Monday, June 17, 2013

The wonderful wizard of Oz

by L. Frank Baum

You think you know the story, but have you actually taken the time to read the book?  I don't remember finishing it as a child, so last week I ordered the audio version at the library.  I got the one narrated by Brooke Shields, and she does an amazing job.  Kids will be engaged by all the voices she does for the vast array of characters, especially the ones not in the movie.  Check out this version for your summer road trips.

First, this is a children's story.  The conflicts are just enough to keep things interesting without leaving little ones trembling in the overnight hours.  Baum's story is a captivating tale of a, seemingly, very young girl unwillingly having an adventure in a strange land.  While some vicious events do occur, the story quickly moves beyond them. 

Second, adults should give it a shot.  If the written version escaped you in childhood, you will likely find this to be far superior to your memories of the 1939 film.  Additionally, if you have become enamored of Gregory Maguire's version of events, either in print, or on stage, this will give you added background.  It is fun to see just how much room Mr. Baum left for expanded ideas when writing the original story.

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