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I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for L. Frank Baum



For this, my third year doing the challenge, I am going literary. For every letter of the alphabet I will talk about a book, an author or a character from fiction or myth that made an impression, was inspirational, or caused me to think.


Cadet L. Frank Baum 1868                       


Who could have imagined this twelve year old cadet, Lyman Frank Baum, would one day create the only fairyland the United States has ever known? And who could have imagined it would be in Kansas?

I was blessed to have a mother who read to my sister, Erva, and  me just about every night of the week. One of things she read to us was every Oz book the tiny library on St. John had on hand.

The illustrations by John R. Neill lived in my head. I was Ozma, Dorothy, Betsy Bobbin, Button-Bright, Trot, Glinda the Good. I traveled and had adventures with Tik-Tok,  the Patchwork Girl, the Shaggy Man and put up with Bungle, the glass cat.

The influence Baum's imagination had on my imagination cannot be measured or understated.

I'm glad I didn't see the movie until I was an adult, I would have been terribly disappointed as there is SO much more to Oz than the movie depicts. Check out the Wonderful Wizard of Oz website where all things Oz can be found.

And, he wrote much more than stories about Oz. His was a fertile and imaginative mind. Here's to  Saint Baum of Oz, patron saint of American children's writers....

Do you have a favorite Oz character? I have two, Ozma, lovely girl ruler of Oz and...



Bungle, conceited as he is.









B is for L. Frank Baum Other B influences, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Book of the Dun Cow, Ray Bradbury

28 comments:

  1. I'm ashamed to say that I had not heard of him. We have to see the film of OZ everytime it's on.
    Edgar Rice Burroughs used to be a favourite of mine.

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  2. What a great idea for the AtoZ challenge, Bish! Though I've of course watched the movie many times, I have never read the book!

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  3. I'm ashamed that I never read the book, I've only seen the movie. Now I'm going to have to change that.
    Karen

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  4. I am like Karen, I have never read the bok but golly, the movie is my favorite...I love it! When I was in high school we also did it for our school musical in choir!
    my favorite character is the tin Man :)

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  5. The book is the best!

    Most people will never read it though. Maybe you have steered them to it with this post. He was such a beautiful writer soul.

    Bungle is SOOO cool. Great job on B, my friend.

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  6. I loved that book and those illustrations are amazingly lovely. Thanks for reminding me of Baum's work. Thanks for the great B post, Bish!

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  7. Lots of great B influences at the end there.

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  8. Baum is one of my heroes. I'm so glad someone wrote about him for this challenge. He was a visionary and his OZ books are some of the best of all time.

    Great post and challenge theme. Loved your A post too. New follower!

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  9. I have yet to read the rest of his Oz books! great A-Z post!

    BTW, I got your message on my blog. HOw are you not following me? Oh, maybe you did through my Google Friends Connect button--but google pulled the blog on that for non-blogspot users last month. You can follow me through my email list/twitter/linky list, though!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  10. Oh my. Like many commenters above, I have only seen the movie - never read the book!

    Thanks for a great post. :)

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  11. I am ashamed to admit that I haven't read this, but really think I need to. Great post - new follower :)

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  12. Off to hunt for the movie and the book!

    My parents were proponents of us (three sisters) finding our own comfort zone in terms of what we wanted to do..than making us read or go into any activity for that matter... Because of which, my reading started only when I was able to do on my own... which was about when I was in my teens... LOL..

    So.. I am going to keep noting the various books / illustrations that you're going to show during this month :) Thanks for the fantastic idea!!!

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  13. My sister and I loved the movie "Return to Oz," even though Dorothy was younger. Definitely had cooler characters, in my opinion.

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  14. I've heard the second movie from the 80's, Return to Oz, captures the feel of the books better.

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  15. What a fascinating and interesting post.

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  16. my mom read to us, too. watership down =)

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  17. Hi Bish
    Oh, he is one of my heroes. I saw a special on Baum. He failed at so many of his endeavors and then scored with his books. Since I feel like I have failed at jobs, and that sort of thing, I know that once readers discover me I will have succeeded.
    Nancy

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  18. Awesome, Bish. I grew up loving the movie and it only came on TV once a year. If we missed it, we had to wait another year. I didn't read the book until I was an adult and I was so surprised at the differences in the book and the movie. It's hard to pick a favorite character because I love them all, but I'd have to say Dorothy and also the munchkins - especially the Lollipop Guild! You picked a good theme this year!

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  19. I love your theme. I knew there was more to the OZ story though I never read the book.

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  20. Loved the Oz books. Did you know that when the Oz film was being made, a costumer went looking for that particular waistcoat for the Wizard's character. She found it in a thrift store in Chicago, I believe.

    During fittings, a paper in the coat revealed that the coat had belonged to L. Frank Baum.

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  21. The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies. My husband bought me a DVD of it, so I can watch it whenever I want. I'll have to check out the Oz website.

    Susanne
    PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER

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  22. Ooooo, love that illustration of Ozma. Children's books have some incredible art.

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  23. I was just talking to my kids about the Wizard of Oz, and they don't remember it (the oldest is 11) So we clearly are not watching it enough. LOVE the Munchkins!

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  24. OMG, I have so much to learn. Love these blogs and especially this A-Z. Like others, I've never read the book. You've whetted my appetite to where it's chomp'n at the bit and I'm so snowed under this month, but I have to read this book. I was read to, also, but never this book. That picture looks like a Tarot card or is that blasphemous? I love tarot cards.
    Thank you

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  25. I'm doing the Wizard of Oz for my "W" word -- I think. I never did read the books, but there is always much, much more in the books than in the movies (I think of To Kill A Mockingbird). And especially after reading this post with its stunning pictures I would like to read them now. At age 72, I would definitely see them from a different perspective than I would have if I were very young!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

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  26. Oh Bish, thank you for this. I didn't know there was more than one book. I have to investigate!

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  27. I've only seen the movie for this one. Perhaps I should get myself into gear and read some more classics.

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  28. Ah - Oz! I've not read all the books but all things to do with Dorothy Gale & Co. have a big place in my heart!

    Now I think I'll have to stop over at my daughter's house and ask if I can borrow the books - she's an Oz-obsessive, too! :-)

    SueH I refuse to go quietly!

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Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!