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Kabumpo in Oz 1922 | First Edition Identification Guide

Kabumpo in Oz (1922) is the sixteenth Oz book, and the second written by Ruth Plumly Thompson. It was the first Oz book fully credited to her. (Her first, The Royal Book of Oz, was wrongly credited to L. Frank Baum on the cover.)


Thompson - Kabumpo In Oz 1922 First Printing
Kabumpo in Oz 1922 first printing

During Prince Pompadore of Pumperdink’s eighteenth birthday celebration, his birthday cake explodes, revealing a magic scroll, a magic mirror, and a doorknob. The scroll warns the prince that if he doesn’t wed a “proper princess” within seven days, his entire kingdom will disappear. The prince, along with the kingdom’s wise elephant Kabumpo, set off on an adventure to the Emerald City so Pompa can marry Princess Ozma, the only “proper princess” the Elegant Elephant can think of as worthy of his prince.

Meanwhile, Ruggedo the Gnome King (Thompson “corrected” Baum’s spelling of “Nome”) finds Glegg’s Box of Mixed Magic while tunnelling under the Emerald City. After he brings a wooden doll, Peg Amy, to life, and makes Wag the rabbit the size of a man, Ruggedo turns himself into a giant. This means that Ozma’s palace gets stuck on his head, and in a panic he runs off to Ev with it.

After many adventures in the strange lands of Rith Metic, the Illumi Nation, and the Soup Sea, Pompadore and Kabumpo arrive in the Emerald City to find Ozma missing. They set off to find her and eventually meet up with Wag and Peg Amy. The group reaches the edge of the Deadly Desert and is hijacked by the Runaway Country, a conscious, talking, mobile piece of land. It carries them over the desert to Ev.

Eventually, Peg Amy is revealed to be the princess of Sun Top Mountain (she was turned into a tree by the evil magician J. Glegg when she refused to marry him, then Cap’n Bill took part of the tree and carved her into a wooden doll for Trot), regains her original human form, and Pompadore marries her.

First Edition Book Identification Points

Please refer to the gallery for detailed images of binding(s) and dust jackets.

Ruth Plumly Thompson - Kabumpo in Oz 1922 First Edition Identification Points
YearTitlePublisherFirst edition/printing identification points
1922Kabumpo in OzThe Reilly & Lee Co., [1922]First edition. Illustrated by John R. Neill, 297 pages.

Textual points: What are almost certainly the earliest copies have a half-title following the ownership leaf: an elephant with “KABUMPO   |   IN OZ” lettered on his robe (“OZ” is a stylized device with the “Z” within the “O”). A portrait of Princess Dorothy appears on page [299]. Pictorial self-endpapers in black and white.

Color plates: 12 full-color inserts, some tipped in, some bound in: tipped-in plate facing title page; bound-in plates facing pages 57, 72, 105, 120, 153, 168, 217, 232, 249 and 264; tipped-in plate facing 288. The plates are coated only on the printed side.

Binding: blue or blue-green cloth, with pictorial paper label in colors. Spine imprint reads: “Reilly   |   & Lee”.

Size of leaf: 9 by 6 5/8 inches. Thickness of volume: 1 1/2 inches.

An issue with the imprint of the Copp, Clark Co., Limited, of Toronto on the title page and the spine is known. It is otherwise identical with the American first state in blue­-green cloth.

Later Printings

The half-title of later copies is at the end of the book, and the portrait of Dorothy follows the ownership leaf. The earliest reprint (ca. 1923) has been reported in green cloth and in a blue-green cloth which is greener than the first state, and it has a non-standard ampersand, &, instead of the usual & in the publisher’s imprint on the spine. Later states (again with the standard ampersand) have been noted in very dark blue and in medium-blue cloth, with plates coated only on the printed side. Still later copies in various colors of cloth and of varying thickness have plates coated on both sides. Around 1935, the color plates were discontinued.

First Edition Dust Jacket Identification Points

First edition binding(s) and various dust jacket printings identification.


  • Wikipedia
  • Bibliographia Oziana – Haff, Greeme, Martin. 2002

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