Wednesday, January 21, 2009

#3. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz- L. Frank Baum

This was the third book I've read this year, and thankfully it was quick. I wasn't sure what I was expecting when I read this book. I mean that I wasn't sure how much would be familiar, how much I wouldn't recognize at all, and everything in between. I was interested to find that there were some interesting differences between the book and the 1939 movie.
This is a children's book, of course, so there are the obvious moral lessons, like be kind to others, don't judge others. Dorothy seems to be a simple character, but in truth, she is more interesting that you'd think. The reader doesn't get to see much of her environment other than an abounding "grayness" and a brief glimpse of Aunt Em and Uncle Henry before she is whisked away to Oz by a cyclone blowing through the countryside. All we know about her life is that everything is gray; literally everything she describes is gray in some aspect, even her aunt and uncle. And yet, when she gets dropped into Munchkin land, all she wants is to go back home, even though she is, here, surrounded by bright and beautiful color. Apparently, despite the lack of color, there really is "no place like home."
I also like her companions much better now that I have a fuller view of their character. The Tin Woodman, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion are all more detailed and three dimensional, so you can understand their motives and goals so much better. There are also some interesting disconnects within the story itself that have nothing to do with the film; the Tin Woodman thinks he needs to take even more care in his actions when he doesn't have a heart to "guide his actions." He makes sure he doesn't step on any kind of bug, so he doesn't have the death of anything on his conscience, but he will kill a wildcat who is chasing a mouse with no thought, even though the wildcat is doing what cats do naturally.
I really did like this story, and will one day definitely be reading it to my future kids.


  1. I have the book in my library but for whatever reason I still didn't get myself to read it. I'm hoping this year will be the year.

  2. You are doing a great job with this challenge.

    When posting your review and link, put the title of the book for the NAME and the direct URL of the review.

    I updated your information for the 100+ Reading Challenge Post Your Review page.

    Happy Reading!