This week’s Read Aloud Thursday is our latest chapter book read-aloud, which we finished last week. I picked The Wizard of Oz off our shelf because I thought the girls would like it. Our copy is one that I’ve had for almost thirty years. It’s an Illustrated Junior Library Edition published by Grosset & Dunlap, and the inscription on the inside, written in my mother’s hand, says this: “Amy ______ from Jennifer _______ 7th birthday.” Incidentally, our copy doesn’t look like the one you see at the left. Our copy shows a younger Dorothy and a much friendlier looking companions:
The cover of our book has the title embossed in gold, heavily stylized letters, like this title page:
It makes me feel rich to own such beautiful books, and I’d like to own a whole library of such classics!
This Read Aloud Thursday is not like my usual Read Aloud Thursdays in which I rave over this book or that; I have mixed feelings about this one. I’ll admit that I read this one without any pre-reading whatsoever, and only a sketchy memory of the movie. While the book wasn’t too scary for my girls, I just felt a little bit uncomfortable about the witchcraft and wizardry contained therein. It just felt weird to me–weirder than anything we’ve read so far, I think. I know that there are those who interpret The Wizard of Oz as more than just the fairytale Baum claimed it to be, but I don’t know much about that. I don’t really even know why I think it was weird, given the fact that I’ve read some fairly weird things to my children already. I think it’s the whole Oz the Humbug issue, and the fact that I see many parallels between this story and faith (in God, specifically). No, I’m not trying to equate God to some wizard or anything like that–it just seemed off somehow for me to be reading this to my girls at their age. They really got into the plot, though, and were excited every day to read it, so I persevered. It doesn’t seem to have negatively affected them. On a positive note, there are elements of the story that really reminded me of Pilgrim’s Progress, so maybe I’ll pull out my children’s version and read that to them soon.
ETA: Janet wrote a much more knowledgeable appraisal of this classic story. If you’re interested, please check it out!
Whoa. I never meant to post such a heavy Read Aloud Thursday. It does lead me to a question, though–have any of you ever read something to your children that you’ve regretted or thought better of later? Please tell me I’m not alone!
What have you been reading together this week? Link up below, or simply leave a comment and tell us about it!
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Have a terrific Read Aloud Thursday!