying to quit his fabled story land in an attempt to muse upon new subjects--thankfully, it was an unsuccessful attempt, and he came back with delightful vengeance in this remarkable story. "The Patchwork Girl of Oz" is one of Baum's longer Oz books, and it is also very plot-driven, somewhat of an exception for him. Luckily, this plot--the quest of the Munchkin boy Ojo to save his Uncle from a magic spell--does not come at the expense of Baum's usual humor and story-telling style. This book is very funny, mostly due to the introduction of the Patchwork girl herself, who, of course, quickly became an instant favorite with fans of Oz. There are other new characters who are just as delightful, and I'm thinking here of the Woozy. I highly recommend this book, not only to fans of Oz, but to lovers of fantasy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the Oz book which made the largest impression on me as a child., May 14, 2006
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frumiousb "frumiousb" (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Books of Wonder) (Hardcover)
The Patchwork Girl of Oz is one of the most interesting and memorable of the books in the Oz series. The characters featured include Ojo the Unlucky, the Shaggy Man (always one of my favorites), and the delightful introduction of the Patchwork Girl. Scraps is one of the best characters in the series, and there is something delightfully resonant about this colorful rebel who has far too many brains for her station in life.

As a child, I read and re-read this book many times. I probably did not have the reaction that Baum intended a young reader to have. I left this book with the firm conviction that Ozma liked to make stupid and unfair rules about magic and then punish people for them. If there are camps in Oz, with book 7 I firmly joined Scraps in the camp of the doubters and stayed there for the rest of the series. I was so affected by Ojo having to go to jail that re-reading it as an adult I could clearly remember every word and illustration before turning the page.

This book represented a return to Oz after Baum tried to close the series by closing Oz from the outside world forever. The conceit that the Shaggy Man transmits the rest of the stories by wireless begins with this book.

Highly recommended. Delightful and thought provoking. For little girl readers, Scraps is in many ways a much better character to identify with than Dorothy or Ozma.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The effervescent Patchwork Girl of Oz, April 17, 2011
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rmcrae (Houston, Texas) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Books of Wonder) (Hardcover)
L. Frank Baum officially ended the Oz series with 1910's The Emerald City of Oz by having the Good Witch Glinda cast a spell on the fairy country making it invisible to the outside world. Finally free to write a new series of fantasy novels, the author published The Sea Fairies and Sky Island in 1911 and 1912. Unfortunately neither book met the success of the Oz stories and Baum was forced to revisit the fairyland once more. 1913's The Patchwork Girl of Oz begins with Baum telling his readers that he's found a way to communicate with the inhabitants of Oz via wireless telegraphy.

Opening in the remote Blue Forest north of the Munckin country, little Ojo the Unlucky and his elderly uncle Unc Nunkie decide to venture from the isolated wilderness to visit Dr. Pipt, a crooked magician performing sorcery despite Ozma's strict laws prohibiting anyone other than Glinda and the Wizard to do it. He's responsible for the Powder of Life (first introduced in The Marvelous Land of Oz) and used it on a Glass Cat meant to chase the mice out of his home, but the saucy cat is far too prideful to do such a thing. She's got pink marbles for brains ("you can see 'em work!") and a hard ruby heart she's quite proud of.

Pipt's wife Margalotte wishes for a servant to help her around the house so the magician plans on using the Powder on a life sized doll made out of colorful patchwork quilts and stuffed with cotton. For the past six years he's been stirring pots with both hands and feet in order to create the Liquid of Petrifaction, a concoction that turns any living thing into a red marble statue. After the Patchwork Girl (named Scraps by the Glass Cat) is brought to life, Unc Nunkie and Margalotte are accidentally hit with the Petrifaction Liquid and immediately turned into marble statues.

Desperate to save his uncle, Ojo, with Scraps and the Glass Cat in tow, embarks on a journey across Oz gathering five ingredients needed for an antidote: a six-leaved clover in the Emerald City, the hairs from the tip of a Woozy's (a creature whose body is made up of squares) tail, a gill of water from a dark well, oil from a live man's body, and yellow butterfly's left wing. Familiar characters Dorothy, Ozma, the Scarecrow, and Jack Pumpkinhead make appearances.

The best thing about The Patchwork Girl of Oz to me is how reminiscent it is of the first Oz book. The characters undertake an exciting, many times treacherous, quest to accomplish a particular mission. Like Dorothy, Ojo is a bit afraid yet determined to meet his goal. The Patchwork Girl is one of Baum's most beloved characters and it's easy to see why. Despite insults made against her looks, Scraps doesn't let them get her down. She celebrates her uniqueness and is just glad to be alive. She's bubbly and animated and curious about everything. Even the Scarecrow takes a liking to her.

Mr. Baum came back stronger than ever after his 3 year hiatus and was once quoted as saying that The Patchwork Girl of Oz was "one of the two best books of my career" (the other was The Sea Fairies). I have to agree with him. "Whee, but there's a gaudy dame! Makes a paint-box blush with shame. Razzle-dazzle, fizzle-fazzle! Howdy-do, Miss What's-your-name?"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sumptuous, January 27, 2010
By 
Caraculiambro (La Mancha and environs) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Books of Wonder) (Hardcover)
My mom has a partial collection of old hardbound Wizard of Oz books. Long believing they were out of print, she has despaired of ever completing her collection. For her birthday I thought I would complete her collection. Alas! This was the first one that showed up: it's so beautiful that I wish I had just completed the collection for myself and got my mother some dandelions or something.

In my opinion, you're really missing something if you go for the paperback versions of these 14 Oz books. Those reprint illustrations, but not in the glorious color you're gonna see here. The illustrations by John R. Neill are rendered on thick, glossy pages.

This book has a slick dust jacket. If you remove it, there is still an illustration of the Patchwork Girl on the front cover, but nothing on the back. The book is the exact size as the hardbound Oz books have been since the 50's.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my second favorite Oz book (after the Wizard of Oz), March 11, 2009
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This review is from: The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Books of Wonder) (Hardcover)
For some reason this story has always felt more "real" to me than any of the other Oz books, except the first one, though the second one is right up there too. As in the second book, here we get to see Oz from the point of view of a local inhabitant. I love the classic quest story, and could probably recite the recipe for the powder of life from memory.

And this book feels like it touches on another favorite book of mine, or vice versa. The first time I read Lord of the Rings, many decades ago, I noticed a scene that reminded me very much of a scene from the Patchwork Girl (the Oz book was written first). Ojo is rescued from the man-eating plants by the whistling of the Shaggy Man, just as Merry and Pippin are rescued from Old Man Willow by the singing of Tom Bombadil. Has this ever struck anyone else? And doesn't Ojo sound like a hobbity name? Maybe it's just me...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow to start, but picks up the pace, January 9, 2003
By 
Patricia Overland (Clearwater, Florida) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Books of Wonder) (Hardcover)
Baum does it again - another masterpiece. The Patchwork Girl of Oz is a great book with only one flaw (hence the 4 stars instead of 5). It is really slow to start. Most of the 14 Oz books penned by Baum start with action (the first book, in fact, unlike the movie, brings Dorothy to Oz in the first couple of pages), but this starts with a boring visit to the crooked magician that, while important to the overall plot, really drags. But keep reading - it gets better. Once the quest begins, the story picks up and you will be finished before you know it.
One of the things I liked the best about this book is that it really takes place in Oz. Even though all of the 14 Oz books are well written, several of them don't bring Oz into the story until the last chapter or two. This one begins and ends in Oz. The only thing I would recommend is that, if you are not familiar with the Oz books, start at the beginning and read them in order. Even though the plots of the books are all complete within the individual volumes, Baum introduces characters who then reappear in later editions. While everyone knows who The Scarecrow and the Tin Man are, other equally wonderous characters are introduced along the way.
And if you've read all the Oz books and are looking for other titles that are just as magical and just as inspired, try the Chronicles of Narnia, King Fortis the Brave or Abarat. All will introduce you to other magical worlds that are every bit as fun to visit as Oz.
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The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Books of Wonder)
The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Books of Wonder) by L. Frank Baum (Hardcover - March 15, 1995)
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