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Grampa in Oz is the 18th installment in the Oz books series, and the 4th written by Ruth Plumly Thompson.

It entered the public domain in 2020 when its copyright expired.


Ragbad, in the southwestern corner of the Quadling Country, is one of the tiny principalities of Oz; its total population is a mere 27 families. Conditions are bad and getting worse; the formerly rich output of fabrics and the lush tapis trees have declined, and even the year's rag crop is failing. Worse yet, King Fumbo has lost his head in a thunderstorm but thankfully his headless body remains active and just has to be restrained.

In this crisis, an old soldier called Grampa steps forward. He and Prince Tatters set forth to find the king's missing head - and a fortune to save the kingdom, and a princess for the Prince, while they're at it. They are joined by Bill, an iron weathercock from Chicago who has been brought to life in an electrical storm and blown to Oz.

In Perhaps City in the Maybe Mountains, the prophet Abrog (alias Gorba) predicts that Princess Pretty Good will marry a monster in four days. He suggests a quick marriage to forestall this fate - with himself as her bridegroom. When her father demurs, Abrog kidnaps the girl and tries to transform her into mud. Yet since she is, in fact, more than just pretty good as princesses go, she turns into the beautiful flower fairy Urtha.

Grampa, Tatters, and Bill meet Urtha in Gorba's subterranean garden. The foursome proceeds on a wide-ranging adventure, "through earth, air, fire and water," from the heat of Fire Island to the cold of Isa Poso; for a time they are transformed into crows.

Meanwhile, Dorothy meets Percy Vere the forgetful poet, the only man in Perhaps City who was brave enough to descend the Maybe Mountains in search of Pretty Good. They have adventures of their own; they get carried off on a runaway road, and are held prisoner by the laundresses of Monday Mountain.

In time, the forces of good combine, culminating in the defeat of the evil magician Gorba and the restoration of King Fumbo's head. Urtha is restored to her natural form - she is, of course, the missing princess. Prince Tatters ends up married to Pretty Good which is pretty good for him.


  • Abrog
  • Grampa
  • Chin Chilly
  • Prince Tatters
  • Prince Forge John
  • Bill
  • King Fumbo
  • Mrs Sew-and-Sew
  • Cinders
  • Perix
  • Soot
  • Urtha
  • Humpus
  • Dorothy Gale
  • Toto
  • Percy Vere the Forgetful Poet
  • Peer Haps
  • Ozma (no lines)
  • Tin Woodman (no lines)


Chapter List[]

  1. A Rainy Day in Ragbad
  2. The Wise Man Speaks
  3. The Blue Forest of Oz
  4. The Baffled Bandits
  5. Down the Hollow Tree
  6. The Wizard’s Garden
  7. The Winding Stairway
  8. Strange Happenings in Perhaps City
  9. Dorothy Meets a New Celebrity
  10. Prince Forge John of Fire Island
  11. Into the Volcano
  12. The Island of Isa Poso
  13. Tatters Receives the Reward
  14. On Monday Mountain
  15. The Finding of Fumbo’s Head!
  16. Princess Dorothy Escapes
  17. The Adventurers Meet
  18. The Mischievous Play Fellows
  19. Back to Perhaps City
  20. The Prophet Confesses
  21. Urtha is Transformed
  22. Rejoicing in Ragbad


As in her second book, Kabumpo in Oz, but unlike the precedents of L. Frank Baum's books, Thompson makes fairy-tale romance a key element in this book. She also introduces an economic motive unusual for Oz with Prince Tatters needing to marry a rich princess to restore the threadbare fortunes of Ragbad as "Kings and Princes are getting poorer and poorer every day." (Chapter 4)

When Dorothy finds his head, she remarks " I once knew a Princess who had dozens of heads and took them off. Maybe he’s like that" as he responds with "You’re speaking of the Princess Languidere" which is a misspelling of Langwidere.

She dedicated the book to her Uncle William J. Hammer (1858-1934).


External links[]

Ruth Plumly Thompson's Oz books
15. The Royal Book of Oz 16. Kabumpo in Oz 17. The Cowardly Lion of Oz 18. Grampa in Oz 19. The Lost King of Oz 20. The Hungry Tiger of Oz 21. The Gnome King of Oz 22. The Giant Horse of Oz 23. Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz 24. The Yellow Knight of Oz 25. Pirates in Oz 26. The Purple Prince of Oz 27. Ojo in Oz 28. Speedy in Oz 29. The Wishing Horse of Oz 30. Captain Salt in Oz 31. Handy Mandy in Oz 32. The Silver Princess in Oz 33. Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz