Way back before the movie came out, the Wizard of Oz was a children’s book series. My family has the series and I can remember getting read them when I was a little kid. I think what is the most awesome part of the series is that the wording is written like an adult book. Like you open
it and it’s in paragraphs and chapters, but then you get to the illustrations.
The Wizard of Oz series has the most beautiful illustrations I have ever seen in a print book.
I read that the author designed the books to be this way for a very definitive purpose. He wanted more adults to read with their children, as that is a very important part of a child’s brain development. So he put the books in a format the parents would enjoy (the elegant paragraphs) and that children would enjoy (the pictures.)
Now when L Frank Baum first published the series, the world didn’t really put a lot of effort into early childcare. When children were mini adults and parents had a brood just to have extra hands on the farm.
I suppose, looking back, that this was the turning point for children’s psychology. Baum wrote some deep stuff. In one of the books (after the trip to Oz) Dorothy gets thrown into a mental asylum! Because people thought she was crazy after hearing stories of her adventures. Baum focused on creativity and laughter and adventure. He felt slighted against the world because children who “had their head in the clouds” were written off.
There’s a quote from one of the books in the series; The Lost Princess of Oz. I’ve always used it as a steadier when people mocked me more having an active imagination. The full quote is about three paragraphs, but this bit is what I focus on. It has been what keeps me going some days.
“I believe that dreams – daydreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain-machinery whizzing – are likely to lead to the betterment of the world.”