"A house without books is like a room without windows." -Horace Mann

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Original Oz Books

by L. Frank Baum

We've all seen the classic Wizard of Oz movie, perhaps even read the book.  But not too many people realize that L. Frank Baum wrote a total of 14 Oz books, all of which I recommend today, both for you and your kids.  The original favorite characters of the Tin Woodman, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Dorothy, and Toto are in all the subsequent books, but many new and fantastical friends join the journey.  Polychrome, the Rainbow's Daughter, Tik-Tok the Mechanical Man, and the Nome King are just a few of my favorites.  These books, more than any others, take me straight back to my childhood because they tell stories that come directly from childhood imagination, unfettered by something so boring as reality.  Baum tells good stories that are easy and fun to read, and will make you smile.  If only I could own a tree that grew lunch boxes and dinner pails, then I would be a happy girl!

The 14 books in order (which is how one should always read series) are:

-The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
-The Marvelous Land of Oz
-Ozma of Oz
-Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
-The Road to Oz
-The Emerald City of Oz
-The Patchwork Girl of Oz
-Tik-Tok of Oz
-The Scarecrow of Oz
-Rinkitink In Oz
-The Lost Princess Of Oz
-The Tin Woodman Of Oz
-The Magic of Oz
-Glinda Of Oz

Many other authors since L. Frank Baum have tried writing Oz books and I have read some of them, but none are as good as the originals.  I highly recommend reading these to or with your kids, just as my mom did with me.  Leave your boring Kansas lives for a moment each day and go visit the wonderful world of Oz.

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