Friday, August 25, 2006

My latest Oz readings and acquisitions

Hey, I haven't written about my latest batch of Oz readings, have I? Okay, I've been busy, so here it is:

  • The 2005 edition of Oziana, the Oz Club's literary journal. As usual, quite a few enjoyable stories. I'm not real sure why more people haven't tried to write and/or publish original Oz short stories, as there's a lot of potential there.
  • The 2001 edition of The Horn Book magazine with Michael Patrick Hearn's article about why it was the first ever major article about Oz that The Horn Book magazine had published. In other words, another examination of the often stormy relationship between the Oz books and children's literature professionals.
  • Memories of a Munchkin by Meinhardt Raabe, who played the Munchkin Coroner in the famous film version of The Wizard of Oz. The man has led an interesting life, and while the bulk of the book was about Oz, it was far from the only part. The art is also interesting, as several well-known artists (most, for some reason, from or otherwise associated with Mad magazine) contributed Coroner/Munchkin/Oz/Li'l Oscar (Raabe was the first to portray Li'l Oscar in advertising events for Oscar Mayer weiners) pictures of all types.
  • I saw the library had it, so I checked out Bloodstained Oz. Oh, dear. It seems that some vampires have invaded Oz and taken over, and so the Ozites have become evil. Then, in 1933 Kansas, during the dust bowl, they invade and kill everyone they can find. Oh, yeah, this is a happy tale. I'm glad now that I didn't pay the rather large price to buy this new, so I'll see if I can get it cheap used someday, but if I can't, I won't mind too terribly.
  • The catalog from the big Oz art exhibit at the Eric Carle museum. A nice overall view of Oz, and lots of reproductions, but unfortunately, not of every piece in the exhibit. Oh, well, they at least have the list, and I think I have versions of nearly all of them...
  • The essays from the Baum Trust's "officially licensed" (whatever that means any more) edition of Ozma of Oz. Okay, that was a pleasant little diversion. I can't find any more in this series, so maybe they've stopped. Just as well, I suspect. This was one of my recent Amazon purchases.
  • Over the Rainbow, another Amazon buy. This is a very nice art book that uses Maxfield Parrish art to illustrate the song. It's very attractive, but since I already knew the text, it also took me about three minutes to read, even with all the stopping to ooh and ahh over the pictures.

Well, now it's time to take a break and read some of the other big piles of books that have nothing to do with Oz that are lying around the house. But one book that's finally bubbled to the top of my Oz stack is With Powder on My Nose, a book of make-up and household tips written by Billie Burke. This could be fun!

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