Now that “Oz, the Great and Powerful” is coming out, it reminds me of one of my favorite childhood memories. My mom was a great fan of the Oz series of books by L. Frank Baum (none of which was the basis for this movie, by the way). You can read all of these books free through the Library of Congress. The books are old enough to now be in the public domain.
My mom had to special order these books for me after her set of the books disappeared during a series of moves. She brought them for me for Christmas but they didn’t arrive on time. As soon as they showed up the bookstore, we both rushed excitedly down there to collect them.
I must have read those books a thousand times. I highly recommend them to imaginative children. I immersed myself in them and even went as Ozma of Oz for Halloween one year. It didn’t matter to me that no one knew who Ozma was. What mattered was that my mom spent hours fashioning a custom crown for me that made me feel like a genuine princess of Oz.
The books are create the illusion that Oz is an actual place, which Dorothy repeatedly visits. The books contain back stories on many of the characters in the movie, “The Wizard of Oz”. The collection includes:
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 1900
- The Marvelous Land of Oz, 1904
- Ozma of Oz, 1907
- Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, 1908
- The Road to Oz, 1909
- The Emerald City of Oz, 1910
- The Patchwork Girl of Oz, 1913
- Tik-Tok of Oz, 1914
- The Scarecrow of Oz, 1915
- Rinkitink in Oz, 1916
- The Lost Princess of Oz, 1917
- The Magic of Oz, 1919
- Glinda of Oz, 1920
Picture is in the public domain.