Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Wonderful World of Oz

Most of us are familiar with the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz (based on the 1900 novel by L. Frank Baum) centered around the 12 year-old Dorothy Gale and the meteorological troubles in Kansas which transport her to another world. However, few realize that there is an extensive series of books which details the history of Oz and myriad characters who populate this magical world.

Dorothy was not the only child from our world to venture into Oz. Betsy Bobbin, Peter Brown, Jenny Jump, Bucky, Jam, and Robin Brown all made the journey and had adventures in this strange, wonderful land. The Cowardly Lion, Tin Woodman, and Scarecrow were not the only companions to these young travelers. Oz was home to such reoccurring characters as Tik-Tok, a wind-up mechanical clockwork man, Scraps, a patchwork girl, and Kabumpo, the elegant elephant.

In total, there are 40 official Oz books. L. Frank Baum wrote the original 14 books, which included The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, and The Patchwork Girl of Oz. After Baum's death, Ruth Plumly Thompson continued the series with such books as The Cowardly Lion of Oz and Grampa in Oz. The next author to write the tales of Oz was John R. Neill, who had been the illustrator for the series. Neill was succeeded by Jack Snow, Rachel R. Cosgrave, Eloise Jarvis McGraw, and Lauren Lynn McGraw. The last book in the series was published in 1963.

At the Curious Book Shop the Wizard of Oz books are one of our many specialties. We have the books mentioned by name above in the shop (at the moment), in addition to dozens more Oz and L. Frank Baum books! We also have a one-of-a-kind, American folk art bookcase near our front counter made by a man who sold us his Oz books 25 years ago, featuring painted characters from the stories. You'll find these books housed in that case, behind the front counter, and in the New Arrivals section right now.

Don't wait for a tornado to carry you to the Curious Book Shop to see our Oz collection!

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