Toto is a giant, hairy, talking animal who lives in the Great Oz forest. The original story (or telling of the story) began with a beautiful princess called Oz, who was held prisoner by the wicked witch Glinda. Glinda locked the beautiful princess in an ivory box and left it there to be eaten by a monkey. When she went to retrieve her jeweled ruby from the monkey, she instead locked Toto inside the box. Since then, Toto has been trying to break free by talking to each of his hoard of humans he’s made contact with. When a storm traps Oz in his cave, however, Toto realizes that his magic is gone, and he doesn’t have a chance to use it any longer.
In the later books of the series, Toto makes several attempts to break free of the Tin Man’s spell, first by convincing the Tin Man to let him go and wander freely within the forest, and then by convincing the other animals to do the same. In the second book, he never speaks, but other characters, native to Oz, soon learn to talk again. However, in the third book, other animals gain the ability to talk as well, but again, he remains speechless. Finally, in the fourth and final book, Toto’s quest to free himself is aided by the return of the original Tin Man, who uses his powerful magic to unlock the cage containing Toto.
During the late sixties, a group of African-American children living in Mississippi formed a rock band. The name of this group, which goes by the name of The Monettes, is a tribute to Toto, who is their guitarist and singer. The Monettes later went on to fame when their song, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” became an instantly popular hit in the wake of the civil rights movement. Nowadays, many people who have never heard of The Monettes still associate the name of the band with Toto.
The story of Toto begins when he was very young, traveling with his foster family in search of food and a better life. Along his journey he would encounter many animals along the way, some of which were friendly and others not. One such example is Shango the Bear, who taunts Toto about his white face and sings badly. Eventually Toto manages to befriend the bear and the two become good friends. When a storm comes up and leaves Shango and Toto, their mutual friend Bumblebee, in danger, Bumblebee smashes a hole in Toto’s stomach, so that he can no longer eat.
Fearing that hunger would eat Toto away from his friends, his foster father tells him to wait at home until the storm passes. When the storm does pass, Toto quickly follows Bumblebee, and together they save the day. They go back to the tree where Bumblebee and Shango used to live, and Bumblebee tells Toto what happened, so that he can learn from it. With this new-found knowledge, Toto later helps the other animal’s fight against evil, like Yoda, who tries to destroy the peace of the forest. Eventually Toto fulfills his destiny and becomes an important part of the film franchise.
While the musical elements are already present in the series, the book series takes Toto to a whole new level. It includes memorable and beloved songs that will definitely make fans long for the musical numbers. Even if you haven’t been a fan of the series before, you’ll definitely enjoy this book. You’ll also see what Toto looks like after he is transformed into an animal. The book even includes short stories that reference the series, showing off how the characters are like as well.