So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Twinkle and Chubbins

Twinkle and Chubbins: Their Astonishing Adventures in Nature-Fairyland, Written by Laura Bancroft (pseudonym of L. Frank Baum) Illustrated by Maginal Wright Enright (1911)

L. Frank Baum, using the name Laura Bancroft, wrote these six stories in 1905 as separate booklets which were later published together in 1911 as this book. The color illustrations are by Frank Lloyd Wright's younger sister Maginel Wright Enright.
In this collection of short stories Twinkle is a girl living on the North Dakota prairie whose magical adventures concerning the animals she meets there are brought on by her tendency towards narcolepsy and vivid dreaming. Baum uses the animals' behaviors to create amusing fables for his young readers.

I am reading the online edition available through The Literature Network that includes each chapter as a separate web site. The Readability app's Send to Kindle feature helped me load the HTML pages onto my Kindle.

Mr. Woodchuck - Twinkle's father decides to put a steel trap outside the entrance to a woodchuck's home because it is eating his clover. That afternoon Twinkle goes out to see if the woodchuck is caught. Laying in the warm sun near the trap, she dozes off and dreams that Mr. Woodchuck all dressed in evening clothes catches her. He and his family explain how cruel humans are, always trying to kill them, and decide to punish her.

Bandit Jim Crow - Twinkle's dad gives her a wild crow with a broken wing that she calls Jim and nurtures back to health. When he is healthy, Jim kills a bunch of baby chicks and flies off seeking a new home. He finds a forest with many birds and settles into a vacant nest. Rather than being a good neighbor, he starts eating the eggs and chicks from unguarded nests. Led by policeman Blue Jay, the other birds punish Jim, but their kind and gentle natures won't let him die.

Prairie-Dog Town - Twinkle and her friend Chubbins visit a prairie-dog town, get shrunk by a magic prairie-dog, and are entertained at a luncheon at the town mayor's home.

Prince Mud-Turtle - Twinkle finds a turtle that can speak only on Saturdays because he is a fairy prince who has been transformed by an evil Corrugated Giant.

Twinkle's Enchantment - Twinkle goes picking blueberries and crosses a line of enchantment into a land of talking idiomatic creatures like the Rolling Stone, Birds of a Feather, a Dancing Bear and more.

Sugar-Loaf Mountain - Twinkle and Chubbins go hiking on Sugar-Loaf Mountain and find a secret passage to a vast underground kingdom inhabited by people made entirely of sugar.

This online edition does not have the Introduction by Katherine M. Rogers that is included in the 2005 International Wizard of Oz Club print edition.


  • At 10:32 AM, Blogger Red Tash said…

    These covers are lovely and amazing. And what a pedigree!

  • At 6:48 PM, Blogger Orion said…

    I think Maginel Wright Enright's illustrations for this series is her best work.


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