Category Archives: The Wizard of Oz

How Many Ways Are There to Celebrate Oz?

OSU Marching Band Melts Their Version of the Wicked Witch

It’s incredible to me how one story continues to captivate audiences and readers. The year-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of the movie The Wizard of Oz continues, and this makes me proud to be a resident of the Buckeye state! I thought it was wonderfully creative. What do you think?

A Wizard of Oz Parody?

Yep, creative!

A Kid’s Review of The Wizard of Oz

See? Kids still love it and who doesn’t have a favorite character?

Happy 75th Anniversary Wizard of Oz!

Wizard of Oz Turns 75!

If you look around in bookstores, on the Internet, and on television, you’re bound to notice sooner or later that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the movie The Wizard of Oz! This is a great time for fans of the movie to pick up memorabilia dedicated to this special birthday.

Annie's Stories Wizard of Oz

Wizard of Oz Merchandise

What collectables have you seen? 
Wizard of Oz Where is Annie's Stories?
Wizard of Oz for Annie's Stories
My friend Sandy sent me this card as I was working on the manuscript for Annie’s Stories

Wizard of Oz trashcan
She later sent me this for St. Patrick’s Day!

Wizard of Oz and Annie’s Stories

Of course I’d love for folks to include my new book Annie’s Stories in their collectables when gathering up items in this special landmark year. Long before the movie there was the book, you know. And I thought it would be interesting to explore what folks at the time thought of L. Frank Baum’s tale. From the New York Times, September 8, 1900 (Baum’s launch week of his new book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.)

“In ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ the fact is clearly recognized that the young as well as their elders love novelty.”
Now isn’t that the truth still today!
“There seems to be an inborn love of stories in child minds, and one of the most familiar and pleading requests of children is to be told another story.”
I certainly hope that’s still true!
“…it will indeed be strange if there be a normal child who will not enjoy the story.”
What an endorsement! 🙂

Do you love the story still today? If you’ve read Annie’s Stories, what part of what Annie read in the book resonated the most with you?

More Wizard of Oz Memorbilia

Because the cover of my book bears the cover of Baum’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, it makes a great collectable don’t you think?
Annie's Stories with the Wonderful Wizard of Oz
My friend Jaime Wright thinks so! 🙂

Happy 75th Anniversary Wizard of OZ!

While it’s been 75 years since MGM introduced the movie, my readers know the story has been around a lot longer than that. This fall will mark 114 years since L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published.

But most folks are more familiar with the movie, and I have to admit it’s one of my all time favorites. Since the theme of Annie’s Stories is finding the place where your heart finds a home, I thought I’d celebrate with this clip.

Dorothy’s Visit to Oz Was Not Just a Dream

Not in the book version, anyway. There are several differences between L. Frank Baum’s book and the movie version with Judy Garland. Most people will point out that the slippers were silver not ruby. That’s interesting, but I think a more major difference involves the dream.

The author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book had passed away before the movie came out, but Frank J. Baum obviously had an opinion about it. In the 1950s Baum’s son wrote an essay about why the Oz books continued to sell. He cited reasons juvenile fantasy readers found the story appealing such as simple language, the fact that it appeals to adults who read it to their children. He says, “Reality and unreality are so entwined that it is often difficult to know where one leaves off and the other begins….” And then Baum says something that might surprise people who have only seen the movie and not read the book.

The story leaves the reader with a feeling that it all could have happened just as it was told. And the end is not spoiled by the author’s explanation that these marvelous adventures were a dream or a hallucination. Never attempt to explain fantasy.

 In 1938 the screenwriters working on the film disagreed. They thought audiences were too sophisticated for that kind of thing. In The Making of the Wizard of Oz by Aljean Harmetz one of the screenwriters is quoted as saying, “…you cannot put fantastical people in strange places in front of an audience unless they have seen them as human beings first.” And he meant that literally, believing that you couldn’t just introduce a scarecrow, tin man, and cowardly lion and have audiences identify with them. But Baum did, didn’t he? And scores of other film makers have since then if you think about the genre of fantasy…Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Avatar…just to mention a few.

Even so, the movie has survived and continues to entertain audiences, so maybe you can do both or one or the other. I believe it’s the quest, the search for home and a place to belong that people identify with. What do you think?