Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Latest Oz Reading

I got the new Clover Press edition of The Royal Book of Oz, and decided I wasn't going to wait to read it in its proper place in my reread of the Famous Forty. Since it has new illustrations anyway, I justify it as not being exactly the same. (Don't worry, I'll read it again—the original, this time—when it comes up in order.) I hear there were a few minor textual tweaks to reflect changing attitudes, but I didn't notice anything. The big draw for this edition is the new illustrations by Sara Richard. She has a more modern, colorful, dynamic style that is certainly different, and leaves out a lot of the issues with Neill's originals (she barely shows anything of the Silver Islands, and the only inhabitant she shows is Happy Toko). I suspect, however, that these may not age any better than Neill's. They clearly show who the characters are, however. I was especially amused by Ozma's bangs hanging so far over her face, I was expecting her to sing "Chandelier". At any rate, it's nice to see someone taking Ruth Plumly Thompson seriously as an author, and while I doubt this edition won't make anyone forget about the original, it does make for a nice complement.

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