Monday, June 30, 2008

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

For some time I've wanted to real the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Books of Wonder) I just finally got around to it.

In the introduction Frank L. Baum states that he wanted to write a book that taught children as fairy tales did, but without the nightmare inducing villians or monsters. Hmmm. The film with those flying monkeys certainly must have caused countless nightmares. The book does have a witch, but she's not as scary as the film's.

But the book is quite different than the film. Noting these differences was the best part of reading it. Some examples include:

  • The first good witch isn't young and pretty; she's old and cute in a frumpy way.
  • The monkeys aren't scary or evil. They just hae magic powers and in fact they help Dorothy & Co. throughout the story.
  • The Wizard isn't just a giant head. He takes many forms depending on whom he's speaking to.
  • Dorothy & Co. meet a few other adversaries like the Hammerhead men and bears with lion heads.
  • Dorothy had to sew the balloon herself.
  • The frame of the story is quite different.
  • And more. I won't disclose them all. Read and delight for yourself.

Baum has a delightful style and the book reads fast. I plan to read more in this series before taking on Wicked.

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