Tuesday, September 28, 2010
When I was four years old, The Wizard of Oz was my favorite book. Not the actual L. Frank Baum novel—-this picture book adaptation. I couldn’t read yet, but my parents read to me nightly, mostly Dr. Seuss classics like Hop on Pop and Fox in Socks. In fact, I made my mom, dad, and older sister read me those particular titles so often that they memorized them word for word. But the books that intrigued me most at that age were the ones just out of my reach. Although this version of The Wizard of Oz was condensed and simplified for the kiddies, I was just shy of the target age range (5 to 9, as noted on the cover), so there were a lot of words and phrases that went a bit over my head. I loved the pictures, though. The illustrator’s renderings differed quite a bit from the movie; Dorothy looked to be “big kid” of about seven, depicted as a redhead with long pretty braids, apple cheeks, clad in a very girlie frock with black patent leather shoes. At four years old, I assumed the Cowardly Lion was a girl, what with the ribbon in the mane. (I was quite confused when I saw the movie and found out that she was a he.) Scarecrow and Tin Man looked pretty feminine as well in the pictures (and now that I’ve shed my innocence, downright gay), but it’s all good. It was a great adaptation and the illustrations were amazing.
I don’t have this book anymore. My mom is the opposite of a hoarder; her mindset is “if you haven’t used it in a year, it’s going in the donation/trash pile.” Thus, I own very few of the childhood toys and books that I loved as a kid. It’s the books I miss the most. After a lot of searching, I managed to locate a copy on abebooks. I’m ordering it, dammit. I deserve it.
Childhood is calling.