From the diary: “January 3, 1981
[Yes, this is continuing yesterday’s entry. Still visiting Jean & Lee.] “I listened to records most of the day and read The Sea Fairies.”
The Sea Fairies is a book by L. Frank Baum, author of the Oz books. Baum had tired of writing Oz books and closed off contact with the land of Oz with The Emerald City of Oz. He wrote two fairy books starring the little girl Trot and her old friend Cap’n Bill. The Sea Fairies was the first of these. The book had been out of print for many years. I’d recently discovered the International Wizard of Oz Club and went to the convention at the Wawona Hotel in Yosemite. At the convention they hold an auction of Oz memorabilia and I’d bought my copy of The Sea Fairies there, not a first edition but a later reprint without much value to collectors but good for reading!
In the book Trot and Cap’n Bill visit the world under the sea, accompanied by mermaids, whom Baum terms “sea fairies.” As I recall the book was too often slow going, with our heroes getting the tour, all those wonders that were oh so fascinating – look here, oh, look over there! But not much incident. There was a climactic battle between a bad merman and the king of the sea, or something.
I see The Sea Fairies on the web, minus the illustrations. If you want to read it!