The Road to Oz, Book Five of the Oz Series

The Cowardly Lion pets his old friend, Toto. Neill now draws the Lion wearing spectacles and, on the copyright page, a rather haughty monocle.

Neill crams in the Wizard, Toto, Dorothy, Button-Bright, Polychrome, the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and our beloved Jack Pumpkinhead. They are not all in the palace yet on the point at which this picture appears, but it is lovely all the same.

On page 163, the Tin Woodman has a tin statue of Dorothy “just as she had first appeared in the Land of Oz” (162), as well as of Toto. Amusingly, Neill draws the statues to look exactly like Denslow’s illustrations, so his Dorothy contemplates the previous illustrator’s.

In previous Oz novels, every chapter heading has received a unique illustration. That is true in The Road to Oz as well, except that the tiny unique drawing, always a portrait of a character, fits within one of two designs that alternate each chapter. The first of these is a sort of Ozite cartouche containing a portrait of a character.

Chapter heading illustration. And, for comparison,
Isn’t it shaped like the front of a thong???! That is my first thought! 😅 (Picture source)

This ornament alternates with a disturbing design in which a ghostly ring of merry children’s disembodied heads surrounds the unique illustration. The way they are chained together makes me think of some horrible monster by NFT salesman Ito Junji (probably the thing in “My Dear Ancestors”). Did people actually find this cute in 1909, or did Neill just not realize it was creepy?