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.
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