’s 1903 operetta Babes in Toyland
wove together various character
s from Mother Goose nursery rhymes
into a musical
-- mainly because librettist
Glen MacDonough wanted to cash in on the Wizard of Oz
phenomena sweeping Broadway
that year. Kids (Little Jane, Little Allen) swept away to a fantastic land with fantastic settings (the Floral Palace of the Moth Queen, the Garden of Contrary Mary, etc) allowed for lots of spectacle
to bring the audiences in.
Most people know it from movie versions- either the 1934 Laurel and Hardy version AKA March of the Wooden Soldiers (which includes almost none of Herbert's songs or book), or the 1961 Technicolor remake from Disney featuring Ray Bolger, Tommy Sands, and Annette Funicello. A 1986 made for television version featured Drew Barrymore, Pat Morita, and Keanu Reeves. Herbert's title song "Toyland," occasionally shows up as a Christmas carol on Holiday compliations.