April 21, 2014

Please Tell Me You Are Reading the Oz Books???

So....I know my great pal Danzel is reading the Oz books, because she is the queen of Oz, but how about the rest of yooooooooooo?

Because I worry. Please picture me, at home, worrying about which books you all are reading. Because that's what I'm doing. Worrying and having fits of anxiety that certain books are out there, not being read. Like Beatrix Potter. Because we take these books for granted, maybe, and just figure, oh meh. How good can the Oz books be? They can't be HARRY POTTER good!

And here's me, freaking out, and worrying, which isn't good for my health. So let's read these books, and I can end this blog post and we can all go along our merry way.

Maybe I'll talk just a little bit more and try to rise above my Lazy Blogger status.

I brought up Harry P. because here's the thing. Harry P. is great and wondrous. But after Book 3, there is a steep increase in dark tone, age level appropriate-ness, and story complexity. In my humble opinion, just because you might have a 2nd grader who CAN read all the Harry P. books, doesn't mean that they SHOULD be reading them. In our house, Julia and her daddy have read the first 2 books. They'll probably read Book 3 at some point this year, after we get off our Oz kick.

But then....we'll wait. Until she's older and can read the older, larger books on her own.

And what does this all have to with the Oz books? Here's what's great about the Oz books: you have AN ENTIRE SERIES that stays at the same level. There are FOURTEEN Oz books, that one can happily plow through, and you never have to worry about your kiddo suddenly wandering into books that are too sophisticated or dark or scary or inappropriate for their ages (best for kids 7-10).

The picture up above is from one of my very very very favorites, 'Ozma of Oz'. Dorothy returns to Oz, makes friends with a talking chicken and a mechanical man named Tik-Tok and you can see her up there, plucking lunchboxes off a tree. In this story, she meets the true ruler of Oz, Princess Ozma, who was introduced in Oz book 2, 'The Land of Oz', which Julia ADORED. Dorothy and her friends battle the very feisty and scampy Nome King (yes it's spelled that way), who kind of reminds me of an Oz version of Yosemite Sam. (both in looks and attitude)

Does Dorothy looks a bit different to you? Aside from the first book, the rest of the series was illustrated by John R. Neill and his art is sooooooooooooooo GLORIOUS. Dorothy sports a blonde bob for the rest of the books, while Princess Ozma has flowing long black hair.  Don't get me started on POLYCHROME THE FAIRY, who has a dress made from every color of the rainbow.

And let me shout again, NOT JUST FOR GIRLS. There is a kindly Pumpkinhead man, a talking wooden saw horse, a flying Gump, (still not sure what that is), the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Wizard (yep, he comes back!), and so many many many many more characters that are fun, FUNNY, and exciting to read about.

There are witches.

Wheelers. (creatures that scoot on wheels, kinda creepy dudes)

Glass cats.

Princesses with interchangeable heads.

A Patchwork Girl. 

I could go on and on and on, but there are soooooooooooo maaaaaaaaaaaaany fabulous and imaginative creatures within the Oz landscape.

If all you know is 'The Wizard of Oz'.....I feel sad. The other books in the series are so incredible, so interesting, so FUN (really, I keep throwing that word around, but so true....the great hallmark of L. Frank Baum's writing for me, are the fun, lighthearted and humorous tone and storylines.

Julia and Andrew are reading these together because Andrew never read the series when he was young (GASP). And they are having a grand, swell time, and have plowed through the first three books, 'The Wizard of Oz', 'The Land of Oz' and 'Ozma of Oz'.

People. Friends. FELLOW BOOK LOVERS. Please don't let your kiddo's childhood slip away without reading the Oz books. I seriously started hyperventilating earlier this year when I realized that Julia was turning 8 and still had not read the original 'Wizard of Oz'. I knew once she got started on it all, she'd be hooked.

And if you want to give these books as gifts....you gotta check out the new editions published by Books of Wonder. Incredible. Full color end papers. Beautiful hardbacks! I would slowly like to switch out my old and falling-apart paperbacks that I have for these. They are FABULOUS. (and you can also find some of them on Amazon.)

MY FAVORITE SERIES OF BOOKS FROM MY CHILDHOOD. Go. Start. Reading. Them! (P.S. here's a list of the books in order.)

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  1. Yay, awesome! What does Andrew think? We're on an Oz break, because Little Sis flat-out doesn't like Tik-Tok of Oz. At some point, her sister and I will finish it, then we might read Rinky-Tink in Oz ourselves, too, because I doubt she will like it either. After that, I have to start ordering books again, but I'm sure both girls will love The Lost Pincess of Oz!

    Since I'm sick and Mr. B is home today, he has taken the girls out back to start what I hear is a really enormous fairy house. Exciting! Yay Daddies!

    1. Andrew is really enjoying the books! They both are liking the humor, Julia's been quoting lines she thinks are particularly funny. So sad about the sickies, and did I hear ENORMOUS FAIRY HOUSE??? I can't wait for pictures!!!!

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  3. We LOVE Oz!!! We've read the first three, I believe...thanks for the push to remember these great stories!! :)

    1. that's why i'm here!! to be pushy about books!! ha ha ha. they are SO great. really & truly. so happy you've been reading them!

  4. I know, I must get them. My problem is that I want the books of wonder ones, but they are so expensive! I've a growing pile to read aloud to my older boys, but these should really join them.

    1. sigh, i hear you about the Books of Wonder -- i have to be good about slowly and diligently plugging away at it. I just need remember to get one every year (that'll take 14 yrs if I only got one a year! aaaah! ) or ask g-parents to start gifting them at Christmas. I just need one grandparent to go for one of those sets!!! :)