Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Marvelous Land of Oz, by L. Frank Baum

The Marvelous Land of OzWe get to see a whole new cast of characters in this installment of the Oz books. We start out with Tip, a young boy who lives with the witch Mombie.  Tip runs away, with his creation Jack Pumpkinhead, to explore the lands of Oz, and make his way to the Emerald City to meet the Scarecrow, now crowned King.  Many adventures ensue, and at the end, Tip learns a surprising fact about his background.

I have long since been a fan of the Oz stories, and things Oz related.  While I loved the old MGM movie, the books go so much deeper into the mythology of the Land of Oz.  In fact, fans of the movie would hardly recognize this book as the same setting for Judy Garland's skipping and singing.

Baum created a magic and wonder that few others have been able to capture.  In this book, we see some of his previous characters, such as the Scarecrow and Tin Man, but we meet a new protagonist in Tip, and he brings new life to Oz.

One thing I did find quite interesting in the book was the theme on gender.  First we have girl rebel soldiers taking over the Emerald City, and forcing the men to do the women's work.  The we have a boy who turns out to be a girl, who has been magically transformed.  Both examples are relevant to the way gender is handled today.

All in all, I found the book to be a great read, good for children and adults.  I cannot wait to continue my Ozian adventures.

This book is from my personal library.