Saturday, October 20, 2007

My latest Oz readings

It's time to talk about something besides comic strips and caroons and Jeopardy!, isn't it? Yes indeed. It's been a while, but now I have a few titles I've read and can talk about. Let's jump in:

  • The Hungry Tiger Press editions of The Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz. These are reprints from the Walt Spouse comic series The Wonderland of Oz, and are well presented. These were already reprinted in various editions of Oz-Story, but for comics collectors, it's nice to have these collected like this. Okay, guys, now let's see the collected editions of The Patchwork Girl of Oz and Tik-tok of Oz.
  • The Haunted Hot Tub of Oz by Christopher M. Dulabone, published by Tails of the Cowardly Lion and Friends. Another adventure with the greatest rabbit detective in Oz, Brewster Bunny. Who is planting horrific images in what are supposed to be pleasant, therapeutic hot tubs? Another fun little romp from these guys. My biggest complaint is that the bad guy is found and exposed, but we never find out why he did it! As a result, this isn't a terribly satisfying mystery, but that's not why I was reading it in the first place.
  • The Wizard of Oz Vocabulary Builder by Mark Phillips. I've heard some folks complain about this book not being a lot of fun, but that's not the point. It's a way of learning vocabulary words in context, not an attempt to retell The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. And in that, this book does just what it sets out to do. The story is bascially Baum's, but there are a few new divergences and some rearranging, probably so that some of the words could be used somewhere somehow. The biggest changes are Dorothy, unable to sleep once she gets to the Emerald City, slipping out and listening to what some of the citizens are discussing (this part reminded me a lot more of Wicked than Baum's original) and the Wizard having the encounter in the China Country, told in a clever flashback. I found this to be an interesting read, and I even learned a few new words. Incredibly, it even helped me teach words to some of my students, as I would pull it out and use this book's excellent examples of how these words are used.

And that's it for now. Next time around (whenever that may be): Trouble Under Oz at last!

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