Monday, December 24, 2012

Giving the Gift of Oz

Early this year, I got to visit my youngest brother Daniel. We live in the same city, but we rarely see each other. He's 14 now, and quite well read. During that visit, he showed me his bookshelf. On it were copies of The Chronicles of Narnia, the Harry Potter series, the Percy Jackson series, and a copy of Peter Pan with Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens that I'd given to him a couple years ago.

He told me he'd actually read all of the books multiple times. (Except Peter Pan...) So, I thought "Why doesn't he have the Oz books?"

Daniel also lives with my niece Amber, and last year, I'd given her a copy of The Wizard of Oz in Del Rey paperback and the MGM film on DVD for Christmas.

This year, I decided to step the gift up a notch: get them all of the Baum Oz books. In Dover editions.

Thanks to some Oz fans selling items from their collection, a few Oz fans sending spare Oz items my way, an item picked up at the 2011 Winkie Con Swap Meet and a large order from Dover Publications, I'm not quite giving them all of the Baum Oz books, instead they're getting the first eight novels, Little Wizard Stories, Queen Zixi of Ix, The Magical Monarch of Mo, The Sea Fairies and Sky Island.

Yes, they'll have two copies of Wonderful Wizard, but the Dover edition has a checklist of Baum's fantasies in the back which will also serve as the "reading order" if they care to follow it.

I am a little wary about how well it'll be received, though. Earlier this month, we were informed that Daniel had specifically asked for The Lord of the Rings, and while he's getting that as well (I'm not his only brother), I certainly hope he can find some time for Oz. If he does, I can probably pick up the last six books and see if I can get copies of John Dough and the Cherub and Dot and Tot of Merryland as well.

(The preceding paragraphs were written the evening of December 22nd. On the 23rd, we met to exchange presents. As such, the next two paragraphs have been added...)

And Daniel loved getting a large collection of Oz books, and I even helped get them on the bookshelf. He says he'll read them, though my niece was much less enthused...

And for those fellow Peter Pan fans, he told me had actually read the book and found the original Peter Pan to be more daring and heroic than the typical pop culture version.

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