Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz -Classics Retold Month


It's time to kick off Classics Retold month! I am participating and I am going to cover The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum and any retelling I find interesting about it. So be on the watch all month for these. Today we are going to start with the original book!



 

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum is an amazing classic!  I am so surprised I hadn't read it before now.  We are reading it in my Young Adult Book Club this month and discussing how great it is.  Here is the goodreads description:

Join Dorothy Gale, Toto, and all of her friends as they explore the incredible land of Oz. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is American's most enduring fairy tale. From the moment Dorothy puts on the silver slippers (changed to ruby slippers by MGM to take advantage of their new advance in movie making: color) until the moment she clicks her heels and returns home to Kansas you will be swept away and captivated by her extraordinary story.


This is my first time reading The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz. Shocking! I am so glad I read it. It really is a wonderful tale. Full of great characters and plots. Baum creates a wonderful world. I will for sure be carrying onto the other novels in the series. I am glad too that in the book Oz is not a dream. I can't stand when books/movies do that. You go the whole way only to find out it was all fake! The silver shoes in the book/red shoes in the movie has always bothered me too. I guess it was because they were trying to make use out of the movie being in color. Also the characters have to wear goggles with green lenses in Oz so that everything looked green. Even after the Wizard left people continued to wear them. If the Wizard left I would quit wearing those goggles!  The Wicked Witch of the West is clearly not a big villain like in the movie. In the movie we know she is chasing Dorthy the whole time. The monkeys are EVIL and scary. In the book they were so friendly and just really wanted to be freed. I really enjoyed finding out their back story. I did think the story ended a little abrupt. Was a series planned? Or did the author just want to write this one book? One thing I LOVE LOVE about the movie is that Kansas is in black and white and OZ is in color. Very very clever!

I wish that by the end of the book the characters had found out that the Wizard gave them fake items and that in the end they had the heart, courage, and brains in them all along. I think that would've been a better moral to the story. As readers though I suppose since we know that items are fake the moral still comes across. Just think of how many people the Wizard faked out?

The characters are really neat. I wish that I hadn't seen the movie prior to reading this. Because the movie is so dominant in our culture I of course pictured the Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man just like I saw them in the movie. The Wicked Witch of the West only has one eye? Who knew? The later OZ books now intrigue me.. what are they even about? Can't wait to find out. The China town in this book really interested me. I didn't even know about it till the movie Oz the Great and Powerful (the one that just came out). They did a fantastic job of bringing china town to life. The Wizard is the most intriguing character to me. Is he a bad man or a good man? He ended up in the circumstances he did by accident but did he do the best he could in the situation? The four witches are also interesting to me. Two evil, two good. It seems the only way the can gain/lose power is by being killed. 

I am interested in reading more into the series and see where it goes. I love the art in the edition of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz I have pictured above.  The artist is Michael Sieben and I first heard about this book through Huffington post.  What do you think of OZ?  Do you have any favorite retellings? 



Be sure to come back for my Off to Oz giveaway


18 comments:

  1. Ooh first Classics Retold post I've seen this month - exciting! I believe I read The Wizard of Oz, but it was such a long time ago that I could do with a reread. And also read the sequels to read about some of the awesome characters that come later. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I agree with you on some things about the film adaptation - it's so cool to go from B&W to color, and it's funny they went the whole dream route in the film. I do like the red shoes though but my favorite color is red so I am biased. :)

    Great post, and I love those illustrations!

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    1. Exciting. I have posts for all month long!

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  2. I have never read the book, though I have always wanted to. It's right up there with the Mary Poppins books. I want to read both series so bad, but not sure I will ever have the time.

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    1. I know what you mean... to many books too little time. I am not sure that I will ever read the whole Oz series. There are quite a few books in it.

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  3. Last summer, I re-read this book for the first time since I was a kid, and I felt the same as you regarding some of it. I liked the background for the flying monkeys, and the ending irked me, where they don't find out that they had the qualities they were looking for along. We must not be the only ones who felt this way, since they changed that for the movie.

    I don't really remember anything about the sequels, apart from vaguely remembering random other characters, so I look forward to picking up those again at some point. :)

    This was my review for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz:

    http://herebebookwyrms.blogspot.com/2012/06/wonderful-wizard-of-oz.html

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    1. I agree with your review about that edition you read. It would be tough to read on top of the illustrations!!

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  4. I love classic and this is one of my favorite. Awesome illustration too! :)

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    1. I really enjoy it also. Very different then the movie.

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  5. Love the illustrations in this copy! I would pick it up just for that reason :D I actually haven't read the book because you know, we've all seen the movie! Hard to imagine it as anything else. So then when you say the Wicked Witch only has one eye my mind is blown! Maybe I'll have to read it someday! (Especially since I watched that Great and Powerful Oz movie. Bleh. I need something to erase my memory of that.)

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    1. LOL!! I thought that movie was actually pretty good. I did see it in IMAX though so that might've made me like it. Sometimes I think when I see a movie in IMAX I just automatically love it.

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  6. Sooooo cool! :D I love the idea of this retold project. It lets us get around to reading all those books that we said we would but never did haha. Looking forward to reading your posts :D

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    1. I am excited. I have one that I am going to read on vacation this week.

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  7. The Oz books are soooooo much better than the movie...gets me really angry. I think I'm at like book 8...but I love them! They are really an interesting, amusing series. It's nice to see what popular opinion and Baum's thoughts about different aspects of human nature were. If you care enough to look into what is being discussed, it's a deep series that really gets you thinking in addition to having an interesting and heartwarming plot.

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  8. I hope that there is another Classics Retold month this year. I had a lot of fun doing this and have been thinking about which book I will pick next time around.

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  9. That would be fun :)

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  10. I read this years and I mean years ago. You have made me want to revisit it especially since I am listening to Dorothy Must Die at the moment.

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