(Cover image via Goodreads; This is not the specific edition I read. Rather I read the one contained within the Barnes & Noble collection of Oz stories.)
I found this installment much more enjoyable than Book 4 (Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz). While this one also had only vague allusions to a proper plot, and had some annoying characters, the entire thing felt more purposeful and more like the first three stories were. We had some proper adventuring in the beginning (I was excited to finally read about the Scoodlers and was not disappointed with them at all… horrifyingly AWESOME) and in the end we’re introduced via multiple parades, to a variety of characters from the surrounding lands of Oz. It was a bit pointless, simply showing off new characters, but they were all relatively interesting, and it allowed for some world building as well.
While the Shaggy Man was a bit disturbing, and while Button-Bright was annoying (I loved the Scarecrow’s comments about different kinds of buttons towards the end of the book), they were more tolerable than Dorothy’s travelling companions in Book 4, and the Shaggy Man did have a useful purpose on the journey with his Love Magnet. Yes, it’s still creepy, but it could have been much worse. Still, I do agree with most other reviewers, that Dorothy seems to have absolutely no concept of “stranger danger” and never seemed even slightly suspicious when she first encountered the Shaggy Man.
In all, I quite enjoyed this as a quick read, and liked how it did set up some characters and additional worlds for later books.