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American Fairy Tales

Length: 122 pages1 hour


American Fairy Tales is the title of a collection of twelve fantasy stories by L. Frank Baum, published in 1901 by the George M. Hill Company, the firm that issued The Wonderful Wizard of Oz the previous year. 

The twelve stories were published in this order in the first edition.

"The Box of Robbers." 
"The Glass Dog." 
"The Queen of Quok." 
"The Girl Who Owned a Bear." 
"The Enchanted Types." 
"The Laughing Hippopotamus." 
"The Magic Bon Bons." 
"The Capture of Father Time." 
"The Wonderful Pump." 
"The Dummy That Lived." 
"The King of the Polar Bears." 
"The Mandarin and the Butterfly." 

The stories, as critics have noted, lack the high-fantasy aspect of the best of Baum's work, in Oz or out. With ironic or nonsensical morals attached to their ends, their tone is more satirical, glib, and tongue-in-cheek than is usual in children's stories; the serialization in newspapers for adult readers was appropriate for the materials. "The Magic Bon Bons" was the most popular of the tales, judging by number of reprints.

Two of the stories, "The Enchanted Types" and "The Dummy That Lived," employ knooks and ryls, the fairies that Baum would use in The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus the next year, 1902. "The Dummy That Lived" depends upon the idea of a department-store mannequin brought to life, an early expression of an idea that would be re-used by many later writers in television and films.

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