Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Did You Know? The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

As a follow up to yesterday's interview with Dorothy Gale, we're presenting some interesting facts about The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and author L. Frank Baum. Let's see what our crack team of scholars (?!) was able to dig up.

Did You Know...
  • A play based on the book was produced to publicize it soon after it was released?
  • The book's illustrator, W.W. Denslow, was a friend of L. Frank Baum, and co-held the copyright?
  • Baum credited the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen as his inspiration?
  • Baum claimed that the name Oz came from his file cabinet labeled O-Z?
  • In the book, Dorothy's travels were much more extensive than in the movie? In the book, she travels through many lands, including the Fighting Trees, Hammer-Heads, and the China Country.
  • In the book, the shoes Dorothy is given are silver, not ruby?
  • When he was a child, Baum had a recurring nightmare about a scarecrow chasing him through a field? When the scarecrow had its hands around his nneck, it would fall apart.
  • Baum's father was oil baron Benjamin Ward Baum?
  • After receiving thousands of letters from children, Baum decided to write a sequel? In all, he wrote 14 books. After his death in 1919, his publishers released an Oz book every Christmas until 1942.
  • Ruth Plumly Thompson.wrote 21 Oz stories for Baum's publishers after his death?

Hey, those were some interesting facts. Thanks to Wikipedia for providing them! Here are some songs from the beloved 1939 movie version that always makes me smile. I just love the wordplay in this movie and its music!




  1. I love the movie and the songs get stuck in my head sometimes! I have always thought it was fascinating that the ruby shoes were not red in the book. They are such a symbol of The Wizard of Oz that it seems strange! I never knew there was a sequel! Thanks!

    1. I think they made them red to utilize Technicolor. There are a lot of Oz books--although I haven't read any of the sequels! So many books, so little time...