I heard that there is going to be a Wizard of Oz marathon on TV this weekend. Considering that I am an Oz fanatic, you'd think I'd be excited, but the truth is: I don't really like the movie all that much.
When I was growing up, I read every Oz book I could get my hands on. I have a hard-bound copy of "The Tin Woodman of Oz" that belonged to my grandfather when he was a young boy. I also still have all of my trade paperback-sized illustrated L. Frank Baum Oz books. I even read some of the Ruth Plumly Thompson Oz books, which I checked out of the Carnegie Library in Lake Andes, South Dakota when I was visiting my great-aunt in the summertime.
All of this Oz-mania meant that when I eventually saw the movie, I knew it was all wrong. According to the books I read and the accompanying John R. Neill illustrations:
- Dorothy should be about 9 or 10 years old
- She should have short, blonde hair
- The witch is supposed to have silver slippers, not ruby slippers
My childhood self could have gone on and on.
If all you've ever been exposed to is the movie, I highly recommend the books. You can get "The Complete Oz: Volume One and Volume Two" at Amazon.com for $19.95 each to read the stories, but I suggest buying the books individually in editions that have the original illustrations.
Any other Oz book fans out there? Movie fans? Let's talk Oz!