Over the rainbow, 100 years of Oz

The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment


March 2, 2019

Did you know that Dorothy not only landed in Oz from Kansas, but after her return to Uncle Henry and her beloved Aunty Em, she traveled by ocean liner to Australia, where she was washed overboard, rescued and landed in the land of Ez?

She then ends up with her cousin Zeb in California where they are both swallowed up by an earthquake, along with a horse and a cat. They meet the Wizard and they all end up back in Oz.

If that's not enough adventure for you, when finally making her way back home, she ends up on an enchanted road that takes her...yes, back to Oz! Finally in what was to be the last book of the series, Dorothy, Uncle Henry and Aunty Em pack it up to live in Oz permanently.

However, Baum just could not leave it there. He added heroes and heroines with plots of capture and rescue, overthrowing a villainous king ... and what series doesn't need three powerful magical pearls and the rescue of an enslaved group of people, while saving some cookies as well.

The series actually does finally end, 14 books later, with a love story between the Tin Woodsman and a Munchkin girl he had courted before becoming tin, then finding a present for a princess, and uniting with Glenda the Good Witch to stop a war.

If none of this sounds familiar, this once over of 14 Oz books by L. Frank Baum, you may want to revisit your childhood and the huge magical world that Baum created. Or perhaps you would rather touch base with the real life 77-year-old wife of Baum as she works her way through the MGM studio process of putting her husband's first book up onto the silver screen.

In "Finding Dorothy," historical fiction by Elizabeth Letts, you will read insights about L.Frank Baum, how he created the stories and the wonder of the world in early 1900's cinema making, all through the eyes of Maud Baum, wife of Frank and holder of the many secrets not revealed in the pages of "The Wizard of Oz."

Over 100 years later (in 2003) the musical "Wicked" hit the Broadway stage, turning the most sinister Wicked Witch of the West into a misunderstood antagonist turned protagonist. Where else could such a celebrated story of immense imagination end up after a century of adventure? In song with a green skinned witch!

Don't be left behind. Find your inner Oz. Enter as a child or child at heart. We are only as old as our imagination is young!

Good books.

Good reading.

*Midge Lyn'dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.


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