I remember the first time I ever heard of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. When I was around five years old, it was on television, and I watched it at my across the street neighbors. As the monkeys appeared, I ran screaming for home, falling on the gravel driveway and cutting open my hand – a scar I still have today.
I didn’t let that first introduction scare me off, however. I managed to watch the movie a short time later, and as I grew older, I discovered that it was actually a book first. Of course I had to read the book, and I was amazed by all that was left out of that movie I saw. There was so much more to the characters, so many more little details that simply can’t be captured on the silver screen that Frank Baum created and shared with his readers.
Though you might think you know this story, a new version of this classic tale has been published, this time an unabridged version that includes artwork by Michael Sieben who is known mostly in the skateboarding world for his illustrations and designs. This full color illustrated version has completely reimagined the bright shiny world of OZ and created a more patchwork version that works with the story.
Every few pages has a new illustration ranging from a small image of the Scarecrow on the side of a page to a full two page spread of a scene. Because this has a bit of a darker hint to the images – something the book itself does, as well – this isn’t the version that I would use to read to young children. That said, it is the first version that has appealed to the wee ones at 7 and 9.
Prior to this book, they haven’t been interested in reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, having seen the movie and believing that was plenty. As I showed them the illustrations and the fun type used for the chapter headings, they changed their minds. It finally compelled them, and they both finished it then came to me with comments and thoughts about how the book wasn’t the same as the movie.
For me? That’s a complete win. I ask no more from a book.
Written by Michelle who is so glad she gave “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” a second chance after her first movie experience. See what the wee ones are trying via her blog Honest & Truly! or follow along with her on Twitter where she is also @HonestAndTruly.