Over the last few months I have been reading Lex a bed time story every night consisting of a chapter from Frank Baum’s Land of Oz books. The first thing Xie said when I told her that I wanted to work through these books with him was “There is more then one?”. It seems that there are quite a few people that think the story begins and ends with “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. Obviously this is not the case.
Baum composed a total of 20 books to the series and it was then picked up by other writers after him. I’m not sure if we will go into the books by other author’s (which canonically add another 20 for a total of 40 books), but currently we are at book seven. Some of the books are great – others it seemed Baum was just “phoning it in”. So when you are starting the next book, you can’t be sure of the quality you are getting into. Though I have a feeling over my life I’ll be reading these again. Lex is still at the stage where he is listening to my voice, but not really paying attention to the story yet. So when he is I’m expecting to have to go through all of these again.
I got into the Oz books when I was around 9 or 10. I used to check them out of the Amherst public library and just devour them (hence why I was aware of the series). I doubt I ever read them in order, I never read any not written by Baum, and I’m positive that I did not read all the books that he wrote. I loved reading them regardless.
Working through the thought process I take that back – I didn’t read any other canonical books by other Authors. I did have a science fiction-esque book that took place in Oz. It was titled “A Barnstormer in Oz”- my parents bought it for me when I requested to pick it up when I saw it sitting at a Big and Small Lots store. I got it home and low and behold the story it told. Well really I can’t tell you the story since I don’t really remember it, but there was nudity and sex in the book. This was one of those cases where the child never tells the parents what the book really contained.
My parents bought be Wizard of Oz smut and never realized it. You can’t blame them, it would be the same as if I bought Alexander a Harry Potter spin-off book in a few years and never read it myself. You would go, oh Harry Potter – go ahead kid knock yourself out. All and all I don’t think it was all that graphic – but it was graphic enough to shock a ten or eleven year old reading it. Somewhere around the time I went to college the book disappeared from my possession. It is just as well, it’s not one of the book’s I plan on reading to Lex anyway.
Most nights we get through a single chapter – some nights he falls asleep quickly so I don’t finish the chapter, other nights he is bouncing around and refusing to sleep so we get through two or three chapters. This is done every weeknight after his bath and before my dinner. He get’s top priority, so every night we have the routine down to maximize my time with him. Get home, feed him, play for a little bit, give him a bath, and then read to him until he is passed out. All in all, it’s not a bad routine.
I’m hoping to do a blog write up on each of the books, ideally I was going to do a write up as I finished each of them. Doing the math of not a single write up so far, and the fact I am on the seventh book – that doesn’t seem to have happened. This isn’t something that is alone related to the Oz books – I’ve finished a few other books this year that I wanted to do write ups on but haven’t yet had a chance. Life the universe and everything like that. Hopefully soon these will get written, published, read, and commented on – or more then likely ignored.
Until then I hope you all have a pleasant journey with me as I travel down the yellow brick road one chapter at a time.