Wednesday, March 19, 2008

We're Off to See the Wizard

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
by L. Frank Baum

E. and I have been taking turns reading this to our older son S. who is nearing five years old. It is the only one of the Oz books that I read as a kid, and that was a billion years ago. The movie takes precedence in my memory. I still remember the nightmares I had about the green-faced witch and the flying monkeys. Anyway, there is a lot more depth and detail to the story than in the movie, which is nearly always the case in my opinion. The Wicked Witch of the West and her flying monkeys also are not as terrifying - more cartoonish than in the movie. S. seems to be doing OK with the fear factor. He talks about what an "instering" story this is. Very cute.

I did not know until E. and I were married that there are 14 Oz books! He grew up reading them and is very familiar with the lore of Oz. We have the whole set and I look forward to sharing them with the boys over the next several years.

Maybe it's just that this is the way I am trained to think and read, but I see much more of a theological subtext in Oz than I did at age 7 (approximately). I love the community that forms between the main characters, and how each of them finds what they most need by looking within themselves. I also was moved by the part where the leader of the winged monkeys says (regarding Dorothy) "We dare not harm this little girl. She bears the mark of the Good, and we all know that good is much more powerful than evil." That will preach!

So, as we prepare for the somberness of Maundy Thursday, the bleakness of Good Friday, and the desolation of the tomb, may we all remember the infinite truth that good IS more powerful than evil. Easter will come, and I pray it is a blessed time for each of you and a renewal of hope for our troubled world.

Reverent Reader


At 3/19/08, 12:43 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

I just started reading the series to my boys, 7 & 10. They really like it, it's an engaging story. I'm planning on reading through the whole series.

At 3/19/08, 1:54 PM , Blogger Reverent Reader said...

Hi Lisa,
I'm glad they are enjoying it. We'll have to correspond about the subsequent books, since they are going to be new to me! I'm not sure if my not-quite-five year old will stick it out through the whole series right in a row, we may have to take some breaks.

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