Saturday, December 12, 2009

The latest Oz reading

Not only did I finish the next thing on my pile, but I also got a bunch of new items to share, thanks to the generosity of the shoppers in my online Oz bookshop. So, here we go:

  • The program book for this year's Winkie Convention. Yes, we now have a full blown convention book, with essays and other items. As this year's convention celebrated the centennial of The Road to Oz, most of it was about that book. Some were short reminiscences, and others were longer, but they were all pretty interesting. Perhaps the most thought-provoking was Michael O. Riley's "A New Direction on the Road to Oz," in which he puts this often overlooked book into a context of what we now call world building. Besides new essays and appreciations, the program book also had contemporary reviews, an article about translations of The Road to Oz (with illustrations!), and a history of the Winkie Conventions.
  • One of my new acquisitions is Wizard of Oz Paper Dolls by Ted Menten. I've gotten some other Oz paper dolls books before, so I was expecting much the same thing: A whole bunch of different costumes for Dorothy, not all of them based on what she wore in the book (or movie), and token figures of her three friends. I should have known better, coming from Menten and Dover. They have many of the characters in the books, not just Dorothy and her traveling companions, and most of them all get at least some change of "clothes" — even the Cowardly Lion (who actually has several changes of heads, to show different expressions). And everything is based on what W. W. Denslow drew in the book. Everything is bright and colorful, too, and printed on heave card stock. The only drawback seems to be that Dorothy's famous magic footwear is red! Come on, in the book they were the Silver Shoes, not the Ruby Slippers! Now, I wonder if someone could convince Dover to reprint The Oz Toy Book...
  • I also just got Selections from The Wizard of Oz for Recorder. One of the few regrets about my life is that I never learned much about music, and I can't really play an instrument. However, I did all right learning the recorder back in fifth grade, and based on the directions, fingering diagrams, and big labeled notes in this book, I think I could pick it up again pretty easily. I just need to find a recorder, then I might actually be able to play some Oz music. Now if only someone would also do similar books for The Wiz and Wicked.

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