At this point, most people are familiar with the story of the Kansas girl who gets swept up in a violent storm to be dropped into a world of Munchkins and Quadlings and witches and wizards. Maybe this familiarity comes solely from one particular movie or two, from a TV show or a retelling that became the inspiration for the renowned musical. What’s weird about this is that I’ve seen and read all of the Oz examples I’ve listed, but I never actually delved into the actual writings of L. Frank Baum. So, yeah. I remedied this.
What I learned about the Oz books is that there’s more than one. Originally Baum had The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a standalone story, but children’s queries continued to pour in until he finally relented and decided to write another story, so the sequel, The Marvelous Land of Oz, moved on with the adventures of the Scarecrow and the Tin Man. And then some fourteen books later, Oz became not just a country, but a country with neighbors, beyond the borders of the desert that isolates Oz from everywhere else.
I haven’t had the time to read all fourteen Oz books (alas), but I did get to the sequel, just enough to be introduced to Ozma, who in turn becomes one of the more poignant characters of the later Oz books (my understanding is that Ozma of Oz, the third in the series, was the beginning of what Baum intended to be a series of Oz books). I kind of want to continue this reading of Oz at a later date, because learning about the lands outside of Oz is definitely an experience.
All that being said, Oz has its particular quirks that amused me throughout reading the first two books. Oz is color-coded, something I found entertaining, especially since I’m about to start a new teaching job soon and I see this color-coding thing as a way to do fun activities with my young charges. It is also filled with particularly interesting people, like the flying monkeys and the villagers made out of china glass.
Foodplay and Imagery
Nothing special, just me playing with scrambled eggs and using the tomatoes as the Poppy Field. And the cucumbers as the beginning areas of the Emerald City. Needless to say it was sort of a healthy brunch!