Hello dear readers! Welcome to a new year; a year of books, a year of reading, and another year of writing. Buckle up and get ready to venture into many a piece of children's literature.
Many are familiar with Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." It's been a popular movie for quite a few years and the book has been around since the early 1900s, so it's become quite the household favorite.
"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is a great way to introduce children to novels. It's whimsical, the words are simple, and the characters are fairly static; all of these are good characteristics to keep kids interested in the novel and to keep the idea of reading an entire novel simplistic which is important for undertaking a task as big as one's first novel.
Though this novel is well known among many readers and movie-lovers alike, the story it tells is very different from many others. For example: there really aren't any blaringly obvious morals to the story. Good is good and evil is evil and it's always better to be good to other people. Not that this isn't good to help others, but the fact that there's no dimension to the idea between good and evil is very unlikely to be found a novel published today.
But the fact that the themes of evil and good in the book are so black and white does make it a little easier for younger kids to read and enjoy the novel.
The characters are also very interesting; each main character is static and they really don't change much for the entire duration of the novel. The scarecrow, the tinman (more often referred to as the Woodsman), and the lion all start out with things about themselves they want to change. The scarecrow wants brains, the tinman wants a heart, and the lion wants courage; remarkable traits to have, but in their quest for them they don't realize that (like Dorothy and her silver shoes) they already have what they've been searching for.
It's very easy to see that the scarecrow had brains all along; if he hadn't, he wouldn't have been able to figure out clever ways to cross large ravines. The tinman had a heart all along because it'd be awfully difficult to feel a sense of duty and comradery to his friends without one. And the lion was courageous enough to fight off the Kalidas (a fearsome creature) before the group even got to Oz.
All of these traits are very obvious, making it easy for kids to pick up on them and realizing for themselves that the traits a person most desires are inside them all along. So even if there aren't morals flashing in neon lights above the book (like what one would find in a Grimm Brother's story) there is still something to learn from a girl from Kansas and her unlikely companions.
That's all for now dear readers! Till next time!