|Saladin Paracelsus de Lambertine Evagne von Smith
||The Road to Oz (1909)
||L. Frank Baum
||Adviser to Princess Ozma of Oz
||has an "Uncle Bob", others unknown
Button-Bright is a character in the Oz books by L. Frank Baum. He first appears in the 1909 book The Road to Oz.
When Button-Bright first appears in the series, he is a very small boy, possibly only about four years old. He answers most questions with, "Don't know." His nickname comes from how his parents think he is "bright as a button"; after one conversation, the Scarecrow hypothesizes that the button they had in mind might have been covered with dull cloth.
Baum brought the character of Button-Bright back in his 1912 novel Sky Island, where he encounters Trot and Cap'n Bill for the first time. The boy has become older and more verbal, and greatly attached to his family's Magic Umbrella. He also reveals that he is from Philadelphia, and his real name (or as much as he can remember) is Saladin Paracelsus de Lambertine Evagne von Smith.
In The Scarecrow of Oz (1915), Button-Bright becomes the first American boy on record to emigrate to Oz. He is reunited with Trot and Cap'n Bill en route; and the three of them travel to Oz together. Thereafter he participates in two Oz adventures, The Lost Princess of Oz (1917) and Glinda of Oz (1920), in which he reveals two more traits: capacious pockets and a talent for getting lost. Many of the characteristics the older Button-Bright took on in Sky Island vanished from the Oz books, Baum apparently assuming from the lower sales that he would be too unfamiliar to most of his readers if he had changed that much. However, Baum's designated successors largely left his character alone. His largest subsequent appearance is in Jack Snow's The Magical Mimics in Oz. Eric Shanower typically depicts him in contemporary clothing in his graphic novels, but he has not had a major role in them and may not be recognizable to all readers.
Button-Bright is often depicted wearing a sailor suit, knickerbocker suit, or other fashionable boys' clothing of the early twentieth century. In Philadelphia he has a large house and a governess, indicating that (unlike Dorothy Gale) he comes from a wealthy American family. Both his father and his Uncle Bob are mentioned, and/or appear in "Sky Island", (it is somewhat implied that Uncle Bob is Button-Bright's father's brother).
March Laumer depicted him as an adult and married to Glinda.
- ^ Jack Snow, Who's Who in Oz, Chicago, Reilly & Lee, 1954; New York, Peter Bedrick Books, 1988; p. 28.