Saturday, November 25, 2006

My latest Oz readings

A three-fer this time around, and two of them are vintage:

  • With Powder on my Nose by Billie Burke. Yes, that Billie Burke. It's a somewhat autobiographical advice book, with essays about food, exercise, relationships, keeping house, that sort of thing. It came out in 1959, so she was in her '70s by then, but it sounds like she still had an active, fulfilling life going then. It's an interesting snapshot of society at the time, and a more mature woman's place in it, but a lot of it also still rings true. At any rate, this was a quick, entertaining read, if nothing else.
  • A copy of the script L. Frank Baum submitted to the Library of Congress for the 1902 stage version of The Wizard of Oz. Wow! For all that I've ever read about or heard about this show, this was the first time I've ever had the chance to read it. I know a lot of changes were made during the run of the show, but this at least gives something of an idea. To all of those who complain about how MGM ruined The Wizard of Oz with all of the changes they made to the story to make the famous film version, all I can say is, you ain't seen nothing! And these changes were all made by L. Frank Baum himself!
  • Predicting the Future with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a fascinating little book meant to be used by classroom teachers. This curriculum breaks The Wonderful Wizard of Oz down into chapters, and uses each as a launching point for discussions or assignments about how the book predicted things that would happen in the next one hundred years (this book came out in 2000), and invites students to look ahead and predict their own futures. As a teacher, all I can say that it's a lot of fun and would give some language arts or social studies teachers a lot of good ideas for using the book in their classes.

And one very cool item came in the mail today: the 2007 Dorothy calendar, based on the comic book. It looks good! Laura and I each won a copy thanks to the October contest (for which you all had to put up with lots of plugs for the book, thanks for your patience). I'm keeping one up in my Oz room, and the other is going to the winner of the quiz at the last Oogaboo Rendezvous.

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