The Last "Big" Oz Anniversary
Yep, I'm going to talk about Oz stuff again. We're still deep in the Baum books - Book 6, The Emerald City of Oz, to be exact - and around us, there are celebrations surrounding the MGM film, which turns 75 this year. This week only, you can see it in 3D at IMAX theaters (no, I won't make it), and a fancy new Blu-Ray/Blu-Ray 3D/DVD collector's edition boxed set will be released on October 1. I saw the newly-restored film when it was re-released in theaters for its 60th anniversary in 1999, and I remember the hoopla surrounding the 50th anniversary ten years before that.
I want to go back to 2000, though, my first year as a bookseller. While it didn't receive as much attention as the milestone anniversaries of the movie, that was the year that the book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, turned 100 years old.
I remember a few notable books in the store, as we geared up for the holidays. I was a fan of the movie from as far back as I could remember, but I hadn't read the books yet. Now a big fan of the books, I happened to come across a couple more Oz-related titles released for the centennial anniversary at the library recently, and thought they were worth sharing.
100 Years of Oz: A Century of Classic Images
from The Wizard of Oz Collection of Willard Carroll by John Fricke. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1999.
100 Years of Oz is a look at Oz memorabilia by decade, beginning in 1900. Screenwriter Willard Carroll is acknowledged as having the largest private Oz collection in the world. Many of the items I recognized from our spring trip to The Oz Museum: different editions of the books, posters and sheet music from the first stage musical, soaps, peanut butter tins, cottage cheese glasses, merchandise related to all the different film and TV incarnations. However, this collection is even more extensive, and while it isn't the same as seeing the stuff in person, it is pretty cool to read about.
[Confession time: If I were an extremely wealthy person with lots of room, I would probably be an Oz
Oz, The Hundredth Anniversary Celebration: Thirty Favorite Artists and Writers Celebrate One Hundred Years of Oz. Edited by Peter Glassman, Books of Wonder. HarperCollins, 2000.
As regular readers know, I collect the Books of Wonder facsimile editions of the Baum Oz books, published by HarperCollins. Peter Glassman and Books of Wonder also oversaw this beautiful project. Among the authors and illustrators providing memories and interpretations of Oz and its characters are Maurice Sendak (the cover), Tomie dePaola, Jerry Pinkney, Paul O. Zelinsky, William Joyce, Robin McKinley, Leo and Diane Dillon, Madeleine L'Engle, Kinuko Y. Craft, Natalie Babbitt, and Eric Carle. And that's just an abbreviated list. There are many very prestigious Oz fans featured in this book!
The first book is out of print, but there are many used copies floating around. The second book is also readily available. Of course, you can always check the library!