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Urfin Jus and his Wooden Soldiers

Volkov, Alexander
Vladimirski, Leonid
Soviet Russia Publishers

The popularity of the new edition of [THE WIZARD OF THE EMERALD CITY] led Volkov to write an original story entitled [URFIN JUS AND HIS WOODEN SOLDIERS](1963). Vladimirsky illustrated this book, as he did all of Volkov’s succeeding books. In this book, a Munchkin joiner, Urfin Jus, who had been associated with Gingema the Wicked Witch of the East, lives with an owl he calls Guamoko, but who would prefer to be called Guamokolatokint. Urfin creates a powder from some mysterious plants. When he sprinkles the powder on a bearskin it comes to life. Urfin stuffs the revived bear and names it Topotun. He brings a Clown Doll to life, which immediately bites his finger; he gives it the name Eot Ling. With plans for conquest in mind, he brings an army of wooden soldiers to life [Peter Blystone gave them the title "Deadwood Oaks"]. With this army he conquers the Emerald City and the Iron Woodman, with the assistance of a traitor, Ruf Bilan, and puts Strasheela (there is no equivalent of Ozma in Volkov) and the Woodman in a prison tower. They are able to get a message to Ellie, who then journeys to the Magic Land with her resourceful one-legged uncle Charlie Black and eventually rescues her friends; and they lead a successful revolt against Urfin. The Deadwood Oaks are made pleasant, rather than warlike, by recarving their faces, and the defeated and powerless Urfin is sent home. (above information courtesy of Stephen J. Teller)

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