Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Magic Umbrellas

When thinking of traveling by umbrella, Mary Poppins is the first image to pop into my mind - due mainly to the Disney movie, rather than the books. But L. Frank Baum introduced a magic umbrella for traveling in 1912, in Sky Island, and in 1934, the same year that Poppins was published, Ruth Plumly Thompson introduced Umbrella Island in Speedy in Oz. The entire island travels through the air, and is covered by a huge umbrella.

In his afterword for the International Wizard of Oz club edition of Speedy in Oz, Fred Meyer calls out the various umbrellas Thompson made use of in her Oz stories. He mentions seven in all, some magical and some not, but Umbrella Island certainly is the largest.

Incidentally, I find it interesting that Button Bright's umbrella in Sky Island has an elephant head for a handle, just as Mary Poppins' umbrella has a parrot head. I suppose unique umbrellas need unique handles!

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