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Growing up, reading the Oz books, I found Tik-Tok of Oz to be one of my favorites. Rediscovering them now, as an adult, I find it still delights me more than most.

The plot, I must admit, is quite reminiscent of Ozma of Oz -- a girl and a mortal animal wash up on the shores of some fairyland, encounter the man Tik-Tok and find themselves trapped in a battle with the king of the Nomes. It has been said,in fact, that the plot of this novel came when Baum converted Ozma into a stage play, then converted the stage play back into a novel.

However, the book itself is still quite delightful. We dont meet too many really interesting new characters in this book -- not as many as most Oz books, in fact -- but it no longer follows the tired someone tries to get to the Emerald City and meets interesting creatures along the way formula that began in the very first book and crippled several books after Ozma.

Tititi-Hoochoo and Quox the Dragon stand out as the new characters, and it is the sequences featuring them that I find most entertaining. Kaliko and Ruggedo in the Nome Kingdom again draw a grin from me, and the final few pages have a laugh-out loud moment that must have come when someone pointed out an inconsistency in the Oz books that Baum had to suddenly explain away.

Tik-Tok of Oz may not be the best of the Oz books, but its probably the funniest, and its certainly one of my favorites.

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