Friday, May 14, 2010

Pay no attention to the man, behind the curtain or otherwise

This is the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. He's mostly noodles stir-fried with snow-pea bows, carrot poppies, and broccoli florets. The crown is yellow carrot, his face is sliced turkey and roast beef and his muzzle is a pork dumpling.

We checked out the Wizard audiobook from the library a few weeks ago and it went over bigger than I ever would have expected.

Whenever pledge time rolls around on NPR, they'll ask you to think about the times you've pulled into your driveway and turned off the engine, but stayed in your car to listen to the end of a story. That's what The Wizard of Oz has been for Primo. Even on probably the fourth time through, he's genuinely rapt. We've waited in the car through "run-ins" to the grocery store, clothing returns and even an entire dentist's appointment thanks to L. Frank's storytelling. During one such session came the revelation that the Wizard was from Omaha. The memory of the look on his face as he heard that is probably going to have to stand in for the reaction I won't get to see upon his first viewing of the Cloud City duel in Empire Strikes Back.

The popularity of Wizard has prompted me to read some Baum short stories to Primo at bedtime. I know he was keen to write "American fairy tales," and they're mostly okay, from what I've read, but there's something about them I can't quite put my finger on. Like they're not timeless enough. Or the morals are a little off. Things like "go get a job and stop complaining," or "don't act like that or people will think you're a communist." It might just be me.

And, in case anyone was wondering why adults write the discussion questions, here's a sample from a lesson plan I found online:

How did Dorothy get the mark on her forehead?
Who did Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman meet next while traveling down the Yellow Brick Road?
How did Dorothy help the Scarecrow?

And here's a sample from our in-house discussion, led by Primo:

Why are Dorothy's aunt and uncle gray?
Dorothy killed the Wicked Witch of the West. I thought Dorothy said she couldn't kill anybody. Why did she kill the witch?
Is the wizard a humbug because he's from Omaha?
Why are the Winkies slaves? Are they like the slaves in America?

No comments:

Post a Comment