The Rundelstone of Oz is a modern Oz book, written by Eloise Jarvis McGraw and illustrated by Eric Shanower. Although this short novel is not one of the well-known "Famous Forty" Oz books, it is written by one of the "Royal Historians."


The Troopadours are travelling entertainers — not human ones, but living marionettes. When their wagon reaches the village of Whitherwood in the Gillikin Country, they are enchanted by a malicious magician named Slyddwyn. Most of the group are transformed into inanimate objects, though Slyddwyn leaves the humblest member of the troupe, Pocotristi Sostenuto, free to work as a menial servant in the magician's castle.

To perform his magical transformations, Slyddwyn employs the Rundelstone, a fist-sized rock with a "rundel" (a rhyming riddle, and in this case also an enchantment) carved on it in "flarns," or runes. Puppet protagonist Poco must figure out what has happened to his companions, then obtain the Rundelstone and learn to work its magic. With the help of a local boy named Rolly, and eventually with the aid of Dorothy, Princess Ozma, the Wizard, and the Cowardly Lion, Poco succeeds in restoring his friends to their normal forms, defeating the villain, and ensuring that Good triumphs.


The Rundelstone of Oz was first published in the final issue of Oz-story Magazine in September 2000. A hardcover edition followed in 2001 from Hungry Tiger Press. Since author McGraw died on 30 November 2000, she lived to see the work in print, though the hardback book was published posthumously. It featured an Introduction by the author's daughter and sometime collaborator Lauren Lynn McGraw

The story was written two decades prior to its belated publication; in its original form it was part of the 1980 novel The Forbidden Fountain of Oz, but the author excised the marionette plot from the story that is primarily about Ozma. At one time, it was intended that Lauren Lynn McGraw would illustrate Rundelstone; the Oz-story text is accompanied by the younger McGraw's sketches for the characters in her mother's book.

The plot device of magically turning people (or other sentient beings) into inanimate ornaments reaches back to L. Frank Baum's third Oz book, Ozma of Oz.

For a comparable incursion of puppets into Oz, compare Leonid Vladimirsky's Buratino in the Emerald City. For real-life Oz puppetry, see: Jean Gros.

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