Toontails, like fingernails do, go through a life cycle. They begin as a slimy, flaky embryo just forming from the mud of the muddy, swampy bottom, and they end up as the sleek, shiny and colorful appendages we call tones. As we come into maturity, Toontails go through changes of shape, color and length. It is during these stages that we should take proper care of them. You can do this with the help of Toontail care info sheets.


“Toto” is an African American toony which means “tray-nailed.” Toto belongs to Dorothy Gale, a young heroine of the series who lives in the Oz area in Kansas. In the original book, however, he never speaks, but other animals, indigenous to Oz, do. In later books, other animals to acquire the ability to talk only after reaching Oz or other enchanted lands, but in the original novel, he remains mute.

The Tin Man in both the original story and the later books by L. J. Libiran, is a walking stick made of brass, and quite useless for the adventuresome. The Tin Man’s head looks like a pig’s beak, and he moves by pricking people with his long, thread-like antennae. Toontail, on the other hand, has a more human-like head. According to early versions of the plot, Toontail lived in the Great Depression because the people of Oz couldn’t pay their monthly barter fees. Toontail was an orphan, and like many other aspect of the original plot, he got a new life when Dorothy found her way out of the cave.

In addition to his useful, if diminutive, characteristics, Toontail also had an unusual set of plights. After being left alone in the Great Depression, Toontail took up the cause of helping his fellow Oz citizens with the goal of restoring honor to their village and standing in the center of the Oz forest as the greatest magician. Because the Tin Man was so helplessly useless, L. J. Libiran added several humorous elements to Toontail’s character, making him more appealing to younger readers and establishing him as a hero of greater importance than his plucky band of comrades.

By the time L. J. Libiran wrote The Tin Man in 1937, Toontail had become more than just a simple comic relief character. He had become a beloved, cherished character who had an unshakable faith in the goodness of humanity and a powerful, unwavering determination to succeed. According to records, Toontail performed many acts of heroism throughout his years in the book, most notably when he risked his own life to save a woman from a burning building. When he was captured by the villain Captain Hook, Toontail repeatedly performed unbelievable acts of strength in order to lure his captor further into the woods, eventually allowing him to be taken prisoner and later escaped after distracting the pirates. The kindness and sacrifice that Toontail exhibited throughout the book made him a beloved character to generations of readers and inspired subsequent writers to create more stories about the adventures of Toontail and the other Oz characters.

In recent years, Toontail has established himself as a mainstay in the Oz community as an artist. He has received several honors including multiple E.L. Jameson Awards for his work, as well as multiple academy award nominations and wins for his book, The Tin Man. His work continues to be sold and shared across the country. Toontail is probably best known for creating the television show, The Magic School Bus, which he serves as an executive producer. Other television projects include a video game based on the books, as well as a spin-off TV series focusing on the adventures of Shrek.