I don’t remember my first impressions of the movie The Wizard of Oz, although I do remember thinking Judy Garland singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was boring. (I had no idea her birthday was this week when I scheduled this post. No offense to the Judy Garland fans out there!) And that the movie overall was kind of, well, weird. I wouldn’t list it among my favorites, although I LOVED the theatrical production of Wicked (not so much the book it was based on).
So, I was happy to discover that the weirdness of The Wizard of Oz was there from the start in L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. (FYI, the edition pictured is not what I read. It’s from the Library of Congress Web site, so it’s probably a rare book. Mine was free for the Kindle.)
As with Mary Poppins, I was impressed by the creativity of the author to dream up things like a talking scarecrow, a tin man and a cowardly lion along with the adventures and dangers they face on the way to the Emerald City. Not everything in the movie is as it is in the book, but I’m okay with that. I was only a little disappointed that the ruby slippers weren’t ruby. Maybe ruby looked better on film than silver? I think overall, I have a new appreciation for the books that inspired movies we now consider classic.
I’ve yet to read any other of Baum’s Oz books or other works. Have you read them? What do you think?
I think I missed out on a lot of good children’s and young adult literature as a kid — and I was (still am) an avid reader! I’m enjoying the journey back to rediscover what I missed.
What’s your favorite book from childhood/young adulthood?
NEXT WEEK: Memoirs of an English Governess at the Siamese Court (the King and I).