Friday, September 9, 2011

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

L. Frank Baum's classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is often a surprise to those only familiar with the The Wizard of Oz Movie.

This book is one of those that teachers love to assign. It is very easy to discover which students have read the book and those who are depending on multiple viewings of the movie to get through the required readings. Those familiar with the movie and the book can quickly provide a list of background and plot information that differs. The ruby red slippers that most people associate with the Wizard of Oz are in actually from another Baum story. Dorothy's shoes were not ruby but silver in the original story.

The political relationships among the kingdoms in Oz are far more complicated than the movie ever hinted at during Dorothy's journey through Oz. Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion have political ambitions that never seem to be hinted at in the movie.

If you have not explored Baum's original work, it makes an interesting read aloud. It also is a great chance to explore the ideas of compare and contrast with children who are familiar with the original movie. If they have not seen the movie, try reading the book first and then watch the movie. It is a great chance to practice these skills in an informal way.


  1. The Wizard of Oz has always been a favorite in my family. Maybe we need to pull it out for a more in depth conversation about it this year. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Bailey, The Wizard of Oz in in our queue of books to read aloud this year, along with some other classics (Alice, Peter Pan, and The Wind in the Willows). My dd is finishing up Harry Potter (book, movie, book, movie, etc.) and I think a compare and contrast of the book and movie of The Wizard of Ox would make a great follow-up! Thanks for the suggestion.